If you had told me at the beginning of the season that my beloved Giants would be representing the NFC in the Super Bowl, I would have laughed. A lot. Then I would have called you a liar and berated you for getting my hopes up. Now, in a mere matter of days, the team I have followed since the days of LT and Mark Bavaro will be facing the Pats. To say I am shocked would be an understatement.
Don't get me wrong; I'm a huge Giants fan and have been for a number of years. Besides the Yankees, there is no team that I follow more closely. However, being a Giants fan is like driving 100 miles to a really nice dinner, only to find out the dinner has been cancelled. Since the Parcells years, the team's history has been filled with play-off collapses or mediocre regular seasons, save for a shocking trip to the Super Bowl against the Ravens. Of course, Kerry Collins played a terrible game, the Ravens defense locked down, and there was no shot.
There were unfortunate draft picks (Derek Brown, Tyrone Wheatley, Thomas Lewis, Dave Brown in the supplemental draft), horrid coaching changes (Ray Handley anyone?), uninspired quarterback play (Dave Brown, Kent Graham), and a number of other times when we as Giant fans held our head in shame.
This year feels differently though, and not because I think they have any more chance of winning. As someone who has become more and more interested in the statistical analysis of sports, there are still moments when I just let the emotion of the moment fall over me and wash away all rational thought. This playoff run has been one of those times.
Watching this team go into Tampa Bay, Dallas and Green Bay, and come out of all three with victories, has been unreal. The shock won't have worn off by the time the team runs onto the field on Sunday, and no matter what happens against the Pats, this has been a tremendous season to be a Giants fan.