The Outsider’s Report: Special “Not Numerically Eliminated” Delusions Edition
By BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Daniel in MI
What the hell happened? After several weeks of being, let’s say out of commission, after a particularly awesome post-Vikings game bender (that we’re told involved tequila, baby oil, a shower curtain, and several large women that swore they were Giants cheerleaders) we came to and asked ourselves, “So, what are we now? 9-4? 10-3?” After consulting some secret league inside sources, we came to the conclusion that we’re 5-8 and playing like crap. We thought, “Not again…” So, we were determined to get down to the bottom of this slide. As always, although TOSR (The Outsider’s Report) lacks contacts, sources, access, and legitimacy, and much of what we write is apocryphal if not wildly inaccurate, we do score over the pedestrian media in two important ways: (1) we’re free, and (2) we remain unencumbered by journalistic integrity. Hmm…Ok, so we’re really only differentiated by the first thing.
After long seconds of studying film, our sources diagnosed the play of rookie QB Eli Manning as a key to the team’s recent decline. Clearly, a struggling Manning might lose confidence if his team doesn’t support him. We got a chance to ask about this support when we were lucky enough to get a few minutes alone with Manning when we came across him in kitchen at Giants stadium where Eli appeared to be examining the gas vents at the back of the ovens.
We asked him whether the team has been supportive and helping him to maintain his confidence. “Oh, yeah, everyone’s been great,” he said his flat tone masking his enthusiasm. “When I come to the sidelines after a bad series, the other players help me by not crowding me or coming near me which allows me to concentrate. And, Kurt has been really helpful, before each game he reminds me not to worry just because millions of people are watching and my team is counting on me, and not even to think about how Ben is doing for the Steelers or living up to my MVP brother. Off the field, the guys have been leaving apple cores, banana peels, fish heads, and other nutritional supplements in my locker to help me keep my strength through the longer NFL season, too.” It’s good to know the Giants have been behind the kid.
Some fans and media have called for benched veteran QB Kurt Warner to return to the lineup, but Warner himself is backing Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s decision. We found Kurt sticking pins into a small doll and put the question to him. “Look, Eli is the future of this team. The team has made its decision and cannot go back on it now. They made the call to pull a former MVP in a playoff hunt for their rookie QB, and now they have to live with it. You have to send the message to the team, ‘This QB with the 0.0 QB rating is the QB we’ve chosen and we’re going to stick with him so you’re stuck with him.’ That’s the message they must send, it’s the message they deserve to send. Plus, the Steelers are a fast, physical, brutal defense and Eli will benefit from playing almost as much as I’ll benefit from watching him try. I’ll be here to help him in whatever way I can, whether it’s reading defenses or peeling his body off the turf.” That Warner is a team guy!
A strange story popping up this week is that former commentator and current Raven CB Deion Sanders said that the Giants quit, and the team atmosphere is miserable. Giants WR Amani Toomer stepped up and defended the team. We found Toomer writing his new book, “I’m an Elite WR, Damn It!: Why Touchdowns are Overrated” to ask him about Sanders’ comments. He said, “I am surprised because I didn’t see him out there that much. Of course, I’ve been closing my eyes when I go over the middle lately so I don’t see much of anything. Maybe after those years of being a TV commentator he can see into the hearts of players. Or, maybe now that he’s not in the media he forgot what it meant when I said ‘off the record’ when we talked before the game.”
This drop-off is toughest on the Head Coach and veterans, of course. Coach Coughlin came in preaching running the ball and toughness, but even though Major Tom wants ground control, Tiki Barber’s numbers have fallen off as defenders stack the run. But, how has the notorious tough guy handled the team? We asked RB Tiki Barber. “The Coach has been trying to support us as best he can, just like my brother and I do in our book, ‘By My Brother’s Side,’ he’s trying to stay positive.” We asked Tiki for examples, “Well, today for example, Coach said, ‘Tiki, you lost two fumbles in that last game which was atrocious. But, you are wearing the right size socks, so good job on the socks.’ Last week he told Osi that even though he got blown off the ball against the run, he’s really punctual to meetings. And yesterday, I heard him tell Eli that his play looks horrible, but his butt looks great in the grey pants. So, he’s really encouraging, like I say you should be in my new book for kids called, ‘By My Brother’s Side.’ Speaking of my new book, ‘By My Brother’s Side,” have I told you about the lessons it gives…” At this point we hit Tiki over the head with a copy of the book and ran.
Finally, our sources indicated that another key problem this season has been losing the young playmaker SS Gibril Wilson to a shoulder injury. Now, Wilson claims he feels good, but team doctors are keeping him out of the games. We caught up with team Physician Dr. Russell “Terrier” Warren on his cell phone trying to refinance a loan with someone named “Vito” to ask him about why Wilson is being kept out. “Well, it’s about an abundance of caution,” said Dr. Warren, “If you look at the MRI and CAT scan, and then the point spread against the Ravens and Steelers, you’d see that we’re much safer keeping a playmaker like Wilson out or you risk losing against the spread…I mean, losing the kid for the season.” While we had him, we asked him when he thought Chris Snee might recover from his mystery illness. “When my boat is paid off.”
So, there you have it Giants fans. We’re on a losing streak, facing a team with only one loss that has given two other teams their only loss, with the rookie QB playing the way we hoped ours would. But, take heart, at least Phillip Rivers didn’t have a better QB rating than Eli last week, so we have that going for us.