Monday, February 4, 2008
Perfect Shmerfect... Fermo de tutti Fermi
You wanna talk NFL catches? Okay, let's talk NFL catches. Forget Dwight Clark's "The Catch" in the '81 NFC championship. Forget Lynn Swann in SB X. Forget even the Giants/Niners replacement game during the '87 strike (where "Giants" wide receiver Lewis Bennett reached behind the defender, tipped the ball over him, and grabbed it for a touchdown).
Forget them all. There has never been a catch to equal David Tyree's last night in SB 42. That catch was the Ringling Bros. center ring of circus catches. A blindfolded guy on a high wire juggling Volkswagons.
Recap for the six Tibetan monks who were meditating on a Himalayan mountaintop when their cable when out...
A minute and small change left, Giants on New England's 44, third and five. Nanoseconds from being sacked, Eli Manning—his jersey still stretched by the beefy clutches of the Patriot defense—somehow squirts through the sausage grinder and chucks a benediction down field. Well-covered and airborne... actually INVERTED and airborne... Tyree leaps and grabs Manning's 32-yarder by PINNING THE BALL TO HIS HELMET. He literally holds it against his blue-clad skull while falling backwards and then landing on top of defender Rodney Harrison. There isn't a single person who saw it—Giants fan, Patriots fan, or the people just watching for the commercials—who expected that ball to stay in Tyree's hands, or should I say, on his head. It HAD to be an incompletion. It HAD to pop out of his hands. It HAD to be fourth down and a long-shot field goal attempt. There's no way he could... But he did. Three plays later Manning lofts a gimme into the corner and the GEEEEEEEE-MEN go up 17-14, thanks to a schoolyard head fake by Plaxico Burress on a routine out route.
Suddenly, it's Rocky IV and the invincible Drago is cut. Tony Burton is screaming at Rocky, "You see? You see? He's NOT a machine, he's a man, he's a man!" All game long the Big Blue Wrecking Crew treated Tom Brady like he was an over-stuffed six-foot-four pinata, squashing the heart of the greatest offense of all time. And yet, it still looked like the Giants offense wouldn't be able to get it done. Until the catch that kept the drive alive, and ended the Patriots' dream season in the most nerve-shredding, nail-chomping, cardiac-arresting Super Bowl ever.
As predicted by Sports Nuts News on Jan. 24, the Giants stun the world. And best of all, Tiki the Traitor can sit on the couch during the Today Show in his Armani suit, discussing the 2008 Vera Wang bridal collection with Anne Curry, but there won't be any Super Bowl ring on his treacherous finger. Those are reserved for the guys who sucked it up, stuck it out, kept their mouths shut, and played like champions.
Today's congratulatory Sports Nuts design...