I was watching the Giants – Packers game today, and I became aware of a strange sensation… I actually wanted the Giants to win. Ordinarily I can’t abide NFL teams whose main goal seems to be efficiency, I find Eli Manning to be superficially objectionable, and lord knows the last thing New York sports fans need is any encouragement. Plus, as someone who creaks out of bed in the morning and yet is a year younger than Brett Favre, I cannot but be impressed by his ongoing ability to play the game, for an adoring crowd of solid midwestern volk.
And yet… the idea of a team that has actually improved over the year, that takes on more illustrious opponents and beats them by playing smart football, and the notion that hey, I live in the belly of the beast as far as those stolid midwesterners are concerned so perhaps a little blue state solidarity was in order… well okay, less of that. But nonetheless, I was surprisingly engaged by the game and as I said found myself rooting for the Giants. It doesn’t hurt that Steve Smith is finally coming out of the end of a nasty run of injuries, and is starting to show what he can add as an accurate and consistent route runner with good hands and an eye for a gap. (Notwithstanding the last pass, that he dropped, of course.)
That said, I can’t really get amped up about supporting the Giants against the Patriots. New game, different biases, but fundamentally it’s win-win no matter who you cheer for: the Patriots win, and it’s time for an outburst from the asterisk crowd, and should the Giants win, it’s a big old kick in the pants for the boy wonder and his dsypeptic coach. Not that I advocate schadenfreude, of course, but if I did…
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