There shouldn’t even be a debate about which catch was better, the Santonio Holmes back corner dragging the feet touchdown catch to give the Steelers the lead or the David Tyree high in the air helmet catch to keep the underdog Giants alive against the vaunted New England Patriots. The only reason the Holmes catch is great is because it just looks so damn beautiful. Roethlisberger lasering the ball past three or four Cardinals defenders as Holmes catches and barely has room to drag his feet. The problem with the catch is that it is not unique; the dragging the feet catch is all too common in the NFL. Whether it’s in between the goal lines or in the endzone, many receivers have had one of those types of catches in their careers. Amani Toomer of the Giants had several of those just this past season and even in the playoffs last year. It’s just cool because it still looks so beautiful. However, the Eli Manning scramble to David Tyree catch is not something you see every season, let alone every decade. It is a play that you rewind and replay over and over again and still be in complete amazement that the play unfolded all the way through. Here is a list of reasons why it is such a better catch:
1. Uniqueness – Players practice the Holmes catch in practice. They practice the diving and dragging of feet to stay in bounds catch during the week. And you see this catch almost every week in some game during the season. There is no way to practice the Tyree on the helmet getting tackled holding the ball catch. That just happens in real-time… once in a blue moon.
Giants' David Tyree's catch (courtesy of Andrew Mills/The Star-Ledger)
2. Step by Step Drama – The Manning-Tyree catch had at least 3 instances in which the play should have died but somehow stayed alive. One, Eli was engulfed in a sea of pass rushers almost instantly as the play began. Two, as he tried to navigate out of the pile, some defender grabbed Eli’s jersey. Yet he managed to break free. Three, Tyree leapt to grab a catch that was almost over his head but he was able to get his hands on it. Four, Harrison had his arm inside Tyree’s arms and could have easily broken the play up. Five, somehow Tyree was able to keep the ball one inch from the ground as Harrison tackled him with their arms tangled. Wow. The Roethlisberger-Holmes didn’t have this same step by step drama. Roethlisberger had several seconds of safety before the pass rushers closed in, yet he didn’t feel the pressure that Eli felt. He lasered it to the back corner and luckily went through three defenders into Holmes hands. Great play but not too much drama.
3. Pressure situation – The Steelers and Roethlisberger had just won a Super Bowl a few years ago. Everyone expected them to win this one. Instead they let the Cardinals come back to take the lead in the fourth quarter. That means they finally played to their expectations on that last drive. However, the Giants were massive underdogs at the Super Bowl. They were playing against history, a vaunted team on the verge of going 19-0. Manning was a mediocre player before the playoffs and he stepped up majorly on that last drive. Plus, it was third down and without making that long play, the game was pretty much over. The Holmes catch was only second down, and even with a miss there, the Steelers still had two downs to laser it into the end zone.
4. Caliber of receivers – If you follow the Steelers, you have heard Holmes many times before. Although he’s the third receiver, he has been known to make some big plays before. He is easily a number two receiver on many teams. However, Tyree has only been known to be a good special teams player. He was way down on the receiver chart of the Giants and didn’t even play this year for the Giants (pseudo-injured reserve). He was definitely not the guy you’d expect to make such a big catch in the Super Bowl.
5. Where and when the play occurred – The Steelers were at the 6-yard line of the Cardinals. It was second down. Cardinal fans were already somewhat resigned to the fact that the chances were the Steelers would score a TD there. However, the Giants were in desperation mode. It was third and long and they were near midfield. As a Patriots fan, you’re tentatively happy at that situation that the chances of Eli making a first down there was against the Giants.
When you look at these four reasons, they not only validate that Tyree’s catch was more remarkable but that the Giants-Patriots Super Bowl was better than the Steelers-Cardinals game this year. Last year was completely David and Goliath, fighting against history. While this year, albeit a great game, was not a greatly played game. Cardinals should have had the lead at halftime, if not for that stupid intercepted pass, can’t tackle for 100 yards play. As a Cardinals fan, you gotta be pretty upset that you played so well against the Steelers except for that halftime play and the last drive. As a Steelers fan, you gotta be relieved that you were able to pull it out on that last drive after losing a big lead in the fourth quarter. All in all a great game to watch, but it still didn’t compare to all that last year’s game signified and the suspense and excitement of it.
As a disclaimer, I am a Giants fan. However, my second favorite team is the Steelers, so this article is not that biased. It was a great game, and the Steelers proved how great and respected the franchise is. They deserve to be called “America’s Team” instead of those sorry Cowboys. The Super Bowl should have been Steelers-Giants. Now that would have been an amazing game!
Let me get this straight. Both Andy Pettitte and Plaxico Burress hurt themselves. Albeit one with drugs and the other with a gun. And yes, they hurt their teammates (Pettitte’s might be arguable) and the integrity of their respective games. But physically, they only hurt themselves. The Giants proceeded to suspend Burress for four games and put him on the non-injured reserve list; essentially ending his season. The suspension obviously resulted in major financial repercussions for Burress. The Yankees, meanwhile, welcomed Pettitte back with open arms for the guaranteed $16 million. Even with the Mitchell Report coming out just 10-days after Pettitte exercised his $16 million option.
Now comparing Pettitte and Burress is like comparing apples to oranges. Pettitte has always been a model citizen and family man, whereas Burress has been a headcase of suspensions, fines and showmanship for the Steelers and Giants. You could also bring up the fact that Pettitte used HGH to help recover faster to help his team. Not much moral support for Burress being late to a bazillion team meetings or shooting himself in a club.
However, Pettitte still hurt the integrity of the game of baseball. To all those fans that don’t care if players use steroids or HGH, imagine a game without integrity. Full of gambling and drugs. The game would become a farce, much like wrestling is now. So as much as fans are tired of hearing about performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) in baseball, it’s a necessary fight. Although Pettitte apologized, you can see how differently fans treat PED-using players based on their remorse. Pettitte and Giambi? Back in good grace. Clemens and McGwire? Who are they?
Which brings me to my point. Pettitte is very very lucky the Yankees welcomed him back and fully supported him. The news conference with Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi sitting to his sides as he apologized and answered questions must have been tough to watch for some hardcore baseball traditionalists. There was no compromise regarding salary. The whole contract was honored and fans even cheered for him because he owned up to his mistake. He proceeded to go 14-14 with a 4.54 ERA and a team high 204 innings. However, he battled shoulder problems all year and closed the season with a 2-7 record.
Now Pettitte is a free agent. He owes the Yankees. The Yankees would like to bring him back for $10 million. Pettitte does not want to take a pay cut from his $16 million. His agents are shopping him around, especially to Joe Torre and the Dodgers. Although Pettitte has been saying all year that he wants to pitch in the new Yankee stadium (even jokingly picking a locker in the new locker room on a tour there), when asked if he would take a pay cut to stay with the Yankees, he dodged the topic and deferred to his agents. One, Pettitte will be 37 next season. Two, Pettitte is no where worthy of a top of line $16 million contract. Three, the Yankees saved his career this past season by welcoming him back. Four, the Yankees saved his reputation by allowing him to show complete remorse and prove himself on the field. Five, he owes all the Yankee fans who supported him this past year.
Is he really going to argue over $6 million in pay? I’m sure he doesn’t need the extra money after earning tens of millions in his career. If it’s about getting what he’s worth, well, he’s not worth $16 million. He needs to give a nice Christmas present to the Yankees and their fans. Stop being business-like, show some gratitude towards the team that saved you and the fans that stood by you.
That was a very dominating win the New York Giants had over the Baltimore Ravens today. It is apparent that all this talk about the Giants having the most difficult remaining schedule in the NFL doesn’t matter to them. All the talk about the Giants having the easiest schedule in the first half and not justifying the high power ranking is out the window. The Giants have beaten the Ravens, Eagles, Cowboys and Pittsburgh the past four weeks. Their three-headed rushing attack continues to improve every week as they work Bradshaw more into the mix. They have gained 207, 219 and 200 the past three games. Overall, they have had five 200+ rushing games, and seven 150+ rushing games in the 10 games. Bradshaw was four yards shy today of reaching 100, which would have given each of the three running backs at least one 100+ yard game.
What makes the Giants RBs so dangerous is that none of them go down easily. Jacobs is famously known for his monster truck style of running. That run he had from around the 20 yard line to the 1 yard line were no one was able to tackle him was unbelievable. He also has the speed to run to the outside and push it up the sidelines. I still can’t believe Jacobs outweighs Ray Lewis, the formidable linebacker. However, Bradshaw seems to be the most difficult to tackle. The 77-yard scamper he showed today should have been a 3 yard gain, but the guy just knows how to break tackles. His only penchant has been fumbling, and that is partly due to his hard-to-bring-down style of rushing. If the Giants keep this up, all three RBs will be fresh and healthy come playoff time. They will pose a tremendous problem for defenses. After being pummeled by Jacobs and Ward in the first three quarters, the Giants bring in the fresh legs of shifty Bradshaw in the fourth. The result, a tired and beat-up defense just wants the game to end. Did you see the Raven’s Washington’s face and tiredness after desperately tackling Bradshaw at the end of that 77-yard run?
Manning has yet to pass for over 300 yards and the Giants have had only two 100+ yard receiving games, but does it really matter? The key for Manning now is to manage the clock, protect the ball, minimize interceptions and continue his signature third down passes and fourth quarter drives, if even necessary.
At this point, the Giants are definitely the best team in the NFL. They are deep on offense and defense. They are a team that is focused and has the ultimate team first mentality. No one has any big egos. Jacobs has no problem sharing carries with Ward or Bradshaw, since he sees it as helping the length of his career. Bradshaw also has no problem not getting more carries and being the fourth quarter reliever. If the only problem they have is a clock-less Plaxico, that’s okay for now. As bad as Plaxico has been, he is not like Tiki and his big mouth. Burress even went so far as to pseudo-apologize on FOX NFL. It would be nice to see Burress have a big game one of these days to show that the Giants can still pass.
It’ll be sad come offseason time because some key players, including Jacobs and Ward, will be free agents and it would be difficult for the Giants to keep all of them. If the Giants repeat as Super Bowl champions, forget it. There’s going to be a swarm of money thrown at Giants free agents. And that’ll be a good-bye to the amazing defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo as well.
There are some familiar leaders, such as Fitzgerald, Reggie Wayne and Santana Moss. Don’t mix up Calvin Johnson of Detroit with Chad Johnson, aka Ocho Cinco. So where do Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Chad Johnson, and Plaxico Burress rank in yardage??
None of the four have lost playing time due to injury. Although Burress was suspended a game and a quarter, as per diva rules. Of the 36 games played by all four of them, they have combined for only four 100+ yard games (Moss 3, Burress 1)!! It’s easy to blame their lack of production on injuries to their quarterback. Brady is injured for the entire season, and both Romo and Palmer have been injured for a majority of the time. However, Moss has had three 100+ games with QB Matt Cassel, so it’s not just due to the Brady effect. Burress’ lack of production with a healthy Eli Manning definitely has to do with his diva distractions resulting from being suspended twice. Additionally, when you look at some of the top receivers now, they are getting their yards even from bo-bo and/or inexperienced QBs. Johnson from Matt Schaub in Houston, Jennings from Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, White from upstart Matt Ryan in Atlanta and Johnson from pathetic QBs in Detroit.
Their touchdown numbers are still respectable (they average 4.5 while the top 10 yardage receivers average 4.6). However, when you start looking at average yards per catch (YPC), the four divas’ performance starts to degrade. The four average 12.3 YPC while the top 10 average 15.4 YPC. Then, when you look at their total average receptions, 37.5, compared to the top 10′s 49.8 you start getting a better picture of what’s going on. That translates to an average of 4.16 receptions per diva per game while the top 10 receivers are averaging 5.08 receptions per game.
All four divas are playing far below their career performances. Moss’ four TDs are on pace to rank this year with his trouble years in Oakland (3 and eight) and that crazy year in Minnesota (7). His three fumbles so far are already the most he’s had in any season. He has only averaged 0.7 fumbles per season in his career. This shows a lack of concentration and motivation on Moss’ part. To give a little credit to Moss, he has remained quiet this year and has been a team member, although he has been known to shut down and be quiet at times.
T.O. on the other hand has continued to complain and even cried once about his close bond with his ‘boy’ Tony Romo. Today he made another selfish comment that this year’s Cowboys should follow the same blueprint as last year’s, an obvious jab that he should get the ball more often. Someone should remind him with some videos of how many balls he has dropped or how many times balls thrown his way have been defended.
Burress height advantage
The main troublemaker this year has been Plaxico Burress, having been suspended twice for lack of time management. At least, he doesn’t show the frustration towards Eli anymore when passes are badly thrown to him or aren’t thrown to him at all. Burress has yet to have a strong game since the first week of the season when he had 10 receptions of 133 yards. Burress at least understands the importance he plays in drawing double teams and does a respectable job blocking even in his off games. However, he knows if he steps too far out of bounds, the Super Bowl champs will make him a pariah.
Chad Johnson? Ever since his pre-season news of changing his name to Ocho-Cinco, there has been no national news about him. His highest yardage game so far has been 57. His 9.4 YPC is far below his career 15.0 YPC. He has had only one 20+ yard reception this year!! Compared with 27 last year. Ocho-Cinco has been reduced to Nacho-Cero.
These four receivers need to realize they need their QBs just as much as their God-given talent. Because of their selfish attitudes, they tend to give up and play non-chalantly when QBs they don’t respect take over. Imagine other position players doing that? Cornerbacks? Offensive linemen? Taking games off for cornerbacks and offensive linemen would prove detrimental to a team’s chances of winning that game. So why should wide receivers, especially the best ones, do that at times? The mind of the diva wide receiver.
When the New York Giants jumped out to a 4-0 record and was proclaimed the best team in the NFL, many Dallas, Redskins and even Eagles fans quickly screamed, “Woah, Nellie, hold the horses!”. After all, the only team they beat that was remotely any good was the Redskins. The defeats of the Rams, Bengals and Seahawks were expected and thus the Giants deserved no credit for the wins. The ‘Skins were 4-1 and hadn’t lost since the opening mess against the Giants. They were a different team now. They beat the Cowboys and Eagles. And the Cowboys, also 4-1, claimed that they at least had beaten the Eagles. Even the 2-3 Eagles fans said they hung tough with the Cowboys to barely lose 41-37 and beat the Steelers 15-6. To the rest of the NFC East, they sounded as if the Giants, at 4-0, is the worst team in the division or at the very least hadn’t proven anything.
The Rams beat two NFC East teams the last two weeks
Look what has happened in just the last two weeks. The Cowboys lost to both the Cardinals (30-24, OT) and Rams (34-14). Teams they were expected to beat. The same Rams that had already been destroyed by both the Giants (44-6) and Eagles (38-3). What happened to giving the Giants no respect for beating them? The Rams game was most disappointing considering they were down 21-7 by the end of the first quarter and never really put up a fight. Although some fans might pin the loss on backup QB Brad Johnson and his 3 INTs, the truth of the matter is the rest of the team simply didn’t help him or put up a fight at all. With the Cowboys at 4-3 instead of a possible 6-1, there’s now rumblings of missing the playoffs! The same team that almost everyone picked to be in the Super Bowl this year!
The Redskins also didn’t fare much better the past two weeks. They also lost to the supposed horrible team, the Rams, 19-17 and then eked out a 14-11 win against the Browns. A last second 54 yard field goal attempt by the Browns barely went wide or the game would have gone into overtime. This was the same 1-3 Browns team that exposed the Giants on Monday Night last week.
The Eagles were off this weekend, but they also almost lost to a bad team last weekend. They were down 26-17 at the end of the third quarter to the lowly 2-3 49ers, before piling on 23 points in the fourth quarter to win 40-26. The problem was it wasn’t really the Eagles that won it in the fourth, but the mistakes of 49ers’ QB JT O’Sullivan, who had two INTs and a lost fumble in the fourth quarter alone.
Not to be outdone by their NFC East counterparts, the Giants also have had a rough two weeks. After having a chance to go up two games on the loss column to their nearest competitor in the division if they’d only beat the 1-3 Browns on Monday night, they came out listless and confused in front of a national audience. They were exposed on both sides of the football and lost 35-14. After that loss, many division rival fans proclaimed victory that they were right, the Giants ARE horrible. What they failed to acknowledge was that the Browns are not the 1-3 team coming into Monday night. There were high expectations for them before the season began. Could it be that they were finally playing up to par? The fact that they also played the Redskins tough this weekend shows they are at least a decent team. However, the Giants also played a mistake-filled game against the 49ers today. Once again it was the 49ers penalties and mistakes by O’Sullivan that greatly helped the Giants win the game.
NFC East standings after week 7 (courtesy of ESPN)
So what to make of the NFC East after seven weeks? After five weeks, the division was easily the best in the NFL. However, the division collectively went 3-4 the past two weeks, where the three wins were of the lucky and ugly varieties. This also proves something that I’ve been defending with the Giants all season to the other rival fans. The ease of a schedule makes no difference if you can’t beat the easy teams. The fact that the Giants did beat easy teams should not be held against them. A win is a win. In essence they were already giving the easy wins to their own teams even though those games hadn’t been played yet. Once some of them were played, we saw the Cowboys lose to the Rams, the Skins lose to the Rams, and the Eagles almost lose to the 49ers. Additionally, a team’s record after 5 weeks is not always indicative of how good a team really is. A 1-3 team can also mean the team is playing under its potential and could play to its ability on any given Sunday, a la the Browns. Another example is the 0-2 Giants last year who ended up winning the Super Bowl.
There is plenty of football left in the season. Any of the NFC East teams have the ability to go on a run to claim the division title. All we know at this point is that the Giants are in first at 5-1, the Skins in second at 5-2, the Cowboys at 4-3, and the Eagles bringing up the rear at 3-3. One game at a time.
By virtue of their records and points differential (+69 to +12), I give the edge to the Giants as the best team in the NFC East right now. However, with the Giants at tough Pittsburgh and the Redskins at Detroit the NFC East leaderboard could change after next weekend.
This whole debate about who is a better quarterback, Eli Manning or Tony Romo, can be summed up with three words, Jeter versus A-Rod. One is quieter, more professional, goes about business, and wins when it counts. The other is flashy, puts up big numbers, all over the gossip news for questionable reasons, and has issues with winning the big games. In the end, who do you want on your team? The former, the one that wins when it counts. All the other stuff is irrelevant if he cannot carry the team when it counts. That’s why Jeter will always be revered by Yankee fans, and A-Rod seen as an outsider. That’s why Eli will be loved by coaches more than Romo.
In essence, just like A-Rod, until he carries the Yankees to a World Series championship and he is named the MVP or he makes an amazing play that is the catalyst for a championship, he cannot be compared to Jeter. Similarly, until Romo can carry the Cowboys to a championship, something that the team historically is good at, then he cannot be compared to Eli. Who cares how good he is in the regular season. It is a wasted season for the Cowboys anytime they make the playoffs and cannot win. Look at John Elway and Michael Strahan. Their legacies were completely solidified when they finally won championships for their teams. They were both integral parts of those teams.
A championship win does tremendous things to the public perspective of the athlete and to the athlete himself. Before the Giants amazing playoff run last year, Eli was seen as a mediocre QB compared to Romo, and many others in the league. He was seen as someone who belonged in the NFL but would not be able to lay a finger on his much better QB brother, Peyton Manning. After Eli’s leadership and performance throughout the playoffs, and his 4-0 start to lead the Giants this season, many people now argue that Eli is a better QB than Peyton. What has changed so quickly? Well, for one thing that championship. For another, Eli is a much more confident player. Athletes need confidence. When they start doubting their ability to do well, it will show up on the field. The elephant will simply grow bigger and bigger.
One last thing. To say that the Giants easy schedule makes them undeserving of a 4-0 record and number 1 ranking is absurd. To say that Eli is doing well because he has played against horrible teams is absurd. Simple reasons. If it was that easy, then the Patriots should have gone undefeated last year at 19-0. If it was that easy, then the Cowboys should not have lost yesterday to the Cardinals. If it was that easy, the Redskins should not have lost to the Rams yesterday. The same team that Redskins and other NFC East fans ripped on the Giants for beating. If it was that easy, the Eagles should not have been so close against the 49ers until the end of the game. In the NFL, you have to beat the teams that you should be beat. Simple as that. Otherwise, you are making excuses.
Note: The poll below has been “compromised” by Tony Romo fans trying to justify that he is a better quarterback than Eli Manning. The count before the “compromise” was 9-1 in favor of Manning. After the compromise, the count was 1005-9, in favor of Romo. So simply subtract 1004 from the Romo number (until another compromise occurs). I think most of us agree that Romo is a better quarterback, but until he wins some playoff games, he won’t be in the same class as Roethlisberger and Manning. I don’t even think Romo was drafted in any of the first few rounds, unlike the other two who were drafted in the first round.
Note: Well, well, well, the Eli Manning fans strike back. His count was hacked on June 1, 2009. Please subtract 50 from his count. Eli has taken the lead though after Romo tied it up for a while.
Here are some interesting things about the New York Giants after their 4-0 start. Where applicable I will look only at average per game, since Giants have played one fewer game than most teams.
1. Only NFL team to not go for a fourth down.
2. Leads NFL with 431.0 yards per game.
3. Leads NFL with 181.3 rushing yards per game. Tied for second with 42 rushing first downs. Note that they also played one less game than most teams.
4. Leads NFL with 5.8 yards per rush.
5. Leads NFL with 31.8 average points per game.
6. Eli Manning tied for second with only throwing 1 interception. Jason Campbell of the ‘Skins is the only regular QB to not have thrown one yet.
7. Derrick Wards has the best average yards per rush with 6.6. Brandon Jacobs is fourth with 5.8.
8. Brandon Jacobs is also 4th with 95.0 rushing yards per game.
9. Domenik Hixon is 5th with 19.1 average yards per catch.
10. Hixon is 4th with 13.8 yards per average punt return.
1. Tied for second with fewest first downs allowed, 61. Baltimore is way ahead with only 44 allowed. However, Giants have played one fewer game than most teams.
2. Second for fewest rushing first downs allowed, 17. Baltimore is way ahead with only 7 allowed.
3. However, tied for fourth last (27th) with allowing 10 first downs on defensive penalties.
4. Second in total defense with 236.0 yards per game. Second in passing yards per game with 154.0.
5. Second in average points allowed per game, with 12.3. Baltimore is in first with 11.2. Giants will have to give up only 7 points next week against Browns to tie Baltimore with 11.2 after five games each.
6. Giants and Steelers are the only two teams to not have given up a field goal between 40-49 yards. Neither team has had an opponent try one yet.
7. Is fifth with only allowing 5 sacks. 49ers, dead last, has given up 20 sacks already.
8. Tied for third with 15 sacks.
1. Only tied for 24th with 20.7 yards return on kickoffs.
2. John Carney is second in kicking with 49 total points.
3. Giants are 1 of 12 teams to not miss a field goal yet. Of those 12, they have kicked the most field goals with 12.
1. Along with Miami, only teams to not have a fumble recovered by opponent. Tied with Miami and Washington with only 1 total giveaway.
2. Along with New England, only teams to not have a fumble recovery. Tied with Detroit with having only 1 total takeaway.
3. Have the lowest total giveaway+takeway with 2. Miami is second with 4.
It’s been an awesome regular season for the Giants. It’s been equaling awesome for Giants fans in Baltimore, having been able to watch 12 of the 16 games on television. The Giants went 9-3 in those games. Now it’s playoff time and all games are national games.
The Giants are slated to play their divisional game on Sun, Jan 11, at 1pm on FOX, WBFF in Baltimore.
If you are a football Giants fan living in Baltimore, like me, you must be very very giddy at the TV schedule this year. Of the 16 games, atleast 9 will be viewable in the Baltimore area!!!!! And eight of the nine are on basic television!!
Thanks to four national games as a reward of winning the Super Bowl, and four NFC games on Baltimore’s WBFF FOX NFL schedule, and the game against the Ravens on WJZ CBS! WJZ CBS does not post its NFL schedule on its website, so the only AFC North game not shown on TV, against Cincinnati, could potentially be shown, since the Ravens are on Monday night in Week 3. There’s also the chance that one of the late season games against Philadelphia, Carolina and Minnesota might be moved to national television! I don’t think they will move the game against Dallas on Dec. 14.
Woohoo, the Cincinnati game will be shown on CBS! Make it 10 games viewable!
UPDATE 2008.12.05 – The gift that keeps on giving! The Eagles game on Dec 7 will be shown on FOX, WBFF in Baltimore. Make it 11 games viewable! Wow!
UPDATE 2008.12.09 – Not surprisingly, the Panthers game on Dec 21 has been moved as part of the NFL flex schedule to prime time! It will now be shown at 8:15pm on NBC, WBAL. Ok, now it’s just sick. 75% of the Giants season will be seen in Baltimore this year. Amazing.
For live audio of the game, just go to giants.com.
Gerald Feldman’s book Allianz and the German Insurance Business is a look at the links between the Nazi party and big business in 1930s Germany concentrating on Allianz’s relationship. According to Holocaust historians and legal experts, such as Professors Michael Bazyler and Gerald Feldman from the United States, Allianz insured the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau as well as other death camps.
Previous Board member Kurt Schmitt was a German economic leader and the Reich Economy Minister from June 1933 until January 1935.
Eduard Hilgard, a general director of Allianz AG and head of the Reich Association for Private Insurance during the entire National Socialist regime.
Allianz’s leadership, represented by directors Kurt Schmitt and Eduard Hilgard, led a policy of drawing nearer to the Nazis, even before they seized power. Already in October 1930, ties were forged with Hermann Göring. These contacts were realized through company dinners and by providing private financial loans. Heinrich Brüning and Franz von Papen tried without success to get Schmitt a ministerial office.
There are several ethical questions to consider regarding this situation. Are there any current ties to the Nazi party now in Allianz? How much has Allianz admitted its Nazi past? And if they have, how apologetic are they?
The question I am interested in in this post is the first one. If there are no current ties to their past actions, how much should they be vilified or discriminated against? How much is the current corporation and governing board responsible for its predecessors past actions? Now obviously you can go into a case by case basis and closely investigate how much of the corporate culture of the past still exist today or if the current company is essentially a new company with the same name and industry as its former. But from a simple ethical perspective, should a company be currently punished for its historical actions many years ago?
As we have witnessed, this ethical question is not limited to corporations. Many individuals have been affected by links to controversial ancestors. Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, had associations with Adolf Hitler. Hitler was known to have said, “I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration.” Ford was also awarded the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, the highest medal awarded by Nazi Germany to foreigners. Even the company itself has had to fend of allegations of Nazi collaboration. However, this has never had much of an impact on Ford’s descendants and even the company. History has judged him more for his inventiveness and pacifism (He was strongly against both world wars) than Hitler’s admiration of him. This is apparent today as his Ford Motor Company continues to be one of the major automobile corporations in America and his great-grandson William Clay Ford, Jr. (executive chairman) continues a long line of Ford descendants as major players in the company.
On the flip side is the question of whether descendants take too much honor in the greatness of their ancestors. For example, as the Yankees play their last season in the old Yankee Stadium, or “The House that Ruth Built”, many of the families of Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle are clamoring for more celebrations to honor their great ancestral baseball players. It makes sense since they are the bearers of the Ruth and Mantle names, but they themselves have not done anything for baseball on the field. Even the descendants of Thomas Jefferson feel some sort of pride and responsibility in upholding the sanctity of the Jefferson name.
Finally, we must broach this ethical question in regards to countries and governments as well. One of the main examples has been the question of whether the United States should pay reparations for the heinous culture of slavery before the Civil War. This example actually analyzes both the responsibility of the country and the individual. One, should a government be responsible for actions it caused over one hundred to three hundred years ago, considering no one in the government was alive during that time? Second, if they are, should the descendants of slaves get the awards their ancestors should be entitled to, considering none of the descendants are or were slaves? These are very interesting questions to consider and will probably never be resolved. One possible sticking point has been who is considered a descendant of a slave, since the Census did not keep track of slaves and slave owners.
This leads back to the original motivation of this article, Germany and its Nazi past. I stayed in Munich, Germany for 3 months last summer and it was definitely hard to fathom that it was the center of Nazi culture. Germany is a much different place now. It almost has a non-feeling atmosphere, where everyone still feels guilty of its past, where everyone is afraid to show any form of nationalism. The past 60 to 70 years have been very difficult for most Germans to comprehend. I definitely believe that although Allianz had connections to the Nazi party many years ago, no one in that company does now. Germany has become one of our steadfast allies, and although there is some negative symbolism in naming one of our football stadiums after such a company, I think we also have to have some sense of closure and acceptance at the new realities.
As what was strongly stated in The Corporation, this whole discussion lends credence to the fact that corporation indeed can be perceived as superhumans.
You would think that after winning the Super Bowl last season, all eyes would be on the New York Giants’ training camp this summer. Instead, it’s been the quietest camp in memory. You would think that everyone would be wondering which Eli would show up this season, the pre-playoff version of the past, or the efficient and accurate one during the Super Bowl run. Or if Plaxico Burress will be totally healed by the opener. Or how Kevin Boss is doing as the new go-to tight end. Or which of the exciting young receivers, Sinorice Moss, Mario Manningham, Dominic Hixon, Michael Jennings, would make the team. Or how excitin their backfield will be now that Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward, and Ahmad Bradshaw are all healthy. Or how the Giants are doing without their leader Michael Strahan.
Instead, it just seems awfully quiet this summer for Giants fans. It’s weird. I thought I would be looking very forward to this season, but there seems to be a hangover of some sort. I can’t really put my finger on it. Maybe the whole Olympics and Michael Phelps has pushed football to the background. Maybe it’s because the Giants were very quiet in the free agency market and didn’t sign anyone of interest. Maybe it’s because all the other NFL stories have been so dominating, like the Brett Favre saga and Patriots’ Spygate. Maybe it’s because the only stories that have been coming out of the Giants the past few months are negative stories, such as Strahan’s retirement, Shockey’s “I deserve more respect” fiasco, Burress’ “I deserve more money” pseudo-holdout, Osi’s “I deserve more money than the more money you gave me last year” potential contract holdout, the threatening letters sent to Coughlin, Giants’ “I deserve more money” personal seat licenses at the new stadium, Bradshaw’s jail sentence, stolen Super Bowl rings, and injuries to key players, such as Burress, Toomer, and Manningham. Maybe it’s because, now that the dream Super Bowl run as settled in, even Giants fans know it was a perfect run and that it would be hard to reproduce this season. With a more difficult schedule, with all three teams in the NFC East stronger, it appears it might be difficult just to make the playoffs for the Giants. (Update 08/24/08 – Wow, as if the Giants need any more bad news coming out this offseason? Osi Umenyiora is out for the whole season after tearing his lateral meniscus in his left knee during the Jets game.)
So, what is a Giants fan to do? Take hope in the Giants pattern of performance the past ten years or so. They always overperform when they are expected to do nothing. The most obvious one being the 2000 Super Bowl run. It was clear they were playing above their heads when they got killed by the Ravens. Last year was another example. The converse is just as true. They always underperform when they are expected to be Super Bowl contenders. As funny as it is, the public has such low expectations for the reigning Super Bowl champions. Mostly due to the reasons mentioned above, and also how every Super Bowl winner, minus the Patriots, have a hard time making the playoffs the next season. With low expectations this year, if the Giants continue their pattern of performance, they will do well this year.
As for interest in the season, that will quickly change come the first game of the season when the Giants kick off the official NFL season in front of a national crowd on Thurs, Sept 4 on NBC against the Washington Redskins!