I’ve always been fairly ambivalent about the New York Giants, and leaned toward liking them until last season.
What I mean by being ambivalent, of course I highly dislike the Vikings and Packers (with a bit of respect for some of their diehard fans), but really despise the Dallas Cowboys due to their legions of fair-weather fans across the country.
The Giants are one of those teams that have never done anything or been in any position for me to have any hard feelings for them. Sure, they smoked the Mike Tomczak-quarterbacked Bears in the 1990 divisional playoff 31-3, but the fact they overmatched and overpowered a declining Bears team didn’t generate any hard feelings.
Last season, I became a closet Giants fan for one season, anyway. I have admitted and stated here several times that I honestly thought the Giants would be the worst team in football in 2007, the multiple personalities on the team would explode and volitale coach Tom Coughlin would be fired by mid-season. Then when they shocked everyone, going on a playoff run and knocked off the heavily-favored Packers at home in the NFC Championship, I was ecstatic. Then going to beat the arrogant Patriots in the biggest Super Bowl upset of all-time made me admire them even more.
Now on to 2008. I realize this is thinking way too far ahead, because the Bears will actually need to win their final three games for this to even be a factor. And honestly, I don’t have much faith that the Bears can take care of their own business with some of the old, overpaid and undermotivated players they seem to have now.
But there will be a real interesting scenario that could play out in the season’s final week. If the Bears beat New Orleans and Green Bay (that’s a big if given the Bears’ tendency to lay down this year in the face of decent competition), and the Vikings lose to either Arizona and Atlanta, both teams will face a must-win situation in the season’s final week.
If both teams win, the Bears are out. The Bears will have to beat the Texans, and the Vikings will have to lose to the Giants. The media has been quick to point out that beating the Giants will be no lock for the Vikings, but there is a very real possibility that the Giants will have wrapped up homefield throughout the playoffs by the final week, and will be resting starters galore against the Vikings.
I have to say that I shouldn’t be upset with the Giants if this is the way it turns out, but I probably will be. Especially since the Bears had every opportunity to control their own destiny this year before blowing games in stupid, maddening losses at least three times.
Let’s hope the Vikings lose to both the Cardinals and Falcons, and the Bears pull out the next two. That way, the Bears will again control their own destiny.
But I haven’t had a good feeling about this season all year, and I won’t hold my breath.