Silent Archimedes

Posts Tagged ‘Plaxico Burress’

Why Andy Pettitte owes the Yankees. Just look at Plaxico Burress.

Posted by silentarchimedes on December 4, 2008

Plaxico Burress in a Yankees cap

Plaxico Burress in a Yankees cap

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.

Remember this apology? (Getty Images)

Remember this, Andy? (Robert Browman, Getty Images)

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.

I’m one of them.

RELEVANT LINKS

NY Times – Agents work to avoid a pay cut for Pettitte
Baseball as America’s Pastime continues to fall further into the past
The disappointing 2008 Yankees Season – Stick a fork in it, the Yankees are done
Analysis: New York Yankees at the half

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What’s going on with the NFL wide receivers brat group?

Posted by silentarchimedes on November 12, 2008

Chad Johnson

Chad Johnson

Hmm, it’s been an awfully quiet season statistically for the top four NFL wide receiver divas. The top ten receivers leading the NFL in yards include none of them. The top 20 receptions leaders include none of them. The top 20 average yards per catch leaders include none of the four. The top 10 receiving touchdowns include none of them. The top  15 receivers leading the league with receptions of 20+ yards or 40+ yards include none of them. These four divas consistently ranked near the top in these categories in years past.  It allowed them to become divas and have the “it’s all about me” attitude. However, it’s been awfully quiet this year. Let’s check it out.

TOP TEN IN RECEIVING YARDS

RNK NAME REC YDS
1 Andre Johnson WR, HOU 67 900
2 Greg Jennings WR, GNB 43 801
Roddy White WR, ATL 53 801
4 L. Fitzgerald WR, ARI 57 791
5 C. Johnson WR, DET 39 774
6 B. Marshall WR, DEN 57 714
7 Lee Evans WR, BUF 37 700
Reggie Wayne WR, IND 49 700
9 Santana Moss WR, WAS 44 672
10 Eddie Royal WR, DEN 52 625

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??

RNK NAME REC YDS
19 Randy Moss WR, NWE 43 589
39 Terrell Owens WR, DAL 35 467
47 Plaxico Burress WR, NYG 32 407
61 Chad Johnson WR, CIN 37 349
Randy Moss scoring a rare TD.

Randy Moss scoring a rare TD.

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.

Terrell Owens

Terrell Owens

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

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.

Related Link:

Why NFL diva wide receivers and Olympic sprinters are the same breed

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Why NFL diva wide receivers and Olympic sprinters are the same breed

Posted by silentarchimedes on October 30, 2008

Terrell Owens

Terrell Owens

There has been all this talk about talented NFL receivers that are headcases for their team or the NFL. This year it has been about Chad Johnson and his Ocho Cinco name change, or Terrell Owens and his tears for Romo and complaints about playing time, or Plaxico Burress and his lack of time management and suspensions. In previous years, it has been about Randy Moss and his “I play when I want” or Joe Horn and his cell phone celebration or Michael Irvin and his complaints. The list goes on and on. Many people don’t understand this “me above the team” mentality. However, I think many times their outward confidence and look at me mentality is closely intertwined with their ability to succeed and make remarkable plays. To understand why, simply look at the  brethren of wide receivers, Olympic sprinters.

Both professions require an inner and outer confidence in order to succeed. Both require an almost cocky persona that transcends team sports. Sprinters are divas at a much greater scale than NFL receivers because they are the epitome of individual sport, the divaness can quickly reach an uncontrollable level. There are no constraints from team members or coaches to control their “me first” attitude. Look at Michael Johnson and his golden shoes. Look at Usain Bolt and his “staring at the cameras too early” or dancing. Look at Maurice Green or Donovan Bailey.

Usain Bolt - 100m world record holder

Usain Bolt - 100m world record holder

There is something about speed that is exhilarating, from car racing to supersonic jets to horse racing. But when the speed is the natural speed of humans, this brings a completely different feeling of freedom and power that person feels. The runner feels invincible and for that particular moment feels free from all that drags him down in the world. When he consistently runs faster than everyone he competes against, this invincibility and confidence increases in strength. When he breaks the world record, he is on a stratosphere that no other human has ever been on. He IS invincible. He is Superman.

Similarly with wide receivers, once they realize that they are playing among boys, the cockiness increases. Once they see themselves week after week being lauded on ESPN for their highlight catches or game changing plays, they start feeling that same invincibility. They feel that they are above the team; that the team needs them more than he needs the team. For most receivers, this invincibility has  been forming since the days of high school and college football. However, most of them also are greatly tested and humbled in their early NFL years. But to a few, like Moss, Chad Johnson and T.O., their natural talents quickly carried over to the NFL. The invincibility continued to grow without a hitch.

Faster than a speeding bullet

Faster than a speeding bullet

What one will notice is that the divaness in football and sprinting only exists at the cream of the crop. It is only at this level where the public and especially the team’s fans are willing to look the other way. This is especially true in sprinting, because it’s an individual sport. Although there is public pressure against divas at the mid-level talent of receivers and sprinters, the main reason that divas don’t exist at lower levels is more of a natural reason. The biggest fear of receivers and sprinters is failure.  Tyson Gay in the 2008 Olympics is a good example. His fear of failing in the 100m and 200m due to recovering from a  quad injury left him lacking in confidence and staring at defeat. He looked like a beaten man, even though the entire world still saw him as one of the elite sprinters. He had no confidence and no invincibility and therefore, the look at me attitude became a “don’t look at me” attitude. It is also this fear of failure that leads many sprinters to seek questionable methods to maintain or achieve that invincibility. The prevalence of performance enhancing drugs in sprinting was confirmed by the numerous convictions and suspensions of high profile sprinters, such as Tim Montgomery, Justin Gatlin, Ben Johnson, and Marion Jones. Similarly with receivers, if they have no confidence in beating a cornerback or making a catch, they prefer to stay quiet until they make some big plays.

Receivers and sprinters without the invincibility

Receivers and sprinters without the invincibility

Since we do not expect Olympic sprinters to change their “me, me, me” attitudes, it is somewhat unreasonable to think that just because that breed of athlete plays in a team sport, that the divaness will not exist. Many of the receivers were track stars in high school or even college and they have already tasted the feeling of invincibility from God-given speed. From a team first mentality, this attitude is obviously a distraction and curse. However, there will always be a breed of them. The fall from invincibility of wide receivers can be a very  humbling experience. Many successful diva college wide receivers become quiet support pieces in the NFL, if they even make it in the NFL. Even one time NFL divas can become humbled. Randy Moss without Tom Brady is a skeleton of his old self. He has lost his invincibility and desire to attract public attention. This is the key to controlling the divaness. The receivers need to know that unlike sprinters, their invincibility is highly contingent on someone else, their QB. If they do not recognize that, and they still cause a problem, then it’s time for the team to move on without them. One perfect example of this was T.O. and Donovan McNabb of the Eagles. The Eagles did the right thing by trading T.O. after his public disdain of his QB brewed over. Now that T.O. is in understanding that Tony Romo makes or breaks him, then his divaness and crying is at least acceptable, although a distraction, to his own team and Cowboys fans. As long as wide receivers and sprinters perform, the divaness can be somewhat acceptable. The difference is when they falter. When a sprinter falters, he solely takes the agony of defeat. However, when a wide receiver falls from grace, his teammates, his coaches, and the fans also feel strongly the agony of defeat.

On a quick note, just look back to the days of playground football when you were a kid. What were the two positions you always wanted to play? Either quarterback or receiver. If you have the speed, being a receiver and making amazing catches was a sense of invincibility, freedom and flying.

Update – December 01, 2008

It’s amazing what has happened in the few short weeks since I wrote this article. Chad Johnson was suspended by the Bengals for a game due to team policy (unspecified). T.O. finally complained to the media that in order for the Cowboys to be successful, they have to be more like the team of 2007. In other words, give him the ball more. And, how can we forget Burress “accidentally” shooting himself in the thigh at a nightclub and facing possible felony weapons charge. Unbelievable.

Update – December 12, 2008

Finally, T.O. and QB tension. I was wondering how long that honeymoon between Owens and Romo was going to last. Today, reports are surfacing that Owens is “jealous” of Romo’s close friendship with TE Jason Witten and that Romo passes to Witten even when Owens is open because of their friendship. Then Owens  proceeds to say that Romo and Witten secretly meet to plan extra plays! Hahaha! Make it 3 for 3 on Owens and his QBs.

High school background information:

Randy Moss – Won the West Virginia high school state championships for the 100m and 200m as a sophomore.

Plaxico Burress – Was a national semifinalist in the 400 intermediate hurdles at 52.6. Won the state 300 intermediate hurdles title at 37.6 as a senior.

Terrell Owens – Lettered four times in track in high school. Anchored the 4×100 sprint team his senior year at University of Tennessee – Chattanooga.

Related Link:

What’s going on with the NFL wide receivers brat group?

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Current Statistics for NFL Cornerbacks Inadequate

Posted by silentarchimedes on September 22, 2008

Charles Woodson

Charles Woodson

Al Harris

Al Harris

After reading about Al Harris of the Packers possibly being done for the season due to a likely ruptured spleen, I went and checked his and his teammate, Charles Woodson’s career stats. The article said that they form one of the most formidable cornerback (CB) tandems in the NFL. If you don’t watch the Packers regularly, it’s hard to verify except to compare stats with other CBs.  However, when you look at the stat categories for a defensive back, it doesn’t show the effectiveness of the player. Deion Sanders, arguably the best cornerback ever in NFL history, has a statbox similar to many CBs and  thus makes it difficult to conclude his greatness. Let’s look at ESPN and NFL.com’s stats of Charles Woodson’s career:

ESPN – Charles Woodson Career Defense Stats
YEAR TEAM G TOT SOLO AST PD SACK FF REC INT YDS TD
1998 OAK 16 62 59 3 20 0.0 2 0 5 118 1
1999 OAK 16 61 51 10 15 0.0 0 0 1 15 1
2000 OAK 16 76 63 13 13 0.0 3 0 4 36 0
2001 OAK 16 52 39 13 10 2.0 1 0 1 64 0
2002 OAK 8 33 31 2 4 0.0 4 0 1 3 0
2003 OAK 15 69 56 13 8 1.0 1 0 3 67 0
2004 OAK 13 73 58 15 9 2.5 2 0 1 25 0
2005 OAK 6 30 26 4 4 0.0 1 0 1 0 0
2006 GNB 16 62 51 11 20 1.0 3 0 8 61 1
2007 GNB 14 63 52 11 9 0.0 0 0 4 48 1
2008 GNB 3 7 7 0 6 0.0 0 0 2 41 1
Career 139 588 493 95 118 6.5 17 0 31 478 5

NFL.com – Charles Woodson Career Defensive Stats
Tackles Interceptions
Year Team G Total Solo Ast Sck SFTY PDef Int TDs Yds Avg Lng
2008 Green Bay Packers 3 7 7 0 0.0 0 6 2 1 41 20.5 41T
2007 Green Bay Packers 14 63 52 11 0.0 0 9 4 1 48 12.0 46T
2006 Green Bay Packers 16 59 48 11 1.0 0 12 8 1 61 7.6 23T
2005 Oakland Raiders 6 30 26 4 0.0 3 1 0 0 0.0 0
2004 Oakland Raiders 13 73 58 15 2.5 8 1 0 25 25.0 25
2003 Oakland Raiders 15 69 56 13 1.0 5 3 0 67 22.3 51
2002 Oakland Raiders 8 33 31 2 0.0 3 1 0 3 3.0 3
2001 Oakland Raiders 16 52 39 13 2.0 9 1 0 64 64.0 34
2000 Oakland Raiders 16 0.0 0 4 0 36 9.0 23
1999 Oakland Raiders 16 0.0 0 0 1 1 15 15.0 15T
1998 Oakland Raiders 16 0.0 0 0 5 1 118 23.6 46T
TOTAL 139 386 317 69 6.5 0 55 31 5 478 51

The two sets of stats are essentially the same. We can rule out several of the categories as obviously  being bad indicators of how well a secondary player plays – touchdowns (TDs), sacks (SCK) safeties (SFTY), forced fumbles and recoveries (FF, REC). As a matter of fact, most of those are in either ESPN’s or NFL’s and not both, which confirms them as bad indicators. So, let’s focus on the three stat groups that have traditionally been used to assess the efficiency of CBs (and even safeties) – tackles, interceptions,  and passes defended (PD, PDef).

TACKLES

Charles Woodson attempts to tackle Plaxico Burress of the NY Giants

Charles Woodson attempts to tackle Plaxico Burress of the NY Giants

Tackles are a tricky statistic because they can mean two things. It might mean the receiver he was covering just made a big catch against him and he had to tackle him. It might mean a running back ran into the secondary and he made a great open field tackle. If he had a large number of tackles it could mean he is very active and covers a huge swath of the field, or… it could mean that he is a bad pass coverage guy and the opponents keep targeting him. Thus, it is difficult to really put any emphasis on any of the tackle categories; total, solo, and assisted.

INTERCEPTIONS

Interceptions have a similar problem. A CB having no interceptions in a game gives no clues in whether he played a good or bad game. Interceptions also have a lot to do with luck and situation. It really doesn’t show the skill of a secondary back. Additionally, interceptions are rare and normalizing the statistic to per game would not solve the problem. Interceptions are a worse stat than sacks for a defensive back  (DB) because interceptions can only occur if a pass is directed at his coverage area, whereas a DB or a defensive tackle rushes the quarterback a majority of the game.

PASSES DEFENDED

Passes defended is a potentially good statistic. It shows that when a pass is directed at the CB, was he successful at preventing the pass from being completed by the offense. It shows a skill that he is legally (with no penalty) in the area and provided excellent coverage to defend the pass. So what is the problem? The problem is that it is not normalized. What does it mean when a cornerback defended two passes in a game? There is nothing to compare it to. It could mean two passes were directed at him and he knocked both down, for a 100% efficiency, or it could mean 10 passes came at him and he knocked only two down, for a 20% efficiency. Two completely different results. But what do you normalize it to?

NEW STATISTIC – PASSES DEFENDED EFFICIENCY

CB Aaron Ross intercepts a pass

CB Aaron Ross intercepts a pass

Just like an average and ERA in baseball, or a yards after catch (YAC) and rushing average in football, we need something that normalizes the stat against all other games and players. One way would be to divide the passes defended in a game by the number of passes directed at him in that same game. This would give us a pass defended efficiency average per game (PDE). Another option would be to divide the number of total passes defended in the season by the number of total passes directed at him in the season (PDE). The latter one is a better statistic because it would remove anomalies such as games in which only a few passes are directed at him and his PDE in that game is either 0% or 100%. However, what makes this stat difficult to record is determining the number of passes directed at a specific CB. In times when a CB plays zone or steps up to tackle or defend another player, it’s hard to say is the pass directed at him. Or if there are multiple defenders in the area, what do you do? Also, some passes are difficult to determine its intended target. Maybe this can be a statistic recorded for the secondary.

NEW STATISTIC – AVERAGE PASSES DIRECTED TOWARDS

Another statistic is to determine the percentage of passes in a game directed at a CB. In many cases a quarterback will target the CB that is most vulnerable. This would show up in this statistic. However, a quarterback will also target his best receiver regardless of who the CB is. That means a less than stellar CB on a less than stellar receiver will have a low percentage of passes directed at him. That does not mean he is a good CB.

Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders

NEW STATISTIC – AVERAGE CATCH YARDS AGAINST

Just like the running back has the average yards per rush, the wide receiver has the average yards per catch, and the quarterback has the average yards per pass attempt, we need a statistic for the defense.  They already have average yards per rush against and possibly an average yards per catch, but it is for the whole defense and accounts for tight ends, running backs, and wide receivers. There needs to be a statistic for  average yards per catch against each specific CB or at least for the whole secondary. As a fan, it’s sometimes very difficult to watch when a timid CB plays at least 10 yards off his receiver and gives up an easy catch and run.

CONCLUSION

The biggest problem is trying to normalize a statistic. With the way defensive schemes are used, many times it’s not just one person responsible for a catch but multiple players. However, that happens on offense also, such as determining whether a pass is the fault of the quarterback or its intended target. Quarterback stats drop even when they make perfect passes but the receiver drops the ball. What we realize though is that these stats usually evens out, and the best quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers have high numbers  compared to worse QBs. A similar reliable statistic must be created and tracked in order to determine how well a cornerback plays.

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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!

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