Bye Week Wish List

With Christmas music already on television and the radio, it's certainly not too early for us here at TGI to start putting together our wish list. Things started so brightly for Big Blue in 2009; they looked poised to make their second Super Bowl run in three seasons. But then Big Blue seemingly limped to the bye week after being blitzed by some of the NFC's finest.

Here follows TGI's bye-week wish list, with some of our desires coming with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Steve Spagnuolo – We want our old defensive coordinator back. He can't be having all that much fun in St. Louis with that awful team anyway, can he? Bill Sheridan and his defense shot right out of the gate, hammering some of the league's worst clubs into submission. But when the big boys came calling, it was the Giants who shrank like violets. We know Sheridan will be just fine in the long run. But until then we want our old Spags back.

A new foot for Eli – While the jury is still out on exactly how much Eli Manning has been affected by his painful right heel, the discrepancy between his pre- and post-injury performances cannot be simply coincidental. Here's hoping the bye week affords Manning plenty of time to rest up that foot and that he comes back a new man on Nov. 22, when the post-bye sked kicks off.

Michael Strahan – Despite all the lost weight, Strahan sure seems like he'd be game ready before too long. As entertaining as he is on FOX football and his sitcom, he'd sure do the Giants much more good if he'd lace up the cleats once more. We know how good Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora are; heck, they've both been Pro Bowlers. But neither is close to playing at the level of what Strahan used to give the Giants. While there's no reason crying over spilled (and retired) Hall-of-Famers, the Giants sure do miss this guy.

Ramses Barden Since Strahan is no longer using his jersey – and they've yet to retire it, although they most certainly will – perhaps he can give it to rookie Ramses Barden. The Keyshawn clone hasn't even been dressing for most games, which is absolutely ridiculous in our minds. With the persistent green zone struggles, you can't tell us the Giants strongest and tallest receiver wouldn't be able to help out at all. Put him in, Coach. The only way he'll ever be ready to play is if you let him play.

New homes – For guys like Gerris Wilkinson and Sinorice Moss. Two of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, they've both defied the odds by lasting on such a talented roster as long as they have. Their disappointing résumés are not at all due to a lack of effort; they've just been hampered by some injuries and way too much inefficiency. Here's hoping their new clubs treat them well.

Earmuffs – So we can give them to C.C. Brown, who has become the new fan whipping boy. Listen, we can't even begin to defend Brown's on-field play. But frustrated Giants fans would be wise to remember that the Giants signed Brown as a BACKUP. They thought the same thing we've all seen – that he'd get killed if put out there for extended periods of time. If Kenny Phillips didn't get hurt, Brown would still be making a positive name for himself covering kickoffs and punts.

The old AP – You can never fault the guy for trying to be a leader – both on the field and off. But Antonio Pierce's play has been so shoddy of late that it's hard for anyone to take him seriously. We know the Pro Bowl talent and fierce competitor who used to be unstoppable from the middle linebacker position is still in there. We just hope he returns before the entire season is lost. Pierce has proven the experts wrong so many times that it's hard to count him out. But his play this season has made it even tougher to count him in. Come back to us, AP. We miss you tremendously.

A recount – OK, OK, so I let one of my personal wishes slip onto the TGI list. Any chance they can redo that World Series? And maybe disqualify Brad Lidge and Hideki Matsui beforehand? That would be just splendid. Because as much as many of you are riding high due to the Yankees capturing their absurd 27th world championship, yours truly is wiping away tears from the keyboard as he types away. Any chance of giving the Phils one more shot? Please?

Cheerleaders – No, we know, that'll never happen as long as a Mara is running the Giants – and that's totally understandable. To dishonor the late, wonderful and classy Wellington Mara would certainly be wrong. But man, any Giants fan that travelled to New Orleans and/or Philadelphia and witnessed those debacles in person would be fibbing if they said they didn't enjoy the in-game entertainment. Hey, something has to keep male fans – young and old, alike – interested once the game gets out of hand. And that doesn't even say anything about the male members of the media…

A truly grand finale – This wish sure looked great after five games and much less so heading into the bye weekend. But wouldn't it be so very, very nice if the final game ever held in venerable Giants Stadium is the NFC Championship game? How about the Giants getting a chance to exact revenge on the Saints, Cardinals or even hated Eagles and send the old building out in style? Hey, relax. We told you this was just a wish list!

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