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Hallelujah! It’s Finally Over!

Hallelujah! It’s Finally Over!
By Martin Alvin

Finally, mercifully, the 2013 NFL football season is officially, over. Hallelujah! Of course, for Giants fans, it ended a hell of a lot earlier than last Sunday night; to all intents and purposes, it ended way back in October with a God-awful 0-6 start. And even though that was followed by a 4-0 tease, during which playoff hopes were briefly resuscitated; those false hopes died in Big Blue’s week twelve loss to the infinitely beatable Dallas Cowboys: a team that defines over-hyped-mediocrity.

And fittingly — tableau-esque — the NFL season ended exactly where it started for Giants’ fans: in Met Life Stadium. But this time, the Giants weren’t fumbling away a very winnable opening game against that same over-hyped, mediocre, Dallas Cowboys team; this time, the Seattle Seahawks were celebrating their SB XLVIII victory over the Denver Broncos in Big Blue’s very own locker room, having just destroyed the Broncos 43-8, in a game that wasn’t even that close.

Watching the Seahawks defense dismantle the Broncos offense on Sunday night reminded me of Bill Belichick’s Big Blue defense stifling John Elway’s, Bronco offense in SB XXI, and then smothering Jim Kelly’s, Buffalo Bills,’ K-Gun offense in SB XXV –- a mere two weeks after the Bills obliterated the Raiders in the 1990 AFC Championship Game, 51-3. And the way Steve Spagnuolo’s defense confounded Tom Brady’s record-setting Patriots offense in SB XLII. Unfortunately, it also reminded me of the way the 2000 Ravens defense kicked the crap out of Big Blue’s offense in SB XXXV: an offense, that only two weeks earlier, overwhelmed the Vikings, 41-0 in the 2000 NFC Championship game.

It sure seems like every time the pundits proclaim the era of stifling defenses dead, some defensive powerhouse rises up and shuts their collective, pundit, maws. And after witnessing Seattle manhandle the great Peyton Manning –- and I’m not being facetious when I say, “great, Peyton Manning,” because he is great — it sure seems like yet another one of those proclamations is just a bit premature. And like some of the stifling defenses of yore, The Seahawks’ -– “We’re going to punch you in the mouth without even trying to fool you, defense” — dictated the tone and tempo of the game and reminded me of other, past, Super Bowl obliterations:

SB XVIII — Raiders 38 – Redskins 9
SB XIX —– 49ers 38 – Dolphins 16
SB XX —— Bears 46 – Patriots 10
SB XXI —– Giants 39 – Broncos 20
SB XXII —- Redskins 42 – Broncos 10
SB XXIV — 49ers 55 – Broncos 10
SB XXVII — Cowboys 52 – Bills 17
XXXV——- Ravens 34 – Giants 7

By the way, Sunday night’s loss was Denver’s fifth Super Bowl defeat. They’re now 2-5 in the big game and hold the record for the most Super Bowl losses, just ahead of Buffalo (0-4), Minnesota (0-4), and New England (3-4). But as compelling as it was to see the Seattle Seahawks destroy the Denver Broncos; it wasn’t a satisfactory substitute for watching Big Blue –- instead of the Seahawks — beat the Broncos in SB XLVIII, the way they beat those same Broncos in SB XXI, or the Bills in SB XXV, or the Patriots in SB XLII, or the Patriots, again, in SB XLVI.

The shortest six months of the year is officially over: nothing moves faster than the NFL season, from training camp in late July to Super Bowl Sunday in early February. And, conversely, without football, the longest six months of the year is upon us. Is there any time period longer and slower moving than the period of time from right after the Super Bowl to the beginning of training camp? Maybe the time period from one Christmas to the next when we were kids, but I can’t think of any other. And so, too, begins the business of reinventing Big Blue through free agency and the draft; and maybe, just maybe, earning a place in SB XLIX, next year.

There’s going to be a lot of time, now, to think about Da’Rel Scott flubbing a simple screen pass against the Cowboy’s, with the Giants closing in on the lead –- after committing six turnovers — and Brandon Myers letting the game winning TD go through his fingers against the Bears. And let’s not forget the receivers running the wrong routes, and the missed blitz pick ups, and the lousy run blocking and the obstinate play calling. If the Giants had played with just a little more poise on offense, they could easily have been 9-7 and vying for the playoffs; and the 2013 NFL season could have ended with the Giants -– not the Seahawks — celebrating SB XLVIII in Big Blue’s own house. But that’s like saying: if the Queen had balls, she’d be King. She doesn’t; and that’s why she’s not. End of conversation. Let’s move on.

So, hallelujah, brothers and sisters; the 2013 NFL season is finally over, and with it, all the “should’a’been, would’a’been, could’a’been” recriminations. Good riddance! Time to put that crap behind us and move on toward the start of the 2014 season and a trip to -– and a win in — SB XLIX. Can I get an amen?

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2 Responses to “Hallelujah! It’s Finally Over!”

  1. […] Martin Alvin Hallelujah! It’s Finally Over! By Martin Alvin Finally, mercifully, the 2013 NFL football […]

  2. DP says:

    The Seahawks are indeed impressive. Their ability to identify talent either via free agency or the draft and then coach them up is unbelievable. Are they just smarter than everyone else? How are they able to produce several mid-low round draft picks that are All-Pros?

    With the NFL being such a copy cat league, I wonder how many other organizations will now embrace football analytics, the use of meditation lead by psychologists, yoga, and neurotopia brain performance testing as the Seahawks apparently do.

    The NFC is going to be extremely difficult to navigate next season, the Giants need to significantly improve their overall team speed, especially on defense.

    JR and TC have some work to do!!

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