There is, of course, no better feeling for a sports fan than the complete euphoria of the moment your team is crowned champion of a sport. It is, of course, a feeling we know as Giants fans. The fact that we know it recently -- recently enough that the sweet taste of ultimate victory still lingers for us -- makes watching the Saints battle the Colts for the title of champion tough to swallow.
We want to know. Why isn't it our Giants facing the Colts? After 2007 things looked like they were all set up for a possibly dynastic run by the Giants. Alas, a self-inflicted shooting, a key coaching defection later we are left to wonder what happened. Also, how long will we have to wait for a chance to feel that euphoria again?
Yes, I'm sure we will see plenty of shots of Eli Manning today. But, he won't be in uniform on the field trying to shoot down Peyton in the Manning Bowl we have all wanted for so long. He will be in a skybox, probably in a suit that doesn't look quite right on him. He will be pumping his fist and cheering for Peyton when things go well for Indianapolis. He will likely flash that Eli face, the grimace we all hate to see, when things go awry for the Colts.
Question is, how long will we have to wait for our chance to feel that euphoria again? Will it come while Eli is still the Giants quarterback? Will it come next year? Can it come in 2010, despite a tremendously disappointing 2009 season?
This is the NFL. Of course our turn could come again in 2010. Why not? Yes, by current New York Giants standards 2009 was a bad season. But, the Giants are not a bad football team devoid of reasons to be anything but optimistic.
In Manning, the Giants have the first essential ingredient in winning another championship. A championship-caliber quarterback. They have a championship-caliber organization, including a coach, general manager and scouting department that know what they are doing.
They have gobs of talent on offense, even if some of that talent did not play up to its ability level in 2009.Better health in 2010 and you may see the most prolific offense in Giants history.
The defense needs help, but there is reason to feel good. There is a new coordinator, an experienced one who has shown he knows what he is doing and has a reputation for getting the most out of players. There are some talented defensive players with wounded pride, who are sure to enter 2010 wanting to erase the taste of consistently being run over in 2009.
Championships are not easy to win. When you get one, it doesn't necessarily mean another will follow. We know that in our heads, but in our hearts we bleed for that feeling of euphoria, we want it each and every season.
I have faith that the feeling will come again, and that it will come during Eli Manning's tenure as Giants quarterback.
(E-mail Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org)