Sep 102002
 
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The Outsider’s Report: Special First Game Edition

By BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Daniel in MI

The Giants lost to the Forty Niners on Thursday, and the TOSR (The Outsider’s Report) staff are only now getting out of our around-the-clock therapy and 12-step groups to put nicotine-stained fingers to keyboard. Let’s face it, that loss hurt. But, it didn’t hurt right away. It was more like the experience you get when you’ve been babysitting some little kid, and they do that thing where they toddle toward you full speed with their arms out, only to duck their head at the last second and head-butt your testicles. You know it is about to hurt like bejeezus, and that there is horrible pain coming in a hurry, but it takes a second to sink in. Then, the tidal wave of pain hits and destroys everything in its path. That’s what this post-game felt like. But, the TOSR staff are professionals. We play in pain. It was bad, but we’ll rise above it, we… WHY!? WHY!? WHY DO WE GIVE UP THE BIG PLAY IN THE LAST MINUTES EVERY DAMN TIME! WHY!? WHY!? WHY!? Ahem. Sorry. As we were saying, we will not get caught up in such nonsense, we’re objective professionals no matter how badly the team head-butts our balls.

As always (eye roll) TOSR strives to offer the best in media coverage that can be had without the elitist attainment of “inside interviews” or “facts of any kind.” Although our commitment to using exclusive outside sources yields much that is false, or perhaps drastically inaccurate, it does have three important benefits over other more pedestrian media outlets. (Please send $5 dollars in a SASE to our editor to learn the secret of what they are, and how to profit from them in your spare time at home, using only your home computer, a knitting needle, and vice grips.) Nevertheless, we assure you that the staff at TOSR consider keeping the strict journalistic standards of our mass media counterparts, and only make up things when they fit the story we had written last year but didn’t get to use. “Truth or dare,” is our motto and we even have it on our corporate mission statement, so we must be serious.

Enough about us, let’s talk Giants. The big story this week is the aforementioned loss to the Fourty-Niners. A key to this outcome was the offense’s inability to finish drives. We caught up with Offensive Coordinator Sean Payton in his whirlpool to ask about his red zone strategy. “Red zone? You mean the end zone?” We explained that we were referring to the area form the 20s to the end zone. “First off,” he corrected, “it’s not really red, you know. It’s the same color as the rest of the field. So, that terminology is very confusing. I call it, ‘the zone part that’s near the end thingy area.’” Terminology thus clarified, we pressed him on his philosophy for this area. “My philosophy is really best described as a quasi-Sartre-influenced existentialism, acknowledging the confluence of being and nothingness. That has great influence on my play calling. Also, there’s the Kantian acceptance of our inability to know objective reality, except through categorical imperatives. That’s big for screen plays. Oh, and, ‘try to call plays that go to the right.’” We asked about the passing game down deep. “I like the bomb once we get inside the 10, just let our WRs fly.” We asked whether the short field inhibited this flight. “Huh. Yeah, I suppose it would. Interesting…”

We left Payton to break the red zone enigma code, and found Coach Fassel. Critics say his clock management – the delay calling a timeout – cost the team critical seconds. We caught up with the Coach at his visor fitting and talked timeouts. “That’s on me,” he offered, “I was hoping the clock would be stopped for us, like from an incomplete pass, or a batted ball. That would’ve been good. Also, space-time itself might have warped in one of those wormhole deals, I hoped that might happen. Or, since it’s all relative and the clock on top of the stadium is farther away from earth I was hoping it might be slower and give us more time. I played for Divine intervention, the Hand of God would’ve helped there, I was looking for that. A lot could have happened…The thing is,” the coach confessed, “I learned to tell time with the big hand and the little hand. I planned to call timeout when the little hand was facing up, and the big hand was almost up. But, these NFL clocks don’t have hands at all! It’s befuddling. That’s why I always talk ‘tempo” instead of time. So, I just waited until everyone yelled at me, that usually works.” He had to leave us then, as he said he had a meeting at 27 o’clock.

Thus enlightened, we sought to investigate another crucial factor: the lack of a consistent pass rush. A key match-up thought to favor the Giants was All-World DE Michael Strahan versus ex-Giant Scott Gragg. Despite expectations, Strahan was blanked. We found Michael practicing magazine cover poses and asked about the game. “Scott Gragg is one tough player,” said the end defensively, “everyone knows it.” We mentioned that Gragg had been given a particular gynecological nickname by his defensive counterparts while with the Giants, and wondered how the “Defensive Player of the Year” hadn’t registered a sack on someone tapped for such a moniker. “You misunderstood. He was called that, umm, because of his cat-like reflexes; it was short for ‘Pussy Cat.’ Not because he was one. Like, they call Randy Johnson ‘the Big Unit’ but they don’t mean he is a big unit, although maybe he has one, I don’t know. (But, I hear things).” We were dubious as he began to waffle. “It was awhile ago. Maybe it was in homage to The Sopranos, you know that character they killed. That was probably it. He was tough like a gangster. It’s no wonder I couldn’t get a sack off him.” Whatever they called Gragg, it was clearly Strahan that got smeared in this game.

Finally, we cornered Defensive Coordinator Lynn to get an evaluation of his first game. “It went great,” said Lynn. “I told everyone I was going to do it like Foxy did, but simplify. That’s just what we did. We were tough all game, and then buckled in the clutch, just like when John was here. But, notice we buckled in a simpler way. We didn’t need a penalty or great play by their QB. Just good, solid, poor execution.” Coach Lynn assured us he and the defense would keep up the good work, all 58 minutes of it.

So, as we place the proverbial ice pack of time on our collective testicles of fandom, remember that Dallas lost to the Texans and you’ll find you can smile through your pain. Hey, we’re tied for 2nd in the NFL.

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