Feb 1, 2008
I’d like to start today’s entry off by thanking Plaxico Burress for costing me $3500.
See I got in a playoff draft this year that had a $300 buy-in, with the winner taking home $3.5k. I thought I was toast when the Giants beat the Cowboys, since I drafted Terrell Owens, Marion Barber, Jason Witten, and the Cowboy D. And, believe it or not, I used my first pick on that pile of crap Randy Moss, who has given me a delightful 5 points total in two games in this PPR format (Kevin Faulk, by comparison, has scored 24).
However, this was an odd format, one in which you had zero roster requirements, and one in which each player was drafted twice. I took Burress (who also did little up until the title game) and later in the draft, I took Plaxico Burress again, or as they said in the draft the “other” Burress. I also took one of the Eli Manning’s available very late (I also had David Garrard, who was solid in his eight quarters).
So while any of 3-4 teams could win this thing, I was actually looking really good with Eli Manning, Plaxico Burress, the other Plaxico Burress, Randy Moss, and Ben Watson in this PPR league.
That is, until Burress opened up his big fat yapper.
All of my training and experience in covering and analyzing the league for fantasy tells me that Burress’ predicted score and low point total assigned to the Patriots means little once the players take the field, but I know better. The Patriots are an arrogant team, but more importantly they’re one of the most competitive teams I’ve ever seen. They want to win first and foremost, but if they can belittle someone who dissed them and make them look bad, they’ll look to do it. That leads me to believe Burress is going to come up small for me – and twice in one game, since I have two of him – simply because he opened up his pie-hole.
As for the game, well, unless you’re a Patriots fan or you’re intensely despise the ’72 Dolphins (which I kind of do), you have to be rooting for the Giants. I live in New Jersey, and I was born in Brooklyn, NY, and lived in NYC until I was in 3rd grade, but I somehow became a Viking fan. How did it happen? Believe it or not, it’s Howard Cosell’s fault. Because I liked how he would do the MNF halftime highlights, and at like eight years old, enjoyed him saying Fran Tar-ken-ton to Ah-Mad Ra-Shad. Ironically, I’m now friends with Howard’s nephew, Greg, who works for NFL Films and who appears weekly on my Sirius NFL Radio Show.
Over the last 30 years, and especially the last 5-7, I have cared less and less about the Vikings. At this point, I’ve almost reached the point at which I don’t even care if they win or even make the playoffs. I certainly care more about my fantasy advice and picks than if they win or make the playoffs. I’m sure my chosen profession has something to do with that, but having my heart ripped out of my chest while attending the 1998 and 2000 NFC title games is a factor as well.
Anyway, if I do have “another” favorite team, it’s the Giants. Last year when I got a freebie gift certificate from the NFL shop, I first picked a Giants shirt, and I like all their players. I know their play-by-play guy, Bob Papa, and their head trainer, Ronnie Barnes, was interviewed in our first magazine (2003). I’ve also been an Eli Manning supporter the last few years. I’ve come to dislike Tiki Barber, too, and I wouldn’t mind seeing the G-Men win it without him. Barber was a warrior on the field, so I can’t rip him too much, but I have always heard that many of the other players on the team couldn’t stand him.
I’m certainly not taking ownership of the Giants as “my team,” but I’m definitely rooting for them. Again, if you’re not a Pats fan, how can you not? It was inevitable that the Patriots become the hated empire. It’s time. 2001 was a great story, but it’s officially time to hate the Patriots, just like I hated the Steelers and Cowboys at times over the last 20-30 years. If I was old enough, I’m sure I would have hated the Packers (for some reason I could never hate the 49ers or Redskins).
Don’t get me wrong; I like Boston and the people there. I’ve vacationed on Cape Cod the last two years, and love the city. I actually like it more than NYC. I like New England clam chowder much more than Manhattan, and half of my family lived and prospered in Manhattan.
But forget about Spygate and the Patriots’ overall arrogance; you can win for only so long until the masses should turn on you. Is it envy? Yes, yes it is. It’s envy, bogus injury reports, 2001, 2003, 2004, it’s the ultimate front-runner Randy Moss, it’s the Red Sox already winning a championship this year, it’s Tom Brady’s excellent hairline, and it’s Gisele Bündchen.
I took my 10-year old son to the Philadelphia Art Museum last week and he knew to stand at the top of the steps and face east, toward City Hall, with both hands raised in a fist while bouncing from leg-to-leg. The kid’s never seen 2 seconds of a Rocky film, but he knew to do that. Translation: America loves the underdog.
And America should be rooting for the Giants on Sunday. After all, what would be more historical: the Patriots completing a perfect 19-0 season or the Giants, pretty much an after-thought as the post-season began, knocking them off in dramatic fashion?
Since we love underdogs, the answer is clear.