Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Endgame: New York Giants


The NFL Playoffs are at hand. As such, Alex and Zac will be revisiting all twelve playoff teams, the characters that have made it to the final chapter in this season's story, and digging deeper to find out just who they've become having arrived at this point. Today, Alex takes a look at the New York Giants

"Life's confusing when we grow up, isn't it Brian?"
- Stewie Griffin

If the Giants were a song:


"The Devil in Jersey" by Coheed and Cambria. Like the Giants, Coheed and Cambria's brand of emo, popular among the younger sisters of TiT and indie boys who haven't yet reconciled with their inner douche bag, is both brash (the Giants sack leading D) and wussy (the Giants offense…and I'm blaming it on play calling as much as I am on Eli's battered ego). And much like his occasional praise of Michael Strahan, Zac has been known to sing this song with his eyes closed in both chain restaurants and dorm rooms pretending to be "office space." I am not making that up.

If the Giants were a political leader they'd be:
Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, king of the flip-floppers. The founder of Bain Capital, Mitt is a man of many billions one who managed to steer the shit-show that was the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City to solvency, helped bring about universal health care (more or less) to the people of Massachusetts, and only pretended to make a stink about gay marriage to not piss off the Republican party. With that kind of record, you'd think Mitt would have the skills to get things done. Instead he waffles, says things that make him look like an idiot (or worse), and tries to please the "Republican base" (whatever the hell that is), by saying that he doesn't hold the same opinions on abortion, gun control, universal health care, corporate governance, gay rights (you know, the small stuff) that he did…last year. The Giants suffer from the same problem. The Giants were once known for their smashmouth, tough approach to football. Now, they're a different team every week, sometimes tough in the trenches, other times a powderpuff that neither throws nor tackles with conviction. If you take a solid defensive team with an offense that should be playing ball control football, and try to turn it into the Colts-light to keep the fans happy, disappointing losses and embarrassing sound bytes will happen.

If the Giants were a Vacation Destination:
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Every year seniors from our alma mater, along with kids from UVA, Duke, and Princeton, head down to Myrtle for "Beach Week," an excuse to get black out drunk as far away from locals who will complain about a bunch of pale, not terribly attractive kids getting it on in public, and as close to warm weather as a drive from New England allows. There are pluses, of course: getting everyone you ever wanted to sleep with in college off your list, possibly in the same night, having to pay very little for alcohol, food, and a place to stay, but the minuses are also pretty severe, especially when, after conquering a "hottie" from your freshman year English 125 class, you start chatting up a UVA Greek (male or female) and realize your standards of hotness are very, very low. I feel that way watching the Giants. Only one (!) of their 10 victories this season came against a team with a >.500 record.


If the Giants were an OK Cupid Personality Type:
The Mixed Messenger

The Mixed Messenger
Deliberate Brutal Love Dreamer (DBLD)

Just...take...the...fucking...flower...darling. The Mixed Messenger apologizes again.

You're looking for love, but you'll always maintain your independence. You're prepared for a real commitment, but it's also likely that you're ambitious, which creates a certain romantic tension and ambivalence within you. So although you can be very affectionate to someone, you are also capable of pulling some dubious shit.






Assessment:

The Giants are an interesting team.
No one captures the spirit of the team more than their beleaguered, and sometimes befuddled QB, Eli Manning. As someone in the Eli Manning age bracket, I can tell you for a fact that the line between perennial fuck-up and superstar wunderkind is wafer thin. And like a lot of people in that age bracket, the Giants as a team aren't really sure who they are yet or what they're supposed to do. Collectively, they can't all grow Trotsky beards, work at a nonprofit, and write screenplays, but they can play that sort of confused game where they look like they know what they're doing one day, and rattle off a string of perplexing losses and reversals for the next three weeks, thus making you question any and all previous examples of competence. And, like most 22-27 year-olds kind of twisting in the wind, all the contradictory "advice"—from coaches, fans, teammates, and possibly more successful older siblings, just messes you up even more.

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