Pitchers and catcher report a week from today, but I must admit, I'm still glowing from the Giants' Super Bowl win this past Sunday, which was my best experience as a football fan since the Giants won their first Super Bowl 21 years ago. Gregg Easterbrook had high praise for the the Giants and the game in his alternately essential and indulgent Tuesday Morning Quarterback, meanwhile the almost exclusively indulgent Bill Simmons was able to step back and notice the strong parallels between the Giants' upset and the then-underdog Patriots' upset of the Rams six years ago. Simmons, who attended the game with his dad, concluded his column thusly:
The last thing we heard as we were walking (OK, hustling) out of the stadium right after the final play . . . was the sound of euphoric Giants fans chanting, "Eighteen and one! Eighteen and one! Eighteen and one!" Yes, it's safe to say the Boston-New York rivalry has been taken to new heights. As a tennis umpire would say, "Advantage, New York."
That "18-1" rings like a distant echo of the now-dormant "1918" chant that was once heard throughout the Bronx. That said, I have a hard time translating the rivalry between sports. The Patriots are an expansion team that plays in "New England," not Boston, and their natural New York rivals are not the Giants, but the Jets, who aren't up to the task. Still, after watching the Pats and Red Sox claim five championships in the past six years, even Jets fans and local football haters have to have a glimmer in their eye after the Giants knocked off the near-perfect Pats.
If nothing else, the Yankees can take inspiration from the Giants, who beat a seemingly unbeatable team from Massachusetts with a roster stocked with young homegrown players including Eli Manning, David Tyree, Steve Smith, Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, Kevin Boss, Madison Hedgecock, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, Barry Cofield, Jay Alford, Corey Webster, and Aaron Ross (along with a couple of key homegrown vets in Michael Strahan and Amani Toomer). As much as I'm still watching The Play on a loop on my DVR, the thought of the Yankees getting their turn to do something equally amazing is all I need to redirect my thoughts toward roster minutia and the $600,000 that separates the team and Chien-Ming Wang in the right-hander's arbitration case. Until Wang and company report to camp a week from today, however, I think I'll go watch that play a few more times . . .
For those who need more Yanks content, I wrote a piece for SI.com last week about how Johan Santana going to the Mets is a good thing for the Yanks.
For those looking for more pre-preseason distraction, check out my freshly-launched music blog over at Toaster.TV.