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New York Giants Must Maintain Confidence While Also Sustaining Underdog Mentality

January 31st, 2012 at 11:59 AM
By Sean Carroll

The New York Giants remain the underdogs against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 46. However, you may not know it coming from the comments and media attention that has been strongly backing the Giants.

Admittedly, there is a significant difference between being arrogant and being confident. Obviously, it’s important for any football team to possess some confidence, but not to the point of hubris. Where the Giants fall on that spectrum is still up for debate, but there are some strange similarities to the post-season run in 2007.

Specifically, the week before Super Bowl 42, the media often reported that the Giants were poised, relatively quiet, and very focused on the task at hand. Conversely, reports emerged about the Patriots having a good time and seeming more relaxed.  

In fact, when told about former Giants wide receiver, Plaxico Buress’ low score prediction, Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, essentially laughed it off and threw it back in the Giants face.

The bottom line is that the Giants need to be confident and continue with the momentum that has been building this post-season. As fellow writer, Kyle Langan, said, “It has been working for them, why change it?”

Nothing could be truer as long as this team stays focused and remembers that preparation and discipline are paramount. With leaders stepping up, such as Eli Manning, Justin Tuck, and Antrel Rolle, the hope is that those aforementioned goals will be executed with precision.

This New York Giants team is garnering more and more backing from the media, but they must keep the mindset of an underdog.


Tags: Antrel Rolle, Eli Manning, Football, Justin Tuck, New England Patriots, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Super Bowl, Tom Brady

28 Responses to “New York Giants Must Maintain Confidence While Also Sustaining Underdog Mentality”

  1. Mark BrownMarBro456 says:

    I have been confident in this team, and will remain being confident for this “big game”. I’m not one to watch much media on tv myself. I don’t need or want anyone that does not watch every Giants game to tell me how to feel or what to think. I know it is being said that all the pundits are on the Giants bandwagon, and like I said, I do not watch them myself….. but here where I live in Tennessee, there are not too many people who give the Giants a chance… and I am surrounded by people who rely on the media to tell them what to feel.

    The intensity that this team has shown in the last five weeks says as Antrell does… “They will not be denied”. With each game the intensity has gotten stronger than the last. I think our boys will be ready for this game and up to the challenge. In watching the Patriots vs the Ravens, I just did not see that kind of intensity being displayed by them. Their game looked like business as usual, and almost ended as a lost if it weren’t for a missed FG by Baltimore. Business as usual is good, but this is the biggest stage of all… you need that intensity to fuel you to the greatest of heights.

    2008 was all about the heart.

    2012 is about the fire, drive, and intensity.

    Close or runaway, I see the Giants as the next SB champs. ALL IN!!!!

  2.  TuckThis says:

    Re post from previous thread……

    Do we know John Parry? He is the ref for the SB.

    •  jfunk says:

      Here’s some stats for him from this year. Other than the questionable chop block call, he doesn’t seem to have been involved in much controversy.

      He was a side judge for Superbowl 41.

      • Mark BrownMarBro456 says:

        I can understand that call, especially against SF. In the game we played against them 2 weeks ago, I noticed that they did that alot on outside runs. Kept telling myself that I thought that was illegal, going below the knees, but noone else mentioned it.. so I assumed it was somehow legal now.

        •  jfunk says:

          It’s only illegal if the player is already engaged with another blocker. It’s perfectly legal to dive at a player’s legs if he’s not already engaged.

  3.  TuckThis says:

    The game will not be won or lost at the mike. This much I am sure of…altho there are those who credit Brady’s retort to Plax’s comments last time as the bulletin board fodder that fueled the Giants. Can’t imagine you need fodder to psych yourself up for the SB, but whatevah!

    • Mark BrownMarBro456 says:

      Extra fuel makes a bigger and hotter fire.

      Of course they should be “up” for the game, but so should the other team. The extra effort sure wouldn’t hurt.

  4. Matthew Kiernankujo says:

    Giants 101
    Osi Umenyiora to Matt Light, who missed media day today due to being sick: Please get well. I hope to see you Sunday. You are one of my greatest friends.
    7 minutes ago

  5. Matthew Kiernankujo says:

    If anyone is into this sort of thing, they’re streaming the Media Day on

  6. Eric SchneiderEric S says:

    Real headline from ESPN showing a photo of Gronkowski at media day podium with reporters at his feet.. “Ankle biters”. Thought some here might appreciate that phrase.

  7.  norm says:

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy the notion that success on Sunday hinges upon the Giants ability to “sustain an underdog mentality.”

    That was then, this is now. If this team truly wants to achieve lasting greatness, take that next step, they are going to have to grow up and learn to embrace the role of favorite. That’s what teams like the Steelers and, yes, Patriots have to deal with every year. It has not seemed to cripple them. Simply put, if you aspire to being one of the NFL’s Alpha Dogs, you have to learn to handle the burden of high expectations.

    I don’t foresee it being a problem for this bunch. This team appears to have taken on the personality of its leader, Eli Manning: all business; not governed by wilds emotional ups and downs. I’m sure they’re treating all of this newfound adulation much in the same way they treated all the catcalls and condemnation that had been hurled their way when things were going poorly – noise that has little to no bearing on what happens between the white lines on Sunday.

    I suspect all of this is a bigger problem for Giants fans – who never seem to handle prosperity very well. Those concerned about all of the love being showered upon the Giants would be well advised to turn off ESPN and log on to some New England fan sites where you will likely find enough disrespect and predictions of impending Patriot victory to set your mind at ease.

    • Matthew Kiernankujo says:


      It’s maddening that this team, talented as it is, hasn’t been able to shine when the attention has been on them in years past. Hopefully this group, this year, is better and different.

    •  jfunk says:

      I agree it would be nice for them to be able to “handle success” for a change.

      That being said, let them work on it next year. If being underdogs is what works for their psyche right now, I hope the team has implemented a media black out and is printing up fake newspaper articles to feed them that say they’re the “worst team to make the Superbowl since the 2000 Giants”.

  8.  norm says:

    Maybe it’s just me… but whenever I see a picture of Eli in a suit he reminds of Bar Mitzvah boy, decked out in some ill-fitting gear that his parents bought off the rack at Moe Ginzburg.

    •  jfunk says:

      It doesn’t matter what you dress Eli in, he’s always going to look like a goofy 14 year old. It may be the single thing that most hurts the perception of his ability is observers’ eyes.

      That and the fact that he sounds like he has marbles in his mouth.

      Luckily for us, neither of those things change the fact that he’s superior to every other QB in the game in the most high pressure situations and seems to be (possibly along with Roethlisburger) the exception to the rule that even great QBs become “average” if you hit them in the mouth enough.

  9.  Emperor Norton says:

    I am so incredibly tired of the entire collective sports-media machine scraping bottom looking for a “we guarantee a win!” story to run with. Boston media has been running the “Rolle guarantees a win!” angle all day based off of this story, and earlier in the week we got the exact same “Brady guarantees a win!” story. It’s the laziest, most hackneyed story you could write this week, and everyone’s falling over themselves to accuse the other side of doing it.

    Gee, let’s go talk to this locker room full of mid-20′s hyper-competitive athletes at the top of their respective games, and ask them if they feel confident in their own abilities. Then, when one of them says “We feel confident that our guys are better than their guys,” we’ll say they’re channeling Broadway Joe and calling their shot, and then we can talk about it on SportsCenter for 36 hours, and use the 1.8 second clip out of context to try to enrage the other team’s equally hyper-competitive athletes into saying something stupid!

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