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New York Giants News and Notes: Are We There Yet? Edition

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Good morning fellow Giants fans. It's hump day and a happier hump day than usual, as the Giants are headed to the Super Bowl in eleven days. That means there may be a slight lull in overall media coverage, before things kick into crazy next week. But hey, this is Big Blue View, so you'll find more Giants' coverage here than most places, this week or next. So yeah, it's hump day, but there are no games other than the Pro Bowl on Sunday. That means, like me, you guys can swallow your hearts--the ones that were in your throats on Sunday evening, and the ones that almost stopped about fifty times in a four-hour span. We can look forward to the next game while relaxing this weekend. Of course, we're all going to be jittery by Sunday, wondering what to do with ourselves. We can watch the Pro Bowl, with a smirk on our collective Big Blue face, knowing none of our players are in it because they have a more important game the following Sunday. Yeah, that's it. Oh hey, let's see what else is being said this fine Wednesday....

First, here are some players' quotes from Tuesday's press conferences:

Eli Manning talked about how he addressed the team on Tuesday since he's been to the big dance once before.

"I just told them a little bit about how to prepare for this - handle all of your business with tickets, getting that stuff done, just a few things on the mindset of this week."

He also commented on Ann Mara getting in Terry Bradshaw's face after the game Sunday:

"You have to laugh. Mrs. Mara, you see her and you think ‘Sweet Mrs. Mara', but she is obviously very passionate about Giants football and passionate about this team and involved and knows players. I like her attitude. I like the way she spoke her mind about something she cares dearly about."

Justin Tuck had this to say about going up against Tom Brady:

"Every time you play against Tom, you have to go to the drawing board because he is definitely going to look at what we had success against him with the first time and come out with something to beat that. You have to do something different. He is that type of quarterback that by the second quarter, he probably has a sense of what a team wants to do to him and his offense."

And Antrel Rolle said this about having Eli Manning as his quarterback:

"I can't speak for most people, but for myself, it means a lot. It lets me know what kind of guy we have leading this team. Eli is the leader of this team, without a doubt, and we definitely, I wouldn't be standing up here right now if it wasn't for him. He is an elite quarterback. I don't think that needs any further discussion. I think he's definitely proven himself. I think he's proven himself before this year, to be honest with you."

Here are the complete transcripts:

Eli Manning

Justin Tuck

Antrel Rolle

For Belichick, H.C. of the N.E.P., Fond Memories of New York (Giants, Not Jets) -
In his final two years with the Giants, he also coached the secondary and was in almost daily contact with Coughlin, the newly arrived coach of the receivers. Belichick said the two remained good friends, their days on the same staff cementing the relationship. "Of all the coaches I’ve worked with, it was as good as any," Belichick said of his relationship with Coughlin. "I had an excellent relationship with him for us being on opposite sides of the ball, but being able to help each other and our players helping each other and having a good, healthy, competitive situation."

Eli Manning justifies Giants’ trust -
The blades of grass were wedged in Eli Manning’s facemask, his helmet sitting askew on his head. His shoulder pads stuck out of his mud-stained jersey, forcing him to stuff them back in. It was the aftermath of yet another vicious pummeling the quarterback took Sunday on the road to the NFC championship and the Giants’ second trip to the Super Bowl in five seasons. But Manning bounced right back up again and again in that fourth quarter, no matter how hard the San Francisco 49ers hit him. And he kept making plays, leading his team to a 20-17 overtime victory and a berth in Super Bowl XLVI. The display was just the latest example of how Manning, 31, has separated himself in his eighth season, becoming the elite quarterback he declared himself to be in training camp.

NY Giants and Eli Manning must battle odds, Tom Brady and New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI - NY Daily News
The Patriots are a tremendous organization, even with Spygate on their rap sheet. They have a tremendous owner in Mr. Robert Kraft, have been to four Super Bowls in this century and won three of them. Underestimating them in a big game, even after what the Giants did to them four years ago in Glendale, Ariz., is nuts. Put all that down. But then ask yourself a question, off what you have seen from the Giants lately: How are the Giants underdogs in this game?

Eli Manning now is The Greatest QB in Giants history -
It has forever been my contention that if Jim Kelly is in the Hall of Fame, then Phil Simms belongs in Canton as well. Because of his toughness, because of his leadership, because of his longevity, because he stunned the Broncos in Super Bowl XXI with the greatest passing performance in the history of The Show, up until today I have recognized him as The Greatest Quarterback in Giants History. Better than Charlie Conerly. Better than Y.A. Tittle. Better than Fran Tarkenton. That distinction now belongs to Eli Manning.

Interesting, but I think most of us will agree with that.

Peyton Manning, Fan, Analyst and His Brother’s Defender -
But Peyton is like many other fans in one way: He is reluctant to mess with karma. And so after watching the Giants defeat the Atlanta Falcons on a Sunday afternoon while lifting weights, he returned to the same spot a week later to view the Giants’ upset of the Green Bay Packers. That created a quandary for the N.F.C. championship game. "I was a little nervous," Peyton Manning said in a telephone interview Monday night about attending the game in San Francisco. "They played so well against Atlanta, I said, ‘I’ve got to go to the weight facility during the Green Bay game.’ It was a Sunday afternoon. I was the only one in the building. So I was nervous about going to the game. "I didn’t want him to say, ‘You’ve got to go to the weight room.’ It would have been 9 p.m. in Indianapolis. So I came without telling him. I didn’t want to bother him. I was relieved when they won because I didn’t want him to blame me."

New York Jets will find Peyton Manning hard to resist - ESPN New York
It was only five weeks ago that Rex Ryan was boasting how the Jets were a better team than the Giants, how they owned the town. Maybe they owned it for a minute in each of the previous two Januaries, but now they just have a serious case of the Big Blues. And we all know how owner Woody Johnson copes with that. He'll try to make a splashy move in the coming weeks to get people talking about his team again -- it's in his DNA -- and there's only one thing out there that can accomplish that. Peyton Manning.

New York Giants won't mind being 3-point underdogs | Democrat and Chronicle |
If the Giants win Super Bowl XLVI, Eli Manning almost certainly will make the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Peyton Manning will finish with gaudier career passing numbers than his little brother, but Peyton has won only one Super Bowl. Peyton is a cinch future Pro Football Hall of Famer. If Eli wins his second Super Bowl, it would be ridiculous for him not to join his brother with a bust in Canton. ... Added nice touch: Eli will be going for his second Super Bowl ring in brother Peyton's home stadium

Does it just blow your mind to hear the words "Eli" and "Canton" in the same sentence? Yet, the way he's played lately, it's hard to argue with. A win on February 5 would sure help the cause, however.

Jerry Jones: Eli Manning made the difference for Giants - Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN Dallas
Jones believes the difference between his Cowboys and the New York Giants, who face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI is Eli Manning taking advantage of his supporting cast. Jones loves his quarterback Tony Romo and still believes he can deliver a championship. Yet in the two regular-season losses the Cowboys suffered to the Giants, and the stretch of games the Giants won to salvage their season, Manning was the difference.

Who didn't love reading this Tuesday? And if you didn't, you did just now.

Giants-49ers’ game scores big ratings for Fox; ‘Idol’ has lowest-ever season premiere numbers - The Washington Post
The Giants’ victory over the San Francisco 49ers attracted an average of 57.6 million viewers, the second most-watched NFC title game since 1982 and third most ever, the Nielsen Co. said. During the game’s peak from 10 to 10:30 p.m. ET, 69 million people were watching. Only 2010’s Minnesota-New Orleans game and the 1982 Dallas-San Francisco game had larger NFC championship audiences.

2012 NFL playoffs -- Giants VP Chris Mara says his daughter's Oscar nomination was bigger than getting to the Super Bowl - ESPN New York
Yeah, he knew the feeling. Mara badly wanted to be the general manager of the Giants five years ago, only to be told by his brother John that the Oscar would be going to Jerry Reese. So Chris delayed his commute to work to watch the nominations. He figured it was better to be disappointed in his home, alone, than to endure another round of you'll-get-'em-next-times at the office. And when Rooney Mara's name was indeed called in the best actress category, her father did what any father of a 26-year-old hopeful would do when nominated for an Oscar. "I let out a pretty big scream," he said. "And then I cried."

Have a great hump day, everyone. The countdown is on....eleven days to go....tick, tock, tick tock....