Now that the Super Bowl is over and the New York Giants are NFL champions, an entire new image of the team will come across the sports wires and on our television screens.
Overpaid analysts will tell us what this title means to the people of New York and how they knew the Giants had it in them all along. And in turn, we will quickly forget that ESPN’s and FOX Sports’ best wrote the Giants off with about three weeks left, jumping back on the bandwagon of the Dallas Cowboys and even the Philadelphia Eagles. New York had to make believers out of a lot of people and finally showed the mainstream sports media that they’re worth the ink.
The Giants have earned their top spot. Now, the same people who discredited them after a tough loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the middle of the regular season will be eating their own words while putting on a smile and bowing down to the almighty G-Men. New York truly stunned the football world this year and this Vince Lombardi Trophy had a little more emotion behind it. The title loudly throws New York right back on the football map since the team’s last championship in 2007 against — oddly enough — the New England Patriots. It also only proves that this team has always had it, despite what the critics and hot shot analysts think.
Yes, any championship takes a franchise to a whole new level. But for the Giants and their staff and fans, I believe this year’s title run is even sweeter than others in the past.
Here’s a look at just a few things the Giants’ Super Bowl rings will bring:
You can call him the master of the miss, the sultan of shank or a klutz in the clutch.
Call him what you will, but if you were the New England Patriots on Sunday, you had better show Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff some mad respect. The nine-year, undrafted kicker completely shanked a 32-yard field goal with 11 seconds remaining in the AFC Championship game Sunday in Foxboro, Mass. The botched chip shop would have forced overtime between the Patriots and Ravens, but instead it sent New England to its seventh Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. The Patriots won the game 23-20 and will now face the New York Giants on Feb. 5 for Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.
The kick will undoubtedly go down in history as what could have been for the Baltimore Ravens. If Cundiff would have been able to make a kick that most kickers can nail in their sleep, Baltimore would’ve at least had a shot at upsetting one of the greatest teams football has ever seen. But as we all know by now, Cundiff missed, eliminating his team from the 2011-2012 NFL Playoffs.
Now I have heard of Billy Cundiff since he entered the league in 2002 with the Dallas Cowboys. But the former pro bowler’s missed kick made me want to learn more about him. Obvious questions prompted me to do some research. As I started to stare at Cundiff’s statistics, the first one I had to look at is how accurate the guy is between the 30- and 40-yard line. To my surprise, he’s 76 percent for his carreer. Not the best, but also, not the worst. But he has been at his best from that distance in the past two season. During that span, he was well over 80 percent and a top 10 kicker from that distance. Actually, Cundiff has been one of the league’s best for the past two years and earned a pro bowl nod last season for his kicking abilities.