Blogging the National Football League, Blogging the NFL
By the time the N.Y. Giants took the field, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect after my experience with the Patriots. And as a result, I feel I had a better session with the G-Men. As much as Tom Brady was getting most of the attention for the Pats, Giants QB Eli Manning and DE Michael Strahan were pretty much split in their popularity for New York. Both of them appeared to handle the adoration very well. Michael seems to thrive on his popularity. And he’s usually joking and having fun, even when talking about what the Super Bowl means to him:
“If we win the game, I’m supposed to quit (laughs)? I’ve done everything personally that I feel like I can do — awards, honors — that sort of thing. The only thing I haven’t done is the ultimate thing, which is to win a Super Bowl.”
At the podiums/risers for the Giants were Antonio Pierce, Justin Tuck, Plaxico Burress, Tom Coughlin, Jeff Feagles, Eli Manning, Brandon Jacobs, Michael Strahan, Amani Toomer, Shaun O’Hara and Osi Umenyiora. In special sections in the stands were offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, Lawrence Tynes, chairman/executive VP/co-owner Steve Tisch, GM Jerry Reese, president/CEO/co-owner John Mara and Sam Madison.
For the BIGPLAY Radio NFL Podcast, I spoke with Sinorice Moss, Corey Webster, Kareem McKenzie, Ahmad Bradshaw, James Butler and Steve Smith. What I couldn’t believe was the attention kicker Lawrence Tynes was getting. He didn’t just have a small gathering around him. He was mobbed. In fact, for one full hour, I couldn’t even see him from the front. I had to go around behind the crowd to get a picture. So, I never got my questions in for LT. I also really wanted to talk to DB Aaron Ross, but I never actually saw him. I roamed almost constantly and never saw him once. Perhaps he was still feeling some ill effects from the flu he reportedly had.
I felt I had enough audio so with 10 minutes left, I just focused on taking pics. When time was up, the Giants headed to the field for their team photo and I climbed the stadium stairs to the parking lot for my 20-minute shuttle ride back downtown to the Convention Center. Before I exited, I turned around to look back at the inside of the stadium. I visualized five days into the future when this very place will be on the eyes of over 90 million people. Wow. It’s an amazing thing to be a part of from my perspective. I can only imagine how excited the players are.
(Note: I would later learn that I was captured on Giants center Shaun O’Hara’s personal video coverage for NFL Network. I’m listening to R.W. McQuarters as the cam passes by us. The whole thing was also saved on NFL.com. See if you can spot me for the two seconds I’m on.)
Photos by David Kindervater