NY Giants Ring of Honor Linebacker looks back on of the great games in the Giants’ franchise history.
The NY Giants won Super Bowl XXV as immense underdogs in dramatic fashion. Carl Banks, one of the team’s most important and dominant leaders of the 1980s teams, had a lot to talk about with FanSided NFL insider Matt Lombardo on Super Bowl 25, and what it meant at the time and what it meant after.
The Giants won the game 20-19 in one of the most famous Super Bowls ever played, and certainly one of the most unforgettable endings.
The Buffalo Bills’ Scott Norwood missed a 47-yard field goal for the game-winning kick as the ball whizzed famously “Wide Right”.
"“When he lined up to kick it, we didn’t think he could make it,” We knew his range” Banks told FanSided."
Norwood was a meager 5 of 9 on 40-49 yard field goals all season and this kick brought him to an even .500.
“In my mind, in that moment,” Banks said. “I’m saying ‘if he makes it, hats off to him. It was a heavyweight slugfest, and they were able to get it.’ But, honestly, we didn’t think that that was his range for that field goal.” Banks’ beliefs held strong and went his way as the NY Giants prevailed and the kick was pushed. “It was a moment of joy when he missed it,” Banks, 58, recalls now.
The Giants would not have been won without the brilliant gameplan from Bill Belichick and the leadership of Bill Parcells. “The game plan was just one for the ages,” Banks said. “The way that it was explained to us, it was the why, and then the how. Why we had to do it this way, and how we were going to do it, at that point, it was just all business for us.”
Even more importantly, the Giants defense had talent in abundance in Banks, Lawrence Taylor, Pepper Johnson, Leonard Marshall, and Mark Collins. Banks said, “We never entertained losing against Buffalo. Probably because we had the luxury of having a veteran team.”
After winning the biggest game on the grandest stage, Banks remembers a whirl of memories involving partying in the locker room and on the team bus afterward and later the team hotel.
After looking back on it now, Banks has more quiet time to look back and reflect on the memories and emotions of everything leading up to the game, the game itself, and all the postgame festivities after.
“The reflection after the game was just how well we executed,” Banks said. “You just start to playback some of the key plays in the game, some of the hits in the game that really disrupted what they wanted to do. It was just a great feeling to have won the game, but just the confidence in knowing that we could, the confidence that our coaches had in us, and the confidence we had in our coaches.”
The Giants title hopes all came down to the last play from their own 29-yard line. From there, the Giants legacy was cemented and Norwood’s kick instantly became an unforgettable ending to an unforgettable game. Banks felt calm before the kick and was proud of what he and the team laid out on the field and felt it was enough to win.
"“We weren’t that anxiety-filled as a team,” Banks says. “When we went out, we were about doing our job and just giving ourselves the best chance to win. It wasn’t one of those situations where we were hoping for a lucky break. We created our own break in that entire drive.”"
As the kick sailed wide, it confirmed World Champion status for the NY Giants.
“Wide right,” Banks said. “It’s those two words. That’s my lasting memory of that Super Bowl.”