Approach to the Game – Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants, December 30, 2012: There is still one more game to play and the Giants are not officially dead yet. But even if they somehow miraculously make the playoffs by beating the Eagles, combined with the Cowboys, Vikings, and Bears losing, there doesn’t seem to be much life left in the 2012 New York Giants.
Only one team will win the Super Bowl this season. You can argue about the reasons, but the point of the matter is the 2012 New York Giants were not good enough to be that team. Some will say lack of talent was the reason. Some will say poor coaching. Some will say lack of hunger and focus due to a Super Bowl letdown. Many – including myself – will lament the wasted 6-2 start. And we will point to the team’s potential with their easy victories against the 49ers, Packers, and Saints. But as Bill Parcells said many years ago, you are what you are. And the Giants are an 8-7 football team that is 2-5 in their last seven games. They have not earned the right to be a playoff team this year. They are not good enough.
Even had the Giants won another title, changes would be coming. It’s the nature of the game. But with the disappointing collapse, we’ll probably see even more change. Many players on this roster will not be on next year’s team. Perhaps a coach or two will be gone. Many fans will debate how much change is in fact needed. Some will want to clean house while others will argue that only a few tweaks need to be made. I choose not to think about all of that right now.
Many fans right now want to harp on the negative. I want to ask fans to remember the big picture. Championships are rare and special. We are blessed to follow a team that has won eight NFL Championships and played in 19 NFL Championship games. Those eight titles include four Super Bowl victories and another Super Bowl appearance. Only the Packers (13) and Bears (9) have won more NFL Championships and only the Steelers (6), Cowboys (5), and 49ers (5) have won more Super Bowls. The Giants are one of the NFL’s truly special teams. Be proud of that.
Also, as we say farewell to veterans who were part of the 2007 and 2011 Championship teams, I ask that we not be mean-spirited about it, but thank those gentlemen for their service. Years from now, as we watch old highlights of those teams and reminicense about two of the great playoff runs in NFL history, let’s remember these players fondly for the warriors they were.
Think about those playoff runs and the images from those games. The Giants were never favored to win any playoff game in 2007 and trailed in each. Folks forget how good the Tampa Bay defense was that year. The Cowboys and Jerry Jones were sure they were going to the Super Bowl. The Giants went into brutally cold Green Bay in January and beat Brett Favre. And to beat the undefeated Patriots and Bill Belichick in the Super Bowl? Are you kidding me? It still seems like a dream.
And they did it again in 2011!!! After stomping out the Falcons, the Giants ruined the season of the 15-1 Packers, again at Lambeau. Then a classic NFC Championship Game in the rain at Candlestick. And to beat the Patriots and Belichick again, once again with a late-game, dramatic drive? As David Tyree said, this is fairy tale stuff.
We’ve had it good Giants fans. The 2012 New York Giants? They weren’t good enough. It’s as simple as that. But that does not erase 2007 and 2011, or the other six NFL Championships. Free agency and the draft are right around the corner and soon the New York Football Giants will once again try to regain former glory.
I still love this team.