EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Since about 7:45 pm (east coast time) Sunday night, I haven't spoken a single word about this past Sunday's Giants game to a soul. Until just before I sat down to write this article. Partly because I couldn't quite grasp what had just transpired in Green Bay, and partially because my laptop crashed and I just got it back from being repaired. I haven't watched a second of ESPN, NFL Network, or any of the games that have been played since. I haven't looked at a single sports section, I haven't listened to a second of sports talk radio, and I even gave away this week's Sports Illustrated as soon as it arrived. I'll tell you what – it actually felt pretty liberating.
But of course, when I got back from the Apple Store on Tuesday, I was forced to sit down and remember everything. All of it. Every bit of anxiety, hope, stress, confidence, doubt, bewilderment, confusion, terror, frustration, and betrayal that passed through my head last Sunday when we went in to Green Bay and got spanked (yes, SPANKED) by the Packers.
This was the game we were going to make a statement in. To show the world that what Philly did to us the week before was a fluke, and the Gmen were still in fact the real deal. This was a MUST WIN, a game where we had to come out swinging, needing to show the rest of the football public that the Giants were a bounce-back team. A team that could win with our backs pressed against the wall. A team that knew how to put shocking disappointment in the past, confident in their ability to beat any team, any day, in dominating fashion.
On Sunday, the Giants were not that team.
Safe Haven Turned Battle Ground
I was home, visiting for the holidays on Sunday, so we got the old band back together. The same group from the good ol' days of 2007 – a few family friends who are also die-hard Giants fans, their kids, my dad, my brother, my buddy Jon, and I. All should have been right with the world, except for one big problem. One of our family friends has a son who's a die-hard Green Bay fan. I figured my dad, this being his house, would have at least set up some sort of rule that if he wanted to cheer for Green Bay and wear a jersey, he'd have to watch in another room (and preferably another floor). Or he could watch in the living room with us, but he'd have to take his jersey off and be quiet. Despite my incessant protests, this was not the case. The damn kid came into our house, donning a Dorsey Levens Packers' jersey, and sat right down on our living room couch.
How the hell are we supposed to create positive, untarnished must-win energy with a Packers jersey being worn in the living room??? All of our different rituals – from throwing the ball outside at least ten times without a drop to our seating arrangements, were all moot points with that ugly green jersey in the room. I was the only person to really say anything about it, but my dad felt it wasn't right to do that to a family friend, and if the Giants were winning, it wouldn't matter anyway. THAT'S NOT THE POINT!!! The fact remains, we could've done something to change the negative vibes spewing from the inside of our living room, and the one person with the power to do something about it sat idly by and let it happen. I know it sounds ridiculous, but dad, this will be a sore subject for quite a while. It's going to take a lot to reassure your dedication to the Gmen, as far as I'm concerned.
I don't need to go into the rest of the viewing experience. Let's just say I left the room somewhere near the end of the 3rd quarter and watched the remainder of the game in the kitchen, sitting at the island with my head in my hands and my hat falling into an empty pizza box.
Too Ugly to Go Into Detail…
And for that exact reason, I'm not going to write anything about the game itself. We all know what happened. Let it live where it belongs – the past. No film work to be done on this end. Good riddance.
Clearing the Fog
Now that it's all said and done, it's time to take stock of our current situation. And it's pretty cut and dry – we need to beat the Redskins next Sunday, and we need the Bears to beat the Packers. If both those things happen, we're in the playoffs. Not one or the other. Both. We lost a must-win game last weekend, and therefore no longer control our own destiny. Still, given how I'm sure everyone feels after these last two beatings, it feels like things should be a lot worse.
I don't know what the future holds for this Giants' team, its coaches or its players. I know that we're still very much in the hunt, and regardless of recent events, one should never think a 10-6 team is undeserving of a playoff spot. Especially when you look at the NFC West. We all had incredibly high hopes for this final stretch of the regular season, and so far it's been the exact opposite of what we wanted. However, we currently stand at 9-6 (so no matter what, we've improved on last year's mark), with a fairly realistic shot at making the second season. I mean it's not like we're hoping the Panthers can go take down the Packers, assuming we take care of business with the Redskins. Did everyone else see Jay Cutler pick apart the Jets' D on Sunday? All Giants' fans better pray he stays hot.
All that being said, by no means is it a foregone conclusion that we're going to beat the Redskins handily. Just because we've done it in the recent past doesn't mean it's a given to play out the same way. All the Gmen can control is the outcome of their game in Landover. That should be the most important game of every member of the team's careers up until this point, as far as I'm concerned. I hope they feel the same way, and come out swinging.
We know what the Giants can do if they get a big spark in the final game of the regular season and sneak in as a wild card seed. If any fans out there really believe all hope is lost and the Gmen shouldn't bother, that sentiment is understandable but not allowable. We have to have faith in our team. If we win, and get a little help from the Bears, we're in the playoffs. All that matters in the NFL, all season long, is making it to the postseason. A higher seed, home-field advantage, and a bye are all different kinds of icing on the cake. Bottom line, you just have to make it to the second season. From there, anything is possible.
So pick your heads up, fans! I know it seems like the walls are closing in, but they haven't yet. We have to keep the faith! To talk all things Gmen, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can find me on Facebook under the name "Gmen Superfan."
That's all for now. Hope everyone had a great holiday, and I wish you all a very safe, happy, and healthy New Year. Until next year, GO GMEN!
Written by Superfan