Monday, February 06, 2012


Super Bowl XLVI

On the last play of the game, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady launched the ball into the Giants’ end zone. For a moment or two, it was up for grabs; however, it fell onto the turf, just beyond the reach of Rob Gronkowski, the whistle blew, and the Giants began to celebrate their second recent Super Bowl victory. The Giants topped the Patriots 24-17 in 2008.
Essentially, the New York Giants outlasted the New England Patriots 21-17. Both Brady and Eli Manning had played well, and Manning won the right to drive the Corvette as the game’s MVP. For the most part, however, it was a defensive struggle, with the big men on the line dictating the tempo of the game.
They knocked down passes at the line. The filled gaps, keeping ground games on both sides to a minimum. They hurried both quarterbacks throughout the game, limiting the time that either Eli or Brady could orchestrate a bomb downfield. The secondaries from both teams played brilliantly as well, limiting big gains. As a result, it was a slugfest.
The Patriots began the game in the same manner that they have started several games this year: by digging themselves a hole. In this case, it was one from which they could not extricate themselves. On their first play from scrimmage, deep in their own zone, Brady fired a pass to the middle of the field, with no receivers in the general area. As Brady was standing in his own end zone when he threw the ball, and as it was considered “intentional grounding”, the Giants were credited with a safety touch, awarded two points, and got the ball.
The Giants scored again on a short pass to Victor Cruz, and led 9-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Patriots scrambled back to take a 10-9 lead into the half time break, with momentum.
The Giants added two Lawrence Tynes’ field goals in the third quarter to go ahead 15-9. Tynes has seen the world as a football player. Born in Scotland, he has played in the World Football League in Europe, and spent time with the Ottawa Renegades in the CFL. On Sunday, he picked up his second Super Bowl ring.
The Giants punter also booted favourably during the game. In fact, Steve Weatherford established a Super Bowl record by placing three punts inside the ten yard line, forcing the Patriots to start their drives from deep in their own zone. One of Weatherford’s friends is one of our pool buddies, and I picked up snippets from him during the week leading up to the game. He told us that Weatherford was allotted ten tickets to the game, but that he had to pay for them!
With less than four minutes remaining, Manning threw a sideline pass to Mario Manningham, good for 38 yards. The play was challenged by the Patriots, to no avail. It was a great catch, even better footwork to stay in bounds. Manningham caught the next two passes from Peyton, moving the ball to the Giants 34 yard line.
With a little more than a minute remaining, Ahmad Bradshaw backed into the Patriots end zone to seal the deal. Game, set, match.
Tomorrow evening, I am off to the Germain Arena to watch the final cuts to the Florida Tarpons, the local Arena Football League team. They begin their schedule on March 9th, against the Carolina Aviators a game I would not miss!
Belleville Minor Football League registration the following week! And then, only ten months to the Grey Cup game!

James Hurst
February 5, 2012

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