It won’t get you a ticket to Super Bowl XLVI, but you’ll amaze your friends and relatives with these football factoids. And may you roll winners in all your pools.
Quarter Century Club: Some 25 years ago last week, the Giants won their first Super Bowl. Over the past quarter century, four teams — the Giants, Patriots, 49ers and Cowboys — have won three Super Bowls apiece. Four others — the Redskins, Packers, Broncos and Steelers — have won two apiece. No team has won more than three. The Pats have played in six Super Bowls in the past 25 years and the Giants five. So the winner of this year’s Super Bowl between the Giants and Patriots will be considered the best NFL team of the past quarter century.
Been There, Done That: For just the fourth time in history, the Super Bowl matches coaches who have won previous Super Bowls. Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichick join Bill Walsh (49ers) and Don Shula (Dolphins), 1985, and Chuck Noll (Steelers) and Tom Landy (Cowboys), who matched wits in 1976 and 1979.
Parcell Roots: Coughlin and Belichick were both assistants to Bill Parcells when the Giants won Super Bowl XXV in 1991. Coughlin was the receivers coach, and Belichick as defensive coordinator designed the scheme that beat the heavily-favored Bills.
Roger Terry, It’s Eli and Tom: For only the third time in history, quarterbacks who have won Super Bowls — Tom Brady (3) and Eli Manning (1) — are facing off again. Pittsburgh’s Terry Bradshaw and Dallas’ Roger Staubach met in 1976 and again in 1979. The Steelers won both encounters.
Been There, Done That, Redux: Giants-Patriots is just the sixth rematch in Super Bowl history. Steelers-Cowboys three times, 49ers-Bengals twice. Dolphins-Redskins twice and Cowboys-Bills twice are the others.
Lucky Seven: If the Giants win Sunday, they will be the first seven-loss champion in NFL history.
Coaching Icons: Bill Belichick will be coaching in his fifth Super Bowl, same as Tom Landry and one behind the all-time leader, Don Shula.
Starting QBs: Tom Brady will join the Broncos John Elway as the only quarterbacks history to start five Super Bowls
If I Were A Betting Man: How long with the National Anthem last (over/under 1:36)? How many times will they show Peyton Manning on TV (over/under 5 1./2 times)?; How many viewers will watch the game (over/under 115 million?. And my favorite — where will the coin toss land __ heads $110 vs tails $110. Point spread 3; over/under 55)
Only the Lonely: Four current teams — Lions, Browns, Jaguars and Texans — have never reached the Super Bowl. The Lions and Browns did win NFL championships four times apiece.
Longest Drought: The Jets last appeared in Super Bowl III in 1969 and the Chiefs the following year.
Glass Half Full: The Giants trailed at halftime of all four Super Bowls in which they played, yet managed to win three of them.
Giants-Pats at Harvard: Not counting Super Bowl XLII, the Giants and Patriots have met nine times in the regular season, with the Pats holding a 5-4 edge. In their first meeting in 1970, the Giants beat the Boston Patriots 16-0 at Harvard Stadium. Pete Gogolak kicked three field goals that day, and Fran Tarkenton threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Clifton McNeil. Joe Kapp was the Patriots quarterback.
Three-peat: The Patriots have been to the Super Bowl five times in the past 10 years; the previous four games were all decided by three points.
Streaking: The Pats have won 10 game in a row. The Giants are riding a five-game win streak.
Almost, But Not Quite: The Giants and Patriots came close to meeting in several other Super Bowls. A year after the Pats lost to the Bears in 1986, the Giants won their first Super Bowl, beating the Broncos. And the Patriots beat the Rams to win their first Super Bowl in 2002 — a year after the Giants lost to the Ravens.
QB in pain: A sight feared by fantasy football owners and NFL fans alike.
With the possible exception of dwindling 401ks, expanding waistlines and gray hair, there’s nothing fantasy football owners fear more than injuries to key players. Especially in the pre-season.
Just last week, the Dutchess Dawgs took Patriots quarterback Tom Brady with the fifth overall pick in the Nightcap Fantasy League draft.
The very next night, Brady was clobbered by Albert Haynesworth late in the first half of New England’s pre-season game against Washington. Brady left the game with what is initially diagnosed as a bruised shoulder
Right now, the Patriots are saying the injury isn’t serious. But the Patriots are known for not being exactly forthright about injuries.
So the Dawgs, gleeful that Brady was kept out of action against the Giants in the exhibition finale for both teams, must wonder if Tom Terrific, coming off serious knee injury after missing virtually the entire 2008 season, was a wise selection.
Wait, there’s more. The Dawgs selected Green Bay wide receiver Greg Jennings with the 25th overall pick. Jennings got banged after making a reception last week against Arizona and suffered a concussion.
Concussions are not exactly good news for your leading wide receiver.
So far, the Dawgs second pick, St. Louis running back Steven Jackson, has managed to stay healthy. But Jackson has only carried the ball 10 times in three pre-season games.
What happens when he starts seeing serious action? Only time will tell.
Sometimes, fantasy football can overshadow reality.
Last year, my fantasy team, the Dutchess Dawgs, advanced to the league championship game, led by New England quarterback Tom Brady. That day, the Patriots played the Jets in a cold monsoon at Foxboro. Due to the windy conditions, the Patriots were forced to taper down their offense and turn to the ground game almost exclusively. The result was a workmanlike 20-10 win to extended New England’s record to 14-0.
Of course it meant sense to jettison the passing game, considering the weather conditions. Yet I couldn’t help screaming at Bill Belichick to open up and let Brady air it out.
That December drenching cost the Dawgs a fantasy championship.
Well, the Dawgs are back at it this year, with a completely new lineup, outside of tight end Tony Gonzalez. Gone are Brady, Braylon Edwards, Plaxico Burress, and the Vikings and Chargers defense/special teams. And Frank “What is he good for” Gore.
The new Puppies feature the likes of Drew Brees at quarterback, Clinton Portis and Ronnie Brown at running back, Wes Welker and Calvin Johnson at the wideouts, and the Giants defense/special teams.
In the NFL opener, the Giants defense registered just one sack and no turnovers despite a dominant performance. That’s not much in the world of fantasy football, just one point.
But in reality, the defending Super Bowl champions beat Washington, 16-7.
And in reality, the Dutchess Dawgs face Tom Brady on Sunday.
Or is that fantasy?
What are the odds? The Giants have played in four Super Bowls, all since 1987. In those games, they have faced two Hall of Fame quarterbacks — John Elway and Jim Kelly — a certain Hall of Famer to-be in Tom Brady, and rag-armed vagabond Trent Farris Dilfer.
Yes that same Trent Dilfer who has played for five teams and thrown more interceptions than touchdowns. The same Trent Dilfer who was recently released by a terrible 49ers team, perhaps signalling the end of a nondescript, 14-year NFL career.
The Giants won three of those four Super Bowls. The one they lost — a 34-7 beating in 2001 — Dilfer was the quarterback for the Ravens. Go figure.
Like I said, what are the odds?
The Best Super Bowl Ever
Catch XLII: David Tyree’s heroics spark Giants past Patriots.
Alan Ameche scores in overtime to beat Giants for 1958 NFL title.
It was 50 years ago this December that the Baltimore Colts beat the New York Giants 23-17 in overtime for the NFL championship in what is often referred to as “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” That is until Sunday, when the New York Giants rallied to defeat the previously unbeaten New England Patriots 17-14 and win Super Bowl XLII.
I know, take it easy, it’s a bit early to start ranking and labeling the historic classic that was Super Bowl XLII. Give it some time, let it breathe. Like a fine wine.
Here are 10 reasons why XLII may one day be considered the best game ever…or at least the best Super Bowl ever
10 Reasons Why…..
The Greatest Super Bowl Ever
1. The undefeated team, the 18-0 Patriots, in the imperfect ending
2. The Giants, road warriors, but merely a 10-6 team entering the playoffs
3. The 12-point spread, making this one of the biggest upsets in SB history
4. The game-winning 83-yard drive, making the Giants only the second team to come from behind to win in the final minute of a SB
5. Last Manning Standing, the family saga, Archie, Peyton and Eli
6. Eli escapes, hits Tyree with the helmet catch, one of the great plays in SB history…ESPN is already calling this the greatest play in Super Bowl history
7. The fierce pass-rush on record-setting QB and MVP Tom Brady….defense still wins championships
8. The Plax guarantee — this legend is guaranteed to grow over time — and then he catches the winning TD.
9. The New York-Boston rivalry redux…it doesn’t make up for Yankees-Red Sox and the Choke, but it sure helps
The way you all treated the Rockies during the Series makes me think that you got the ass-whipping you haughty punks deserved. Enjoy the taste of New York exhaust as it drives back down to the Number One City, with the Vince Lombardi, and all of your silly egos, with it. …boston.com blog
10. It was the most-watched Super Bowl ever with 97.5 million viewers, the second most watched TV show in history behind only the last M*A*S*H.
And for extra points…..
11. Belichick and Spygate
I guess it’s not as easy to coach when you don’t know the other team’s plays in advance…..boston.com blog