The New England Patriots and the the New York Giants ascended to the top of their respective AFC and NFC conferences at the close of the 2007 season. Today in Glendale, Arizona at the University of Phoenix Stadium, they touched helmets in a test of ultimate gridiron skill and talent.
Televised on Fox, the forty-second Super Bowl game started with the Giants receiving the kick-off. New York ended their first drive with a field goal. The first quarter ended with only two possessions (a Super Bowl record for fewest number), one per team. The second quarter started with a touchdown by Patriots running back Laurence Maroney. New England 7 and New York 3.
On the Giants’ next drive, their quarterback Eli Manning threw a brilliant thirty-eight-yard pass to wide receiver Amani Toomer at the nineteen yard line. A touchdown didn’t seem too out of reach (despite a five yard penalty for a delay of game). Unfortunately, Giants wide receiver Steve Smith couldn’t keep onto the ball and Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs snatched it. Going into halftime, Patriots still 7 and Giants still 3.
The third quarter included a sack of Tom Brady by Michael Strahan at about the seven-minute mark. There was no scoring. Sweet Fancy Moses!! The fourth quarter began with a touchdown by Giants wide receiver David Tyree. It was so pretty and culminated a drive that partly consisted of an awesome forty-five yard pass to tight end Kevin Boss. New York 10 and New England 7. Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss put another TD on the board in the bottom of the fourth quarter. Patriots 14 and Giants 10. And that’s how the game ended. Yes? NO!!!!
With just about forty-five seconds left in the fourth quarter, Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress made a touchdown. New York 17 and New England 14. And that would be the final score. The subterranean dog has won Super Bowl XLII.
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin must be one of the happiest persons in the world tonight.
Tom Brady will not be the third quarterback to have gone to and won four Super Bowls. The other two are Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana.
Observations & Miscellania:
1. I didn’t watch the majority of the pre-game montage, vignettes, and Ryan Seacrested “red carpet” banter.
2. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman provided commentary.
3. Tom Brady wasn’t wearing his helmet when he and his Patriots were walking out from the tunnel, but it was on his head by the time they ran on the field.
4. Jordin Sparks sang the National Anthem. Holy Mary in a Manger. Jordin’s father was an NFL player, Phillippi Sparks. She did a pretty good job. She didn’t sound nervous and didn’t try to impress anyone with high notes or long-held notes, nor was her performance underwhelming. Is it my imagination or does the “Star Spangled Banner” seem shorter and shorter every time it’s sung?
5. Mike Carey was the referee today. He’s been officiating in the NFL for eighteen years but hasn’t been to the Super Bowl prior to this one.
6. Nearly halfway through the first quarter, after returning from a commercial break, the camera cut to a glimpse of Peyton Manning in one of the VIP boxes. He looked amazing, very polished, tres beau.
7. After returning from commercial break (featuring a Tide stain remover), the camera caught glimpses of Giselle Bundchen (wearing a black long-sleeve shirt, a greenish (?) scarf, and gold hoop earrings), Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey, and Pamela Anderson in various VIP booths. Jenny and Jim were sitting next to each other.
8. Giants linebacker Kawika Mitchell and defensive end Michael Strahan brought down Tom Brady, which was followed by another collective hit by defensive ends Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck just past the halfway point in the second quarter.
9. At the very bottom of the second quarter, the camera cut to Robert Kraft, chairman and CEO of the Patriots, sitting in his box. Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson were sitting behind him.
10. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performed during the halftime show. Hmm. It started off all dark except for a lit guitar-shapped arrow going into a lit heart (on which Tom Petty and his band were performing). They performed “American Girl,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Free Falling,” and a third song that was mostly instrumental. I was satisfied with this year’s halftime show because I rather like Tom Petty’s music.
11. Bill Belichick, Patriots head coach, was wearing a red hoodie today instead of the usual grey.
12. At the top of the fourth quarter, the camera cut to a shot of LL Cool J at the stadium. Jeremy Shockey, Giants tight end, also received a medium close-up. He broke left leg during a game against the Washington Redskins near the end of the season.
13. Giants rookie defensive tackle Jay Alford sacked Tom Brady with fewer than twenty-five seconds left in the fourth quarter, helping to ensure that the Patriots wouldn’t score again.
14. No offense to any Patriots fans who might be reading this post, but I don’t think I’ve been as happy in months as I was when Plaxico Burress made that TD and Jay Alford sacked Tom Brady in the bottom of the fourth quarter. My mouth hurt from smiling so much.
Memorable commercials for me:
Audi R8 (reference to the first Godfather film)
Diet Pepsi Max (reference to the Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell SNL skit–you won’t get it unless you’ve seen the SNL skit)
Budweiser (featuring Clydesdale horses and a Dalmation dog and incorporating the sports inspirational narrative)
Get game summary, stats, and play by play here.
Be sure to tune in to Fox next Sunday for the 2008 Pro-Bowl game.