The Kings Are Dead, Long Live the Kings

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©JOE DILIBERTO

My beloved New York Football Giants won their last game of the season today, but were eliminated from playoff contention when Chicago defeated Detroit. (Also, Minnesota beat Green Bay, but that was just overkill.) My brother and I were at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., this afternoon, cheering with our applause muffled by gloves as Big Blue plucked the hated Philadelphia Eagles, 42-7.

Of course the Giants were the defending Super Bowl champions, and now will not get a chance to repeat last year’s exciting run to the Lombardi Trophy. They just did not play well enough.
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Farewell, Mario and Brandon…

Manningham on the run...

So, it has begun again: The New York Football Giants are releasing players and letting a talented receiver sign with another team. Can this be a harbinger of another title next season? After all, it worked last year…

After delivering his second Super Bowl title in five years, General Manager Jerry Reese has earned my trust. He had a secret plan that he shared with no one during the last offseason, so I will not question his moves this years. The man has an uncanny knack for identifying talent, so he deserves our indulgence. As long as the master plan ends with Eli Manning hoisting his third Lombardi trophy, I’m all in!
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It’s Super Bowl Sunday for the New York Giants (again)!!

Today, my beloved New York Football Giants take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, a rematch of Super Bowl XVII, in which the Giants destroyed the Pats’ dreams of an undefeated season with a stunning 17-14 victory in what many NFL fans – including myself – deem to be the best Super Bowl ever.

The Giants are underdogs once again, but this time the spread is much tighter, and a lot of the so-called experts and pundits are actually picking the Jints to triumph. I believe Big Blue will stampede to a convincing victory, cementing Eli Manning as the elite quarterback in the NFL – statistics be damned. (Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees piled up a bunch of ultimately meaningless personal numbers this season, and will be taking a break from playing golf to watch the Super Bowl from the stands with all the other losers also-rans, before crying themselves to sleep, wrapped in their record books.) All Eli does is win.
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The Agony and the Ecstasy of Being a Giants Fan…

It went deep into overtime, but the New York Football Giants defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 20-17, to qualify for their fifth Super Bowl appearance – a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, in which the Giants crushed the New England Patriots’ fantasy of a perfect season with a 17-14 victory.

While I felt good going into halftime of this championship struggle in wet weather with a 10-7 lead, I was on the edge of my couch for the entire second half.  I was bemoaning the fact that New York settled for a field goal just before the half ended, but I knew having the lead was important. Besides, it wouldn’t be a Giants game if we fans weren’t in hell the whole time. Who wants a blowout when we can spend 30 minutes on tenterhooks? I love my Giants, but they really test my devotion while I’m watching.
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NY Giants Defeat Packers and Officiating Crew

Congratulations to the New York Football Giants for defeating the Green Bay Packers to advance to the NFC Championship Game in San Francisco next week. It was a fantastic win, and New York QB Eli Manning once again proved that he must assuredly is an “elite quarterback.” (He is 2-0 vs. Aaron Rodgers in the postseason) But what I really want to talk about here is my rage over the horrendous, embarrassing officiating during today’s game at Lambeau Field, in Green Bay, Wisc. It was so bad that I thought I was watching an NBA game. This was a really tough win for Big Blue.

It could not have been more obvious that the officiating crew was trying to protect the defending Super Bowl champions and the league’s golden boy, Aaron Rodgers – even at the cost of tarnishing the perception of NFL officiating and the credibility of the league itself. We all know that so-called “good teams” get all the breaks when it comes to close calls, and that’s to be expected. However, there’s a world of difference between giving a team a few extra inches on a spot and completely making stuff up out of whole cloth. This isn’t just letting a cornerback get away with some hand jive; it’s calling stuff that isn’t there, and pretending stuff that is, isn’t.
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Tim Tebow: Falling Toward Apotheosis

As the NFL season winds down, folks are going downright crazy over Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, anointing him the new Chosen One, the new god of QBs. The problem is, I honestly cannot see what all the fuss is about. Sure, he’s pulled off some wins, but Tebow is actually the Twilight of quarterbacks — he inspires a delirious, inexplicable adoration that is completely out of proportion to the intrinsic quality of his play.

The refrain for Tebow’s vocal chorus of supporters goes something like this: “He has 5 comeback wins this season.” “All he does is win.” I will stipulate the 5 wins part, but take strong issue with the “all he does is win” bit. I would amend that to “All he does is play (sorta) for a team that wins.” And to say that Tebow “does just enough to win” is probably being generous. The man has skills — there’s no denying that — but he’s no supernatural phenomenon.
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NFL Parity Rewards Mediocrity

Saints QB Drew Brees

The NFL playoffs get under way with Wildcard Weekend kicking off today, and in addition to the promise of an entertaining game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets on Saturday, football fans will be subjected to the travesty of watching the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints taking an 11-5 record on the road to play the pathetic 7-9 Seattle Seahawks.

You read that correctly: A team with a losing record is hosting a playoff game against a team with a winning record. This is happening because the Seahawks play in the NFC West, a division that can charitably be called “weak.” But despite the level of competition, just because Seattle won the division it automatically qualifies for a home playoff game. This is embarrassing. You know it, I know it, and the league knows it. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told ProFootballTalk Live that the situation is sparking a review of the seeding process in the coming offseason.

“This is something that we’ll look at again,” Goodell said. “We looked at it a few years ago. The strong view of the clubs was that you should win your division and if you win your division, you should be rewarded with a home game. There is another view that winning your division should automatically get you into the playoffs and into the postseason, but that it should not automatically reward you with a home game. That is something that will continue to be debated. We will look at that this offseason. Let’s let the playoffs play out here a little bit and try to understand what the ramifications are rather than reacting to a specific circumstance.”

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