Super Bowl 46: Revisiting The New York Giants’ Last Championship


With the greatest spectacle in sports, Super Bowl XLIX upon us, millions of people across the world will be tuning in, even those who aren’t fans of the two teams playing and of course football fans across the world. For fans of the New York Giants, this game bring flashbacks to past glory when the excitement was overwhelming at the thought of Big Blue playing in front of the world to be crowned champions of the football world.

Although it was three years ago, the emotions of the Giants’ last Super Bowl victory still feels fresh in the minds and hearts of Giants fans worldwide. The feeling of your favorite team winning the Super Bowl is indescribable and can only be understood by those who have had what can for some be called a once in a lifetime chance to experience the thrill of seeing your team lift the Vince Lombardi trophy.

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For me, when I take a look back at the Giants 21-17 win over the New England Patriots, I can remember being in the middle of a Super Bowl party at a friend’s house surrounded by die-hard Giants fans.

From the outside, his living room looked like a sea of blue jerseys surrounding a large screen TV all hanging on every second, living and dying with every play knowing all too well from the last time these two faced off three years prior in Super Bowl XLVII, that one play can mean a championship or crushing defeat.

As Faith Hill sang the NBC football anthem, all of us stood up and didn’t take a seat for the rest of the night. As the national anthem played, it made me realize that we should all take in every second of this game because we may not know if and when we will get to experience such a glorious experience again.

I laughed because I felt like I was actually playing in the game the way my heart was pounding and just taking in the electricity of it all. I tried to relax but that was proven to be futile when the game officially started.

It was a close battle in the first half with the Giants striking first when Tom Brady was flagged in the end zone for intentional grounding while trying to avoid a Justin Tuck sack, which gave the G-Men an early 2-0 lead.

The house erupted just a few minutes later when the Giants extended their lead to 9-0 after a two yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Victor Cruz. The whole house tried, and failed miserably to replicate Cruz’s signature salsa dance. The Pats tacked on a field goal to cut the lead to 9-3 which reminded us that this game was far from over.

It was a stalemate for most of the second quarter until Brady orchestrated a textbook drive that resulted in a four yard touchdown pass to Danny Woodhead that gave the Pats a 10-9 lead going into the halftime festivities.

As Madonna, Nicki Minaj, LMFAO, M.I.A., and Cee-Lo performed on a huge stage, all we could think about was coming back in the second half and how Big Blue could improve. At least I got a chance to eat some barbecue and rest my nerves for a little bit.

Then the second half started the anxiety returned and we realized we only had 30 minutes to bring a fourth Lombardi trophy home. My anxiety rose to epic heights when Brady once again drove the Pats down field like a true field general and extended the Pats lead to 17-9 on a 12 yard touchdown strike to Aaron Hernandez who now currently wears a different uniform.

Fear began to encompass the room as we realized that the Giants’ backs were against the wall and they needed to respond soon or else this game was over. Big Blue did respond with a field goal a short time later to restore some level of sanity in U.S. to cut the Pats’ lead to 17-12.

Jan 29, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (left) is interviewed by former receiver Michael Irivin on radio row in preparation for Super Bowl XLVIII at the Sheraton Times Square. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The rest of the third quarter was another stalemate until Manning drove the Giants downfield but was forced to settle for another field goal to cut the lead to 17-15.

Then came the fourth quarter and we realized an entire season of highs and lows all came down to these last 15 minutes. That was it, just 15 minutes make all the hard work and sacrifice for the Giants worth it or else it would be back to the drawing board once again.

We didn’t wait long for some action because on the second play of the fourth Brady was intercepted on a long pass intended for Rob Gronkowski by Chase Blackburn and the room exploded in cheers. We knew we had seized momentum and the time to take the lead was now.

Unfortunately for us the Giants failed to capitalize and the Patriots proceeded to kill the clock while driving the ball down field. But with 4:06 left in the game on a big 2nd and 11 Wes Welker dropped what would’ve been a first down pass and would have allowed the Pats to run down more clock. That drop killed the Patriots’ drive and gave Big Blue another chance to take the lead.

We grew restless as the seconds ticked away for the Giants offense until Manning pulled off the pass of the game. It was a 38 yard sideline pass over two defenders to Mario Manningham who somehow managed to get both feet in bounds much to the dismay of the Patriots. I let out a nervous cheer because I was excited over the play but still knew that the Giants had to score.

With one eye on the clock and one eye on the field I watched our boys drive down to the Patriots’ goal line with 1:03 left in the game. The Pats had only one timeout remaining and were ready to allow the Giants to score in order to prevent the Giants from running the clock out while forcing the Patriots to call their final timeout, giving them no chance to respond if the Giants scored.

The Giants called a running play to Ahmad Bradshaw with hopes of him taking a knee before crossing the goal line. Bradshaw reacted on instinct and scored rather than taking the knee, giving the Giants a 21-17 lead with just over a minute remaining.

The room half cheered, half wondered why the Giants left time on the clock for Brady to come back. We all huddled around each other as our collective anxieties overcame all of us as Brady started moving the Pats down field once again.

After a couple of back and forth quick plays, the Pats found themselves at midfield with only a few seconds left. We all knew it was Hail Mary time and realized that this was it. This was the Super Bowl. As Brady launched the ball into the end zone, the room was silent and felt like the ball was moving through the air in slow motion as the whole season flashed before our eyes.

Then the ball hit the ground and the room flat out exploded. As the Giants ran on the field and the confetti flew down we all hugged and jumped into each other realizing that our Giants were once again world champions. As Eli held the Lombardi trophy high in the air I could hear “We Are The Champions” blasting in the house in a moment I wish I could have bottled up and kept forever.

Jan 29, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Super Bowl Boulevard for Super Bowl XLVIII at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

Timeless, that’s what those emotions are when your team is crowned Super Bowl champions. These are the stories we can pass down to our kids and grand kids and hope that they too can experience the sheer joy of another Giants championship.

As the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots take the field today, us Giants fans will reminisce of that fateful night three years ago as well as any other championships we were alive to see.

As we look back we hope that the future holds many more championship moments.

Enjoy the Super Bowl tonight Giants fans and start looking forward to the 2015 journey for Big Blue to return to the promised land!

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