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Giants Success: Guaranteed!

They say they’re are only two guarantees in life: death and taxes. But there are some other guarantees as well: For instance — barring a cataclysmic catastrophe — the tides will rise and ebb every day … and then, rise again. And the sun will rise and set every day … and then, rise again. So, too, football teams will rise and fall … and then rise again every season. That’s just the historical nature of things:

The 49ers were great in the 1980s; bad in the 2000s and now, they’re good again.

The Packers were great in 1930s and 40’s, awful in the 1950s, then great in 1960s.

The Cowboys were great in the late 60’s and 70’s, ordinary in the 80’s, great in the 90’s.

The old Steelers were horrible from the 30’s to the 60’s, then, great in the 70’s, then so-so in the 80’s, then excellent in the 2000s.

The Redskins were great in the 1930s and 40’s, awful in the 1950s, 60’s, 70’s, then great in the 1980s and early 90’s.

The Giants were great in the mid 50’s and early 60’s. But in 1964, after going to six Championship Games in eight years — count’em, six Championships Games in eight years — they fell apart, epitomized in the iconic photo of Y. A. Tittle, on his knees, blood dripping down his face. And then, came eighteen years of the worst football in NY Giants history.

But in 1981, the Giants went back to the playoffs and beat Dick Vermeil’s Super Bowl XX losing Eagles, 27-21. By 1986, the Giants were a powerhouse, rolling through the season, going 14-2, then the playoffs, beating Joe Montana and Jerry Rice’s 49ers, 49-3, Joe Gibbs, Redskins, 17-0, and then Elway’s Broncos in the Super Bowl XXI, 39-20. Four years later, in 1990 — still running on the fumes of that great powerhouse team — they stunned Buffalo in SB XV, 20-19.

And then, the Giants fell into decline for the next seventeen years. Yes, they experienced modest success under Dan Reeves — Coach of the Year in 1993 — for one season. And then again, under Jim Fassel — Coach of the Year in 1997 — going to SB XXXV, where they were destroyed by the Baltimore Ravens 34-7, but by 2003, they were a mess.

Since Tom Coughlin arrived in 2004, the Giants have had eight winning seasons out of ten, five playoff appearances and two — Two! Count’em, two! — Super Bowl Championships, beating the 18-0 Patriots in SB XLII, in a classic for the ages, and beating Bellichick and Brady again in SB XLVI, another classic as well. If offered that scenario back in 2004, would any Giants fan have turned it down?

So now, just as surely as the sun rises and sets … and rises again, and just as surely as the tides rise and ebb … and rise again, the Giants are in decline. So, does that mean another 16 or 17 years of lousy football? No. And the reason is: This Giants team is headed by John Mara and Jerry Reese not the feuding Maras and Allie Sherman in 1964 and not by the Ray Handley regime in 1992.

And not only is this Giants management structure different from those past structures; the very structure of the NFL is different, too. With the hard cap and free agency, teams fall and rise … and rise and fall much more rapidly than in the past. So, make no mistake about it, after this season, the Giants will clean out the cap-heavy, dead wood, create cap space and rise again … sooner, rather than later.

And don’t forget, incredibly — and at least mathematically — this season isn’t over. The NFC East is a mess. The Giants are only two games behind the Cowboys and one game behind the Eagles and Redskins; and they play the Cowboys again and the Eagles and Redskins twice. Team records after just four games rarely mean much in January: last season, the Eagles were 3-1 before going 4-12. The Cardinals were 4-0 before going 5-11, and the Colts were 1-3 before going 10-6.

So, this Sunday, win, lose or draw, and just like the rise and fall … and rise again of the sun and tides … and just like the Phoenix rising from the ashes; this season or next, the Giants are going to rise again. Hey, it’s just the historical nature of things. So, c’mon, smile, Giants fans, Giants Success: Guaranteed!

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2 Responses to “Giants Success: Guaranteed!”

  1. dave says:

    They’re not dead yet!

  2. Craig says:

    This Sunday will show whether the Giants are on the brink of rebuilding mode. If they are, it had to come sooner or later. Two SuperBowls in a couple years is more than most teams have ever had!

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