I don't know precisely why, but the other day I got to thinking about all the things I have learned the past year or so by being a New York Giants fan and writing here at Big Blue View.
For starters, my medical knowledge has increased by leaps and bounds. Leaping and bounding, by the way, will cause injury.
Let's take stock of what I have learned.
I know what patellofemoral arthritis is. I could give you the full medical description, but all we as Giants' fans need to know is that this is what we refer to as the "Kenny Phillips Condition." We also know that it really stinks to have this happen to a young player on the verge of stardom. What we don't know yet is if it will cost KP his career, or at least a big chunk of it.
I know what plantar fasciitis is. In 2009 Giants' parlance, this was the "Eli Manning Condition." And I know it isn't easy to walk around with this foot injury, much less play quarterback in the NFL. So, I can also say I learned -- again -- that Eli is one tough customer.
I know all about torn labrums and torn rotator cuffs. Flozell Adams of Dallas helped me learn about these, and about how difficult it is for NFL players to do their jobs with one arm. Justin Tuck earned his torn labrum thanks to Adams. But, this seemed like the shoulder was the injury du jour for the '09 Giants -- replacing the almighty "quad strain." There were Tuck, Madison Hedgecock, Rich Seubert, Rocky Bernard and probably a few others. Maybe a couple of you guys tore your own labrums chucking the remote at the wall. It would not have been surprising.
I know a ruptured achilles tendon is a really tough injury for a running back to recover from. And I know I am rooting like crazy for Andre Brown to do just that.
I know I will never shrug and say "Thank God it's just a hammy" the next time a Giants player pulls a hamstring in training camp. Aaron Ross taught me that.
I know you can play -- and play pretty darn well -- in the NFL on two broken feet. I still don't know HOW, I just know Ahmad Bradshaw managed to do it. And I know I have a ton of respect for how much that man cares about his team.
I know neck injuries are nothing to sneeze at. And I know I don't blame Antonio Pierce for saying "no thanks" to having the neck surgery he needs to continue his NFL career. Better to be absolutely certain you can continue to walk.
I know what debridement is. Maybe I used to think 'debridement' meant jettisoning your wife, I'm not really sure. Kevin Boss and his junk-filled ankle straightened me out on that score, though.
There are also some non-medical things on my list of newly-gained knowledge.
I know that, coming off a down year, there are a lot of doubts about Brandon Jacobs' ability to be a big-time running back again. Some folks even want to make the argument Jacobs never was a big-time back in the first place. I know I would not go that far, but I also know I am in that camp thathas serious questions about what type of player Jacobs is at this point in his career.
I know that, for a franchise with the long and glorious history the Giants have, they should do possess a lot of uniform numbers which have -- basically -- never been worn by a player who was truly any good at the NFL. The "Giants By The Numbers" series is teaching me that.
I know that the longer a big-name coach stays away from the game the more his mythical greatness seems to grow. Mike Shanahan, now in Washington, is an example. So is Bill Cowher, whose availability is actually causing some Giants fans to root for their team to lose to Cowher could replace Tom Coughlin. In fact, I also know it stuns me that anyone could ever root for a team they profess to love to LOSE. Under any circumstances. That's not kosher at all.
I also know one more thing. There is only one more thing I want to learn from the 2010 season. I want to learn what the Giants' Super Bowl championship hats and shirts will look like.