I am not much of a sports fan, but there is a special place in my heart for one team: The New York Football Giants. I follow The Giants for sixteen weeks each year, and on each one of those weeks, I expect them to win.
Unfortunately, The Giants lost their first two games of the season, allowing their opponents to score a combined total of 80 points. The Giants defense, which was ranked 24th in 2005, and and 25th in 2006, was supposed to improve this year, under the leadership of a new defensive coordinator, Steve Spaguolo, but it performed even worse than its predecessors in the first two games.
I know it is silly, but I am sad when The Giants lose. Since their players are as good as any of their opponents, I blame all their losses on the coaches and zebras.
Multiple Momentary Lapses
The Giants started yesterday’s game, by dropping more passes than they caught. They compounded their problems, by losing track of their field position, and punted three times on fourth and one.
With eight minutes left in the first half, the defense reached an embarrassing low, when Redskin tight end Chris Cooley caught a touchdown pass, standing in the end zone. Incredibly, several Giants defensive players, who were also in the end zone, seemed to watch, as though mesmerized, while he caught the pass.
The offensive line also became mesmerized a couple of times, notably when Redskin defensive end Andre Carter ran by all of them, on his way to hitting Eli Manning, our starting Quarterback, so hard, that Manning fumbled.
Coaches, Zebras, and Cheerleaders
I believe that these deplorable mental lapses were caused by the presence of the lovely Redskin cheerleaders. The Giants don’t have cheerleaders during practice, or home games, and they were distracted by these flat–bellied beauties. Anyone could be distracted by women, who spend most of the game jumping up and down. However, The New York Giants are professionals, who quit lusting in their hearts, as soon as they realized what they were doing.
The defense figured this out first, when they stopped the Redskins on their final possession of the first half, on a first and goal series. The Redskins settled for a field goal, and led The Giants 17–3 at halftime.
It was the first time that The Giants did not score a touchdown in the first half, since Nov. 20, 2006, when trailed Jacksonville 10–3 at halftime, and and lost, 26–10.
New and Improved New York Giants
The defense ignored the cheerleaders for the rest of the game, and The Redskins were held scoreless in the second half. Meanwhile, Derrick Ward made me forget Tiki Barber for awhile, as he rushed for a career–high 94 yards on 26 carries. Rueben Droughns replaced the injured Brandon Jacobs in short yardage situations, and he scored The Giants first two rushing touchdowns of the season.
Half a Game
The Giants have clearly demonstrated, that they are capable, of concentrating for at least half a football game. Justin Tuck on defense, and Derrick Ward on offense, deserved game balls, and offered hope for the future.
It was also comforting to see 35 year old Michael Strahan lined up on the outside, rushing the Quarterback a couple of times.
The Giants next opponents are The Philadelphia Eagles and The Giants will need to concentrate for an entire game to beat them. The Eagles offense scored 56 points against the Detroit Lions yesterday, and their defense sacked Detroit QB Jon Kitna nine times.
The Giants must concentrate on each play, for the entire game, to beat them.
The NFL recognized this problem last week, and now prohibits cheerleaders from warming up in front of the visiting team’s bench to distract them.
Even so, The Eagles will use cheerleaders to distract the Giants next Sunday. It will be tough for to The Giants to ignore them, especially Nicki, so I hope The Giants have corrected this problem, once and for all.
Pass the Saltpeter
The Giants can beat anyone, as long as they ignore their opponent’s cheerleaders.