One of the callers on today’s Mike Francesa Show was able to provide me with some interesting insight into Sunday’s somewhat catastrophic Giants game. He said that the fundamental difference between last year and this year was that last year the Giants were hunters, and the other teams were their prey.
That was the sum total of his commentary.
I, like probably a lot of you, thought this year’s devastation had at least a little something to do with Eli Manning’s total inability to manage the wind, the insane dominance of the Eagles’ defense, two failed fourth down attempts, and even, perhaps, that whole Trapped in the Latin Quarter Club thing.
But, no. It’s because last year the Giants were hunters.
I’m sorry. Do they not have someone over at WFAN to like screen the callers or something? Maybe an intern?
Whatever the case, last Sunday capped off a year in both baseball and football that has been truly something of a shit show. Well, for New Yorkers anyway. I mean, I guess someone somewhere is like super psyched to see the Cardinals go on to play in the NFC championship. Presumably someone who is forced to live in Arizona. And obviously people in Tampa Bay had it pretty good this year, considering.
Of course, Philly sports fans—the fans formerly known as the lunatic losers—are still riding the wave of their World Series championship. Let’s just hope they don’t keep riding it all the way to the Super Bowl. I’m sorry but the only thing more unbearable than a Philadelphia sports phan is one with bragging rights. (I mean, other than a chowda head. Obviously.)
But apparently it’s not just the Phillies phans who are classless. It’s their quarterback, too. After running out of bounds in the fourth quarter, McNabb picked up the phone on the Giants’ sideline and had a fake conversation for a few seconds before getting flagged with unsportsmanlike conduct. Giants fans are obviously all up in arms about how it was such an offensive display of bad taste. Eagles fans defend the move as hilarious and all in good fun. (Not that they should be our gauge for class because, as we’ve established, they have none.)
My take? The guy was excited and got carried away. I think it was obnoxious, insensitive, and a display of bad judgment, but I also don’t think that he was exactly thinking it through. I mean, it wasn’t quite what you’d call a premeditated act. So, whatever.
That’s not really what concerns me. What concerns me is why the guy standing on the sidelines wearing a Giants jacket would have thought to smack McNabb on the ass while all this was going on. I get that, for whatever reason, ass-smacking is just always going to be some weird, big part of sports that I can’t wrap my brain around. But, I mean, at that moment? Really? Is the overwhelming need to smack the ass of anyone who has collided into you so all-consuming that you fail to realize that that the ass you are smacking actually belongs to the quarterback for the team that is currently dashing your Super Bowl hopes while he makes fun of you to your face with his unsportsmanlike conduct? Seriously, if you’re gonna smack ass, try to make it at least a little bit dignified.
But I guess it was just ones of those games where everyone was acting on emotion, and sometimes emotions makes us do foolish things—smack an ass, pick up a phone, or, in the case of Tom Coughlin, recklessly throw a red flag.
When Derrick Ward failed to get the first down after the Giants decided to go for it on fourth and inches, Coughlin threw away his second timeout in order to challenge the call. Not necessarily that well reasoned. But, as Joe Buck said, Coughlin was close to the ball, and he saw it with his heart, if not his eyes.
Spoken like a nine-year-old girl riding a unicorn through Narnia, if not a sportscaster.