The flame is about to go out on 2008. Before it does I have a question for you, the esteemed members of Big Blue View Nation.
Have we just witnessed the greatest calendar year in the history of one of the NFL's original franchises?
I have been a Giants' fan since I was a little kid, or for roughly 40 years. I will admit my memories of the 1986 and 1990 championship teams have dimmed a little, but I can't recall a better year of watching Giants' football during my lifetime.
I would love to hear what some of you old-time fans (George, 'Pot,' '57') have to say about this. I think, though, that what we have seen for the past 12 months is as good as it gets when you root for an NFL team.
The year, of course, began with an unexpected Super Bowl title. It is ending with an NFC East title and a No. 1 seed in the upcoming playoffs.
The winning, of course, if a big part of what has made this the most special year I can ever remember as a Giants' fan. It is also, however, the way in which it has all been accomplished.
- The dramatic Super Bowl victory over the heavily favored and previously unbeaten New England Patriots. The victory made even sweeter by the 19-0 T-shirts the Patriots had already printed, and the arrogance they displayed in trademarking the phrase '19-0: The Perfect Season,' before the Super Bowl had been played. Tyree's catch, possibly the greatest single play in Super Bowl history, made it even more memorable.
- A playoff victory over the the hated Dallas Cowboys, followed by watching the bickering 'Boys implode this season and fail to even make the playoffs this time around.
- The tremendous NFC Championship game victory on a frigid night in Green Bay. I don't think I will ever forget Tom Coughlin's frozen red cheeks, Corey Webster's interception of Brett Favre or Lawrence Tynes' crazed sprint to the locker room after the game-winning kick.
- This season's 12-4 record, punctuated by an 11-1 start and an amazing six straight victories over teams with winning records.
- Watching Eli Manning grow into the mature, reliable leader we had long hoped he would be. At the same time, watching the other New York quarterback, Brett 'Wrong Way' Favre,' deteriorate into an old man and drive the Jets' season into the ground.
Yes, there are memories galore that I will take from 2008 when it comes to rooting for the Giants. I just don't know how it gets any better than this.
Of course, a second straight Super Bowl title wouldn't be a bad way to start 2009, either.