A Giant Hangover? Don’t worry Giants’ fans, it’s only temporary…
Posted by silentarchimedes on August 19, 2008
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!