Giants earned super victory

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By The Staff

Super Bowl XLII is history, but it will long be remembered as one of the greatest championship games in National Football League history.

The underdog New York Giants pulled a stunner, knocking off the powerful New England Patriots.

The Patriots, cruising on an unbeaten streak, were a game away from being the stuff of gridiron legends. A 12-point favorite, New England was on the brink of becoming the first team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to post an undefeated season in pro football.

But somebody forgot to tell the upstart Giants, who like another brash Big Apple pro football team, startled the world with a predicted win. New York receiver Plaxico Burris, who guaranteed a Giants' victory during the week, called for a 23-17 Giants win.

Back in Super Bowl III, New York Jets' quarterback Joe Namath guaranteed victory against the heavily favored Baltimore Colts. The Jets jolted the Colts in a stunning 16-7 win.

The Giants' upset ranks right up with the Jets' storied triumph. Namath, sticking by his Gotham roots, also called a Giants' win in Super Bowl XLII, which is what happened.

As fate would have it, Burris hauled in a 13-yard touchdown pass from the unflappable Eli Manning to seal the game with 35 seconds to play.

The Patriots did get another chance, but the Giants' defense, the cornerstone of their monumental win, held their ground to preserve the victory.

The Giants' game-winning drive will go down as one of the greatest in the game. Manning, in Houdini-like fashion, escaped a sure sack from the swarming Patriots' defense and completed an incredible 32-yard pass to the unheralded David Tyree.

That set the stage for Manning's game-winning touchdown toss to Burris.

The Giants then shut down the Patriots' last-gasp shot for their exhilarating Super Bowl win.

Pats' coach Bill Belichick's early exit after congratulating New York coach Tom Coughlin took some of the shine off the Giants improbable post-game celebration.

Still, the Giants stole the show with a hard-nosed defense and a young leader who refused to fold.

Their example is to be noted and will be for seasons to come.

No matter what is said or done, it's all decided on the field. Trash talk is cheap. You have to walk the walk. There are no guarantees, even when it appears perfection is within grasp.

Take stock that the Giants' huge win is a message that great odds serve as a grand opportunity.