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They Can Make It Anywhere

The New York Giants are world champions

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Eli Manning last night.(Al Bello/Getty Images)

Well, they were both our teams, but we picked the New England Patriots, so in that sense, we lost. A huge mazel tov to the New York Giants, now one of only five franchises (can you name the others?*) to have won four or more Super Bowls. During the Patriots’ first offensive drive—which was the second time they had the ball, given Tom Brady’s dumb safety on their first offensive snap of the game—it rapidly became apparent that the Giants were the better team, as the Patriots’ greatest mismatch on offense, tight end Rob Gronkowski, was clearly going to be a shadow of his usual self due to the high-ankle sprain he sustained in the conference championship two weeks ago against the Baltimore Ravens. That the Pats managed to be up 10-9 going into halftime (and receiving the upcoming kick-off) was a triumph of game-planning, eating up clock while driving down the field (and finishing with a touchdown), and a weird reliance on running back Danny Woodhead. It was impressive, but it shouldn’t have been enough, and it wasn’t.

This was a game that came down to two big late-fourth quarter plays: Brady’s incompletion to Wes Welker, his (and the League’s) top receiver, which would have extended the Pats’ drive and possibly allowed them, then holding a 17-15 lead, to put the game away; and, on the first play of the Giants’ subsequent drive, Eli Manning’s 38-yard connection with Mario Manningham up the left sideline. The comparisons of this play to the David Tyree helmet catch of four years ago were facile, even obscene: That earlier play was a bizarre, mystical instance of a young quarterback escaping a sure sack and aimlessly chucking the ball down the field and a no-name receiver guarded by a future Hall of Fame safety miraculously pulling it down; last night’s play was an instance of a proven, clutch, veteran, elite quarterback picking apart a mediocre defense and a favorable alignment with a millimeter-perfect pass. (Here is an excellent dissection of the two plays.)

Analyst Michael Lombardi noted this morning that much credit for the Giants’ two Super Bowls should go to Ernie Accorsi, New York’s general manager for more than a decade, who retired before the season of their last Super Bowl but a few years before had insisted on forgoing Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers for the services of Peyton’s scrawny little brother Eli (he also drafted defensive lineman Justin Tuck, arguably the Giants’ other most valuable player, and hired coach Tom Coughlin). Accorsi is Jewish.

Nextbook Inc. executive director Morton Landowne, a Giants season-ticket-holder for 50 years, was privileged enough to be at the game and emailed last night requesting a tutorial on Coach Bill Belichick’s decision to allow the Giants to score late in the game last night (and running back Ahmad Bradshaw’s seeming reluctance to oblige). Essentially: The Giants had a field position where, if they wanted it, a go-ahead field goal was virtually guaranteed, and they could have run more time off the clock to do it; Belichick was in a sense choosing to need a touchdown to win, with a minute left, over needing a field goal to win, with perhaps fewer than 20 seconds left. This was statistically the correct call. But the Pats were unable to score that touchdown.

And how about that halftime show! (If you didn’t enjoy it, you had set your bar too high.) Yesterday also saw the announcement that Madonna will launch her world tour on May 31 at Ramat Gan Stadium, outside Tel Aviv.

Earlier: Go, Pats

* Green Bay Packers (4), Dallas Cowboys (5), San Francisco 49ers (5), Pittsburgh Steelers (6).

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Philip Berk says:

Are you aware?
Eli Manning, his brothers, and his father, all attended a private (non denominational) school in New Orleans
the Isadore Newman School
founded by a Jewish philanthropist
the school’s original mission was to provide academic and practical training for the children of the Jewish Orphans Home.
Some notable alumni (QUITE A FEW JEWISH)
In chronological order:
Walter Inglis Anderson, 20th-century painter, sculptor, and writer.
John Minor Wisdom, judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Monk Simons, elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1963 after playing for Tulane University.
Donald Ensenat, former United States Chief of Protocol and US Ambassador to Brunei.
Conrad Appel, Metairie industrialist and Republican member of the Louisiana State Senate since 2008
Walter Isaacson, Rhodes scholar, historian, former managing editor of Time magazine, chairman and CEO of Cable News Network, president of the Aspen Institute. AUTHOR OF THE STEVE JOBS
Mark Plotkin, renowned ethnobotanist and advocate for tropical rainforest conservation.
Bruce Spizer, author of books about The Beatles.
Randall Couch, historian, Tulane University.
Brad Myers, Professor of Human Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University.
Michael Lewis, author of best-selling non-fiction works including Liar’s Poker; Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game; Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life; The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game; and The Big Short.
Sean Tuohy, former professional basketball player, broadcaster for the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association, father of football player Michael Oher.
Corey Johnson, actor, United 93 (film), “The Bourne Ultimatum”, “The Last Days of Lehman Brothers”
Jep Epstein, songwriter.
Stephen Godchaux, television writer and co-executive producer of Showtime’s Dead Like Me, which includes many references to

Yosl from Australia says:

World Champions?
I’m sorry – which teams from Europe, South America, Asia, Australia or the Middle East were competing?


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They Can Make It Anywhere

The New York Giants are world champions

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