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New York Giants News and Notes: The Countdown Begins Edition

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Good morning fellow Giants fans, and welcome to the Monday before the Super Bowl--one that our New York Giants are in, in what is probably the biggest spectacle in pro sports. It's kind of surreal, isn't it? And like it or not, there are many parallels to 2007, moments when it's impossible not to flash back in our collective mind to that wild, amazing run. It's also amazing when you think that there are 30 teams at home, and players like Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers who will, if they so choose, be watching the game on TV. It's going to be a fun week, so let's kick things off with some hype.....

As NY Giants and New England Patriots prepare for Super Bowl XLVI, it was their respective owners John Mara and Robert Kraft that helped end NFL lockout - NY Daily News
If they handed out a trophy for saving the 2011 NFL season, then Giants co-owner John Mara and Patriots owner Robert Kraft would be standing on the podium together accepting the award from the 2,000 players in the league. So, it’s appropriate the Giants and Patriots are playing in Super Bowl XLVI.

Super Bowl 2012: N.Y. Giants’ Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham a triple threat - The Washington Post
The NFL’s top trio of wide receivers came together because of conviction. They’re the result of a sound football plan. The success of the New York Giants’ Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham shows what’s possible when a general manager actually is capable of evaluating players.

Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul a difference maker -
What stands out for the rest of the Giants these days — more than his one-handed catches in practice while laterally jumping over rectangular foam obstacles — is what the 23-year-old Pierre-Paul is doing on the field. Not only is he the best player on the Giants' defense, he is now among the best in the NFL.

Super Bowl — Belichick in Jovial Mood as Patriots Arrive -
But a bubbly — really — Belichick arrived at the Super Bowl on Sunday, and got off a joke about Hoosier hospitality that may even endear him to Indianapolis Colts fans who are a bit apoplectic that their team’s most hated rival will be practicing in the Colts’ facility this week. "I never had too much hospitality here until I went for it on fourth-and-2," Belichick said. "Since then, I’ve been greeted in a lot more friendly manner than I was in the past."

Now THAT is funny. Did Bill hire a joke writer for this week?

Road to the Super Bowl: Bob Tucker, lonely light from Giants' dark times, still shines |
But if you grew up a Giants fan in that queasy period, this was your guy. Bob Tucker was a sure-handed tight end who was as constant as the northern star, a strong and silent pro who made you tolerate an otherwise hapless team.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady should beware planning Super Bowl party too soon, as NY Giants have used slights as motivation before - NY Daily News
"We have the greatest fans in America. You guys have proved that year in and year out with your support," Brady said. "I wish I could take all you guys to Indy with us. We’re going down there, and we’re going down there for one reason. We’re going to give it our best and hopefully we have a lot more people at our party next weekend." He didn’t say he was hopeful of having a party. He said he was hopeful of having a lot more people at the party.

A big deal will be made of this, but I don't think it's a big deal at all. Do you?

NFL Playoffs: D-line is heart of Giants - ESPN
The only aspect of the conversation that kept Reese routinely grinning was the equalizer he had on his own roster. Four years earlier, the Giants had won a Super Bowl with a defensive line that had rattled Brady and the New England Patriots' record-setting offense. Ever since then, the Giants had believed so much in applying pressure through their front four that Reese had added another first-round pick to his defense (end Jason Pierre-Paul) and doubled-down on his belief that the best way to contend for championships is through relentless, unforgiving pressure.

Who needs Stickum when you’ve got ‘sticky’ gloves? -
If the Super Bowl comes down to a key catch by Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots, say, or Victor Cruz of the New York Giants, they’ll have more than merely their hands to thank. Those two players, like plenty of NFL tight ends and wide receivers, wear "sticky’’ gloves made with a rubbery material on the palms to help hold onto a football. Consider these mitts the 2000’s‘ answer to the 1970’s‘ Stickum, the gooey substance famously used by Oakland Raiders defensive back Lester Hayes and receiver Fred Biletnikoff, among others, before it was banned three decades ago.

Super Bowl new to an old neighborhood –
You're just in time for the Lucas Oil Stadium neighborhood tour, where we find out how many different things can be within 12 blocks of a Super Bowl. It might be winter, but for this Roman numeral, everything is close to everything.

Giants’ Cruz catches attention along with passes -
But Sunday night, Cruz, who grew up in Paterson, N.J. — just a short ride from the Giants’ stadium — has a chance to be the Super Bowl’s version of baseball’s David Freese, a hometown product who overcame some personal demons and led his boyhood team to a world’s championship.

Super Bowl gets silly with wacky wagers, strange superstitions - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN
The Super Bowl is a week away, but it's already getting crazy out there:

NY Giants co-owner Steve Tisch and movie moguls Harvey and Bob Weinstein to throw a celebrity packed pep rally to cheer the team to the Super Bowl -
New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch and movie moguls Harvey and Bob Weinstein are throwing a Manhattan celebrity pep rally to cheer on the team as it prepares for the Super Bowl.

Raptors' Forbes pulling for good friend Cruz - Giants Blog - ESPN New York
Toronto Raptors reserve forward Gary Forbes will likely be flying from Miami to Washington D.C. during Super Bowl XLVI. But before the Raptors’ team charter plane takes off following next Sunday afternoon’s game against the Heat, Forbes will call one of his closest friends, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, to wish him luck.

Blackburn gets himself, fans geared up for big game | The Poughkeepsie Journal |
In one week, Chase Blackburn will be in Indianapolis, playing the biggest football game of his career. On Sunday, the Giants linebacker was in Poughkeepsie, meeting several hundred local fans hungry for another Super Bowl championship. "Life is good and the fans are pumped," Blackburn said at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center, where he signed autographs for fans as part of The Man Show. "They have a lot to be excited about, you know. I’m happy to be here and show my face on a couple of autographs, and give them a little encouragement. Try to come back with a win this week."

Super Bowl XLVI summons the higher ire of New York vs. Boston - Sacramento Living - Sacramento Food and Wine, Home, Health | Sacramento Bee
The rivalry that has produced the Curse of the Bambino, Bucky Dent, Bill Buckner, David Tyree's catch and disagreeing forms of clam chowder - exposing the nastiness of arrogance and an inferiority complex along the way - has returned. In the Super Bowl, no less. New York and Boston's vitriol might not be on the level of Yankees-Red Sox as the New York Giants and New England Patriots prepare for Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis on Feb. 5, but the deeply ingrained disdain between the Eastern corridor metropolises is in play.

In Super Bowl XLVI, NY Giants and New England Patriots meet again as hunter is now the hunted - NY Daily News
The theme of the last two weeks of the playoffs for the Giants was "revenge," but that’s not what they’re seeking this time. They’ll arrive in this Super Bowl city on Monday afternoon having already proven they’re good enough to beat the Patriots. The trick now is to do it again. As the Packers and 49ers found out the last two weeks, beating the same team twice in a season isn’t easy. Against a Hall of Fame-bound coach like Bill Belichick, it can be especially hard.

Whew. Lots of material to follow this week, so keep it here at BBV, and let's go Giants!