|Yes, he's elite... *groan*|
Photo Credit: Getty Images via ESPN.com
The thing that hurts the most is that I can't even fall back on the trope that Manning fell ass-backwards into this title thanks to his defense either. He's a good quarterback now. The one security blanket I had in hating the Giants was that I could always count on Pey-Pey's little brother to be so deliciously mediocre when the time came, but no, he had to go and back up his words that he was elite this year by throwing for almost 5,000 yards and being downright clutch at times.
Of course, this Super Bowl for me has been the cap on a personal hell for everything that I stand for in football this year. The Eagles shit the bed early, and the fact that they rallied late for naught leaves me with more of a cockteased feeling rather than any sense of accomplishment. No, it was even worse than that, because this season was as good as any for a fresh start in the coaching staff, and yet we're getting the same people back next year. My favorite college football program was exposed as a safehouse for a pedophile. The SEC sent a team to the BCS Championship Game that didn't even win its division, and no one batted an eyelash. The only saving grace was that an exciting young kid from a lesser-pedigreed school won the Heisman.
But enough about me. I just raked Simmons over the coals for the same woe-is-me bullshit, and despite the fact that Boston has won more titles in the last 10 years than my hometown has won in the last 30, no one likes a whiner. So I apologize for the preceding few paragraphs, and welcome everyone who wants to point and laugh to point and laugh. People want to read about the game itself.
But that's the thing, I really don't have a read on this game. Whenever I want to pick the Giants to win, I think that Tom Brady might be able to release and find one of his several slot options for big gains before any one of the G-Men's talented pass rushers get up in his grill. Then when I vacillate back to the Pats, I have visions of Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks torching the shit out of New England's overmatched, undermanned secondary with well-placed balls from Manning falling into their arms, while Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umeniyora and Justin Tuck take turns teeing off against Brady, whose worst games come when he's getting hit early and often.
So, rather than go through the motions of trying to scientifically pick this game, I'm just going to with the pick I made in the last episode of Outside the Squared Circle, guest Sarah Sprague, and say the Giants win this one 38-34. And I'll be watching at least most of the game, even if I'm gnashing my teeth while doing so.