Monday, February 04, 2008

Dewey Defeats Truman

As everyone on the planet now knows, the unassuming and modest (well, by NFL standards) New York Giants may well have pulled off what ranks as one of the most stunning victories in NFL history.

The fact is, nobody expected them to win, and all the smart money-ALL of it-every last penny, to the uttermost farthing-was on the Pats to be enshrined in the Valhalla that up until now had been the sole property of the Miami Dolphins.

All was in order- the script was written, the champagne was on ice, the party rooms were booked, the headlines were already printed, and the only thing left undone was for the designated victim to meekly walk up the stairs to the guillotine, lay his head down, and hand the cord to the executioner.

Apparently, however, nobody bothered to ask the victims what they thought about all this. They were, I suppose, expected to just fall in and shut up. On the very few occasions that Plaxico Burris, one of the designated victims, opined that they expected to win, he was castigated in the press as some sort of obstreperous moron to be speedily dispatched with extreme prejudice.

After all, the coronation and elevation to sainthood had to go on, didn't it?

One very telling statement was made by Michael Strahan, who said "We watch a lot of TV."

This game had all the markings of a classic 'rope a dope', the like of which has not been seen since the battle of Midway.

The objective was clear. Identify what it was that had allowed the Pats to knock the opposition silly all season, and deny them, and also give the Pats no reason to think that the game was going to be anything but a speed bump on the road to immortality.
In the end it was simple enough in concept and there was recent experience to rely on: deny the soon to be annointed Pats the opportunity for Brady to unleash his fearsome arm deep, and conspire to make the efforts of Lawrence Moroney irrelevant.

Of course, the Giants kept all this to themselves, and for two weeks while the Pats were grooming the coronation robes and spiffying up the ermine and polishing the chrome on the Escalade that Brady just knew was his, a peasant revolution was afire in the countryside.

And thus Napoleon headed back down the long road from Moscow, and Yamamoto was sent packing from Midway.

Photo credits Boston Globe.


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