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Can New York Giants Repeat or Will It Be 2008 All Over Again?

March 3rd, 2012 at 12:00 PM
By Jen Polashock

Is it too early to be talking about the 2012 Super Bowl? Technically, yes. Good thing articles can be written in a matter that thoughts translated from internal gut feelings are allowed.

A full out definitive answer cannot be given at any point in this, the offseason or even during the 2012 regular season. The 2011 season proved that. The World Champion New York Football Giants proved that. It’s not over until the play clock is at 0:00 and the Lombardi Trophy is hoisted by the game MVP. Parity in the NFL (it’s claimed) makes it hard to repeat, but there is that nagging, aforementioned gut feeling. Certain fans have it and can never fully explain it. It only gets worse as the feeling intensifies and the odds and critics stack even more against them.

Many have and still make comparisons between the 2007 and 2011 Championship seasons. The 2008 Giants were well on their way to (possibly) making it into the playoffs and into a legitimate repeat run—until Plaxico Burress was “lost” for the season. That ‘08 team never recovered. No Resiliency or even a touch of All In/Finish back then. 

This current team (53-man roster to be determined) has the leadership and the maturity to get the mindset proper from the start of training camp. The remaining teammates are still full of Giants Pride and have experienced, first hand, the fruits of Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin’s labors. Rookies will be second-year players with another year under their respective systems and draft picks/any free agents brought in will be walking into a situation of the stability of an old school organization—a Big Blue organization that continues to carry on the tradition that is the New York Football Giants. This tradition has never left. It was just a matter of whether or not it was reiterated by the head coach and his coaches as well as team captains. Tradition on the Giants: where brotherhood is apex. The positives far outweigh any negatives in the locker room and injuries that can threaten to depress the ultimate goal. All In.

As the confetti and ticker-tape finally settle, we shall see where the focus lies: Gearing up to push for another run/repeat -or- Continue to slumber in dream land while another team takes home your hardware? Hands up for the former.


Tags: Football, Jerry Reese, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Super Bowl XLVI, Tom Coughlin

34 Responses to “Can New York Giants Repeat or Will It Be 2008 All Over Again?”

  1.  axr29 says:

    Buddy Ryan is famous for putting a bounty on his former kicker. Looking back at the preseason game where Eli left bloodied and coupling those two things with the picture of Eli bloodied on the front of the playbook.

    Im fairly certain the Jets had a bounty out on Eli.

  2.  TuckThis says:

    Only Rex Ryan can predict SB victories without even knowing who’s on his team ….don’t you know that Jen? LOL

  3.  HopLax08 says:

    After some internal debate, I decided to repost because I think this is such an important issue that the NFL is now confronting. Granted I bring a different perspective to this issue than that of the average fan, but I think it has profound seminal importance moving forward.

    I also refer you to Dirt’s post in the last thread.

    HopLax08 says:
    March 3, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Norm – you and I are clearly on opposite sides of this issue.

    From what I can gather from your post above, you don’t believe that the bounty system had much of an effect on how the Saints players played the game, that they didn’t ramp up or give some extra juice to a kill shot because of the bounty. My personal experience in playing lacrosse at the highest level in both high school and college tells me that is simply not true.

    There were games where members of my team (self included) were targeted for big hits by the opposing teams players. While I don’t think there was an official bounty system in place, there didn’t need to be because they needed only subtle comments and instruction from coaches to implement the targets. As an example, a coach might say in the defensive team huddle on the sideline “we can’t allow player X to score, we need to shut him down and if he does score he shouldn’t be standing after the shot”. Defensive players can read between the lines and they know that their coach is telling them to physically punish this player on the field. And everyone of those defensive players wants to be the one to deliver the kill shot to please the coach and for bragging rights and cred.

    My personal thoughts on the Saints bounty system is that it did affect and alter the playing style of the Saints defensive players, maybe not on every play, but certainly when the opportunity for a kill shot presented itself (a blind side hit on a QB or a defenseless receiver going up for a ball across the middle).

    •  Dirt says:

      Dirt says:
      March 3, 2012 at 11:51 AM
      Nope. I don’t care if it was a one dollar prize for injury. The simple fact that enough people cared enough about establishing a prize, contributing to said prize, tracking the criteria of said prize, awarding said prize upon review, and repeating week after week, there is then a conscious attempt to collect that prize.

      You see this in finance. If your advisor gets compensated well for insurance products, you will be sold insurance products, regardless of how they fit into your picture. He earns high commission on stock transactions? You’re going to own a lot of individual stocks. No one gets paid on no load funds, so unless you’re paying based on assets under management, you’ll never own a single-digit basis point index fund so long as your broker is calling shots.

      And so long as players get as little as a helmet sticker for knocking you out cold, he’s going to try to knock you out cold. You don’t need to connect a specific payment to a specific injury. Just like you don’t need to connect a bomb plot to a specific bombing. These thugs were specifically engaged in injury-for-hire, which, beyond the rules of football, should be tried in the court of law.

      This is different than the Giants knocking QBs out. Are they hitting guys high? Late? Low? Not really.

      And was Kenny Phillips trying to hurt Graham? I’d wager a lot the answer is no. Dem boys both from the U. And you saw Phillips immediately concerned about his classmate.

      That might sound fanboi about the Giants, but they’re facts.

      •  Dirt says:

        I also think a very underrated piece of this story is that the league knew about it, interviewed people about it, the front office knew they were close to getting caught, and continued to let it happen. That defiance should drive Goddell nuts. 50,000 pages of documents is, as Florio wrote this morning, a waste of the league’s time and money. They didn’t stop when any rational person would have.

        I hope they hammer the ish out of these d|rtbags.

  4.  Dirt says:

    I think Jen has done fine work here

  5.  HopLax08 says:

    I knew when bounty-gate surfaced yesterday that I had strong opinions on this issue. But I will tell you, the more I think about the angrier I get and I’ll tell you why.

    It’s bad enough that there are injuries that occur in the normal course of competing in any competitive team sport. But, when you layer on a bounty system whose primary goal is to inflict injury it becomes insidious.

    I am not sure whether many on this blog have suffered an injury in high school or college that prevented you from playing in a game(s) or the remainder of a season. I have and I can tell you that standing on the sidelines unable to contribute to your team is a frustrating and depressing feeling. For many college and professional athletes, the “sport” is their identify and the essence of their being. When you aren’t playing because of injury there is just a huge empty void in not being an active memeber of the team.

    That’s why I am so sympathetic to the injured players on the Giants. I can imagine how tough it is for Terrell Thomas, Jonathan Goff and others to miss the season and worry about what their future may hold. As fans (and coaches as well) we have the mantra that we “need to move on” and “next man up”. Teams and fans move on from injured players.

    I am rambling a bit, but coming full circle here, I think that injuries in the normal course of playing a sport is hard enough on players and teams, but if you inject a bounty for injury it just thrusts potential injuries to a new level. I predict that the reaction of current NFL players will not be “meh, who cares” but quite the opposite. Now the players may not come out so strongly against this on ESPN shows (because they might be perceived as weak and not “manly”) but behind the scenes they will be pushing for swift and just punishment because they know it they might have been injured by these bounty incentives.

    As an aside, I am really waiting to see how the players union comes down on this. It will be very telling.

  6.  Samardzija says:

    Getting a little tired of all the Saints talk here on Giants101, sooooooooo.

    Nigel Bradham Florida state. Fast, strong and mean. Can cover tight ends, shifts through traffic is an excellent good blitzer and hits hard. If hes there at #64, he should be our pick, his milkshake brings me to the yard. Thoughts?

  7.  norm says:

    With all due respect to a number of posters whose opinions I generally esteem, I think folks are missing the big picture.

    Let me try and put this another way. Suppose there had been no money involved. What if Williams had simply told players “I want you to try and injure the opponent.” And the Saints players responded by going out and laying some ferocious hits… but all the hits were within the scope of what is permissible under NFL rules.

    Should Williams be punished?

    I’d argue he should not. Because if the league chose to punish Williams for that, it would then find itself in the rather murky realm of trying to regulate speech. If Coach X chooses to motivate his players by specifically exhorting them to injure the opponent and Coach Y motivates his players with a more generic exhortation to “knock the opponent into next week” and the result on the field is that both teams go out and play a hard-hitting, yet mostly clean game, then where’s the crime? Is Coach X to be penalized for using the more inflammatory language in the locker room? Please.

    Let me very clear about this. If the league somehow does have irrefutable evidence that Bountygate resulted in a higher incidence of illegal play by Saints defenders, then throw the book at ‘em. Expel the whole stinkin’ lot from the NFL. Otherwise I remain firm in my belief that the league needs to tread very carefully here. Unless he can definitively show that Williams’ action resulted in more dangerous play ON THE FIELD, Goodell should limit the scope to that which is verifiable: the pay for play aspect of the crime.

    The use of extra-curricular monies should always be off limits as a motivating tool. But are people here seriously advocating that the league start policing the actual language coaches use to motivate their players? Because, in essence, that’s what I’m reading here. If those are truly your sentiments, there are not words strong enough for me to express my disagreement. What Williams asked his players to do was ugly and reprehensible but until someone can actually demonstrate that it caused his players to go out and behave in a way that was outside the scope of NFL regulations, the only provable crime was his illegal use of a financial incentive.

    • Terence CAVILLGIANTT says:

      Norm – you are exactly right and youve explained it a lot better than I tried to .

      As Hoplax will attest to , any team player on offense OR defense is going to know who the Big Boys on the other side are and they are going to try hard to neutralize the effect of that player . Thats competition , try harder , pay more attention , every coach who ever lived will say that at one time or another . But that doesnt mean a player should definitively and actively take that as permission to cause injury deliberately
      There is only so much that can be legislated , and you cannot legislate pay more attention to or try harder against any one individual .
      The only way you can do something is against the formalization of the implied threats by going after the money .

  8.  TuckThis says:

    HopLax, I can only speak for myself, but I don’t think most people disagree with you…only that qualifying or quantifying what was a “bounty” hit seems a bit hard to discern in many cases. Dirt has decided that Phillips wasn’t trying to hurt Graham…why? Because. As someone else brought up, you don’t think that the Giants weren’t trying to knock opposing QBs out of the game when they racked up 7 in a row ( or whatever it was)… was simply coincidental? Not one player in the locker room said…”let’s get Vick ( or fill in the name) today.”

    They can keep the Saints out of post season play for the next 5 years as far as I’m concerned. I anxiously await the consequences.

    •  Dirt says:

      Phillips didn’t want to injure Graham because he’s from the U, plain and simple. Scholar athletes from the U are about the tightest fraternity there is.

      And until you show me any of the injurious hits the Giants supposedly put on opposing quarterbacks and show me how they’re beyond the spirit of the game with a certain level of dirtiness and show me evidence that they were paid to make said hits, well, you’re not really making an argument afterall. The hits on Nicks, the hit on Steve Smith, to name a few – they don’t compare to any hits I’ve seen from any Giants pass rushers in years. I did see a Saints guy go low on Favre while another guy simultaneously left his feet and went high with forearms in the NFC Championship Game.

  9.  LUZZ says:


    I may have missed it through the months, but what is it that has lead you to come to your certain conclusion that Sean Payton is such dirt? I’m not disagreeing or agreeing, just wondering what’s leading you to come down on this guy’s character so hard when that’s not typically your style. Is there some general knowledge out there that this dude is scum? Are you going off of your 6th sense? What’s the deal?

    •  Dirt says:

      Remember the prescription drug scandal? That’s one thing that the media decided to brush under the rug, so as to not cloud the story of how Payton was helping to rebuild entire wards.

  10.  Krow says:

    To win a Superbowl you have to be good … you have to get hot going into the playoffs … and you also have to be lucky.

    It’s damn hard to win one … just as hard to win the next one. The stars have to align.

    No team should ever ‘expect’ to win a Superbowl. You do your best … take your chances … but understand that the odds are always long.

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