Earlier in the week, New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress picked his club to defeat the 18-0 New England Patriots in Sunday’s Super Bowl XLII. He predicted a final score of 23-17. This prognostication miffed Pats QB Tom Brady. Not so much for the prediction that the Giants would win, mind you. No, he couldn’t believe the Giants’ star said New England would only score 17 points.
As it turned out, Burress gave the Patriots too much credit.
In a stunning 17-14 Giants victory, Burress caught the game-winning touchdown with 35 seconds remaining, a 13-yard floater from QB Eli Manning. While being interviewed on the field afterwards, Burress was overcome with emotion. He has been battling knee and ankle injuries for much of the season, and was listed as “questionable” on this weeks’ injury report. While the game-winning reception was only his second catch of the game, he obviously came up big when it counted.
Now I fully admit I was rooting for the Pats to make NFL history by being the first 19-0 team ever. I have a deep appreciation for excellence, which is why I also wanted to see Brady become only the third QB in history (along with Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana) to win four Super Bowls.
But now that I’m able to absorb all that happened in this game, I am thrilled as an NFL fan to say I got to witness such an exhilarating Super Bowl! And I’m also ecstatic for Eli Manning. I’ve always felt it was totally unfair the way he was constantly criticized by the New York media and Giants fans. We here in Viking-land would love to have a QB who averages 3,500 yards and 24 TD passes per season, as Manning has done over the past three years.
And as it turned out, there was some history made Sunday evening. Manning was named Super Bowl MVP, one year after brother Peyton won it for the Indianapolis Colts. And it was Peyton who ended New England’s season last year in the AFC Championship game. So instead of a Patriots victory parade down Boylston Street in Boston this week, you might just see the Manning name being burned in effigy.
Congratulations to the New York Giants! There was debate going into this game on whether the Patriots would be considered the greatest NFL team ever. To me, there is no debate that they weren’t even the better team on Sunday.