Darth Vader has one more Giant obstacle

A good friend of mine — she’ll remain nameless because she’s just not the type of person who wants the glory — dubbed the Patriots Darth Frickin’ Vader. And that was before their victory in the AFC Championship Game.

Moral of the story. Nobody outside the six-state region of New England wants the Patriots to win the Super Bowl. They are the Hatriots. It’s obvious. Everyone always goes for the underdog and the Giants are the perfect underdog. Three road wins to get to the Super Bowl. Only one road loss all year. No statistical reason to play the Patriots hard in the last game of the regular season and they played their hearts out. Gotta love it.

This is going to be a tremendous game. Many teams would be awed by the Patriots. But the Giants went toe to toe with them in that aforementioned Dec. 29 game and that confidence has to carry over.

I think the Giants would have a much better chance to win this game if it was in cold conditions, such as Green Bay last week. But I think that mild weather will revive Randy Moss and Tom Brady is going to put on a full-fledged, aerial assault. The Giants will try to have a time of possession type offense and keep Brady and Co. off the field.

My only qualm with this game is that we have to wait so long to see it. Forget about the bye week. I want to see this game — NOW.

If the Patriots do go 19-0, it will be the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen in all my years of watching sports.

You can be sure Bill Parcells will feel weird watching this game. Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichick are both coaches that grew under his tutelage. And Bill Parcells of course, coached both of these franchises. Being a Jersey guy, you’d think Bill would be rooting for the Giants. But I’m sure he’s rooting hard for Tedy Bruschi and Troy Brown — guys he coached back in New England.

30 Comments

Pass!

Ian, does this mean if the Patriots lose it is the biggest choke in sports history?

I think it goes toe to toe with 2004 and ranks right under the 1980 olympics personally. The Giants weren’t supposed to go past the first round, Eli is their QB, the Pats are undefeated AND have already beaten the G Men at home.

Parcells definetly knew how to pick his assts. So many have been named head coaches over the years. Reminds me of Bill Walsh,alot of Walsh’s assts. went on to become head coaches. Walsh of course won more Super Bowls than the Big Tuna but the Big Tuna got the better of Walsh in the playoffs.

I would agree about so many Patriot haters out there. When they hate you that much, that is a great thing. That means you are the best team and you have arrived on the scene.

yankeevmm—- 2004 is the biggest choke of all time. The Yankees were up 3-0 and all they had to do was win 1 game and they failed to do so. Nothing can compare to that.

I don’t know about sports history, but in NFL history the upcoming Patriots’ loss will be the biggest choke ever. Haha, I talk big! I just have a feeling the ’72 Dolphins will still be around after the 3rd. I wish they would go away, but not this year. Go Giants!

Growing up in Connecticut makes for strange bedfellows. Here I am a Sox fan and a NY Giants fan.

Giants by 2. (points, not touchdowns)

I wish the 1972 Miami Dolphins would just go away. A great feat when they went undefeated but they are so annoying!!!!

Bosox, I just don’t think you can cement one event as the biggest choke ever, regardless. The saving grace is it was four games and two at home, but if you looked at the matchup before the series started, the two teams were completely evenly matched, it should have never gotten to 3-0 in the first place, you can almost say the sox choked to get them in the situation to perform the greatest comeback of all time.

See to me, that’s the difference. I consider that the greatest comeback of all time, but choke can be replaced. When you take an 18-0 NFL team, that was just punishing opponents most of the year and is playing a team nobody gave a shot against a 4 seed in the NFC (and they are a 5), a team they already beat in their own home and the fact it is in a superbowl with a 12 pt spread, only lowered from 14 because of vast giants support in this game, I consider that just as big of a choke if it happens.

Yankeev – there is no way it would be the biggest choke of all time, for the following reasons:

* The spread is a joke – the Pats have not cvered in weeks and have not been beating up on teams consitently since Week 10.

* The Pats have had playoff type pressure on every game since they beat the Colts. Every game was analyzed to the n-th degree, with a barrage of questions about going perfect after every game. Playing in that type of atmosphere is, I would imagine, very wearing, and in my view contributed to why they nearly lost to pretty mediocre teams like the Ravens and the Eagles.

* The Giants have set the record for most consecutive road victories. That is a phenomenal record to set. The Patriots are not playing some low-level team here, they are playing a strong outfit that has improved in effectiveness and confidence every week.

* The playoffs are a once-off, and as has been shown, anything can happen if it comes down to just one game. If it were a best of 5 series, then it would be a different story.

So no this would not be the greatest choke of all time of even close. It would be an excellent team (Giants) managing to have a good day, playing to their capacity, taking advantages of their mistakes and getting a few lucky breaks. I think the Pats will win but it would not be a shock if the Giants, 10-0 on the road since the first Dallas game, pulled off a win.

The Rams were even greater favorites in the 2002 superbowl (14 points). But I don’t think the Rams choked. I think they got beaten by an underestimated team. It would be similar if the Giants won.

yankeevmm,

You stated that you can’t cement one event as the biggest choke. Last time I checked the Super Bowl is one event.You are trying to say if the Pats lose ( possible but unlikely ) that it would be a big choke.

I think Brendan basically sums it up for you.

I never said the biggest, I said among the biggest. The Rams were a good team and the pats big underdogs but you are both so severely underestimating that the pats are UNDEFEATED regardless of how they won their games. They are the first team to win 18 games in a row in a season, forget the Giants road streak. This is the same fan base that will be saying how this is the best team in all of sports history if they win, but you can’t recognize the severity of a choke if they lose? You can’t have it both ways.

and Bosox, when I said you can’t pin one event as the biggest choke of all time permeanently, I meant at that time. For example, 2004 is not the biggest choke of all time permeanently. Other games can replace it, I didn’t mean one game cannot be considered a choke.

The Pats losing the Superbowl will be right up there in choking terms with the Red Sox choking from 0-0 down in 2004 to go 3-0 down haha I read that again, that cracks me up.

Anyway, rather than just talking about whether it’s the greatest choke ever or not, why not just wait til the game happens and then discuss it. Personally I don’t think the question is ever going to go beyond the hypothetical, in which case it’s pointless assigning that type of negativity to the team.

yankeevmm,

To this day in my lifetime, the Yankees being up 3-0 and losing is the biggest choke of all time. I can’t even think of any other choke that would even be in the same sentence. Nothing compares!!!

brendan,

Again a great post!!!

Ok, as far as biggest choke ever goes, let’s look at the facts. There have been 4 NFL teams that have gone an entire season undefeated and untied. Of those 4, one lost in the Title game. I think that was in 1940. So a precedent has been set for that. No all-time greatest choke there. In the Super Bowl era only one team has gone undefeated all the way thru the Super Bowl. That could soon be 2 teams. So for the Super Bowl era this would be the biggest choke.

Now, on to baseball. Up until 2004, no team had ever blown a 3 games to none lead in the playoffs or World Series. None since. In hockey and basketball there have been three teams that have blown three games to none leads, so there is some history in those sports. But in baseball terms the biggest choke of all time belongs to the ’04 Yankees. No question.

So the Pats could set a standard for modern era football choking, but not all time history.

But as Bosoxbrian says, let’s wait until after the game.

I stick by thinking the 1980 miracle was the biggest choke of all time, personally. (something like 40+ overall wins in a row by the SU, 3 straight world championships, the best players in the world against college, non professional, US kids who had lost head to head 10-1 the week before. The rest are just among them and Brendan, I agree, this more than likely does not get past hypothetical, hence why it should be discussed now and not when it’s a non-issue.

There is a dramatic difference between an upset and a choke. An upset involves a single game, such as when NC State upset Houston and Villanova upset Georgetown to win the NCAA men’s basketball crowns, or when Joe Namath’s Jets upset the Colts. Not to say that a single game cannot be designated as a choke, like the NFL playoff game several years back when the Oilers were up against the Bills in the second half by four or more touchdowns (can’t remember exactly how many) and the Bills rallied, I believe with their backup quarterback, Frank Reich (I’m not in the mood to look it up on the Internet!).

In most cases, a choke is associated with a series. There is no more substantial choke than the Yankees in 2004. Not only were they one game away from a series win, they were one inning away with arguably the greatest closer in the history of the game on the mound. Even if the Patriots lose, it will be an upset that will not even remotely compare to the Yankees choke in 2004.

It is much easier to win one game (no matter how much the other team is favored) than it is four in a row on the grandest stage, including the final two at Yankee Stadium.

On many occasions, whether in the regular season or post-season (and college and the pros), a serious underdog has overcome the odds in a big game to pull off the upset (see the examples I provided above as just a few). That is why I would not be surprised if the Giants upset the Patriots. Regardless, Yankees fans are just gonna have to live with the fact that the role reversal (that now has the Sox as baseball’s elite and the Yankees looking up at the Sox) started with what the history books will deem even years from now as the greatest all-time choke in sports (since likely it will not be matched).

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

A choke is when a team crumbles under pressure when they should have one. A good example is the Week 17 game with the Giants. No question, the Giants could have, and probably should have won that game. But they didn’t, the choked under pressure and the Patriots pummelled them in the second half. Ditto for the Jaguars and the Chargers.

In every game they played this year in which they were challenged, when it came to crunch time, the Patriots responded. They executed, the other teams didn’t. That failure folks, is called choking.

Hey, it happened to the Pats last year in the AFC Championship against the Colts. They could have, and should have won that day, but at crunch time, they didn’t execute. They didn’t respond. They choked. Not this year!!!!

The team motto is, “Not this year!” They have found ways to win under all conditions and in all circumstances. They have taken the best shots the NFL has to offer and they are still undefeated.

…..should have one? What’s that. ………..should have won.

Folks, I have been reading the ‘choke’ blogs with interest but still not really understanding when a team chokes, I headed to the Freedictionary(.com) who says “Choke…To fail to perform effectively because of nervous agitation or tension, especially in an athletic contest”. So I guess either team can choke tonight if they lose not because of being outdueled in gladiatorial combat but because the moment gets to them and they can’t handle the pressure (and possibly sit in the end zones ******* the corners of their blankies.)

Hope it’s a good night for the Patriots and a goodnight to the Giants.

I’m seeing all these espn polls and surveys and stuff asking the nation who they want to win the super bowl, and it always comes up Giants! No one outside of New England and Michigan (where Tom Brady went to school) wants to see the patriots go 19-0. Everyone wants the Giants to pull off the upset. This got me thinking about the yankees and how this must be what it feels like to have everyone hate you because you’re good, just like the yankees were hated by everyone in the late 90’s because they dominated so much.

Personally, I’m okay with this feeling.

and by the way, GO PATS!

tonight -> on the night. How’s that for eager?!

When I was very young, I was a Patriots fan while everyone else in my house loved the Dolphins. Since then my love of pro ball has waned some, and I thouroughly LOVE college football…BUT I will always scream for the Pats. Back in the 70’s it was easy to pull for the Dolphins, the Cowboys,etc. I guess I just loved the misery of being both a Pats AND and Sox fan. You know what they say, “misery loves company”. There was plenty of company for me to be cheering with at that time.
From a Fort Lauderdale native, I say: Go New England!!! Take the perfect season the **** away form those Dolphins!!!!

Go Pats!!!

++from++

Coming from a long time Cowboy and SOX fan (how do you like that combination), watching my Cowboys still in the clutches of an evil owner slowly go the way of the Raiders), I assure you Pat fans that the Patriot will win the SB, and the Giants win revert back to a few costly mistakes under the pressure of the big game — hey they actually did choke in the NFC championshiop game several times, but the Packers matched them with mistakes (perhaps the weather) – but the Pats will make fewer or no mistakes, and the Giants will make some, and that will be the difference, and if not that, then the Pats can always count on the unimaginable good fortune they have had with the refs in critical games in the Belichick era.

This year, meeting the Chargers all banged up, and in the past, the trip to their first win in the super-bowl, a gift from referee, Panthers kick the ball out of bounds, costing them the SB, — some pretty effective fairy dust somewhere — hey Tom Brady’s celebrity love life and baby, doesn’t even jinx his performance — Romo needs to hang out with Brady this off season, and learn a thing or two from Tom.

You wonder how a team is so dominant, I think its the rare combination of a perfect coach and system for a perfect quarter-back and strong supporting cast. The team is strong up and down in every position, so you have to give management its due credit for that — but Bellichek and Brady are so disciplined and so methodical, and so persistant, that the combination of those two (the perfect quarterback for the perfect coach and vice versa) is the key to Patriots success in this run — in my opinion.

A long Patriots run would go down a lot easier with me, with a long Sox run.

Please, please, bring on April!

Report out of the Minneapolis area says the Twins will trade Santana within 10 days. I think we have heard this one before. Twins did sign some lenghthy deals recently. If the Twins can’t sign him, which I think that seems unlikely. They should deal him away either during spring training or before. Pohlad has the money, he doesn’t want to spend it. He is one of the richest owners in baseball. If I was a Twins fan, I would not like that guy. Santana is in Fort Meyers, so if he is traded to Boston, he wouldn’t have to go to far. I think if the Mets get him, they will be the team to beat in the N.L.
Of course if he is dealt to Boston, the Red Sox will win the division by 10 games and have another chance for another World Series. Either way Boston is looking good in 2008.

I hope Santana goes to the Mets, or somewhere other than Boston or NYY. I’d like to see how all the kids do next year.

As for the Patriots: If they lose on Sunday they will have choked as far as their season goes. Like it or not, and I think it’s a little unfair, they will be judged on the season as a whole and not whether they win the Super Bowl or not. Their unprecedented season will be considered a failure if they don’t win. All the hype the media and the fans have created with this “greatest ever” stuff has put them in the position that, should they lose, they’ll be considered “chokers”. The game would be an upset, but the season will be a choke.

Oh, I have a cook working for me who has predicted all the Giants wins late in the season and the playoffs, and he has gone with the Giants in the Super Bowl. So all you Pats fans should be worried. And the funny thing is, he really soesn’t follow football closely, he just calls the games with uncanny precision.

…that should be “doesn’t follow football…”

Arnie, we like not his opinion! :-( Although, to be fair of late, it hasn’t taken much to call the Giants’ games. Only marginally more difficult than calling the Pats’ games :-)

I’ll be pleased when the Santana saga is over. It has pretty much been a non-story (so far) that has taken up a lot of time. Still, we should know soon.

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