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Giants Fans Suffer Tough Win

October 29, 2012

Winning should feel good, but that’s not always the case when you’re a Giants fan.  After the Giants beat the Cowboys on Sunday 29-24, I went to a Halloween party and this is how almost every conversation went:

A friend would say, “Hey Hollie, great win today!”

And I would respond, “Ugh, it took years off my life.”

Then the friend would question, “But you won?”

And I’d say, “I know, but only the Giants can make winning feel like losing.”

It’s a unique talent, which the Giants have perfected over the years.  Almost every season they play a game like this one.  Remember the Bears game in 2007?  That game made me physically ill.  Admittedly, it would be worse to lose these games.  Winning is always better than losing.  Yet, it these wins are more excruciating than most loses.

It’s a phenomenon that is difficult to explain to those who root for other teams.  It is not as simple as your run-of-the-mill ugly win.  It’s special.  What makes it different?  It’s a combination of several factors.

First, there is an inability to capitalize on mistakes.   Replace just one of the field goals, after one of the several turnovers, with a touchdown, and the entire complexion of the game changes.

This goes hand in hand with not being able to put the game away.   The Giants had several opportunities to distance themselves from Dallas.  Again, one more touchdown would have done it or one more first down, but the Giants couldn’t accomplish either because of ultra-conservative play calling.

When it’s fourth and inches and a first down wins the game—Go For It!  Have the guts to call the play, get the first down and end the game on your terms.   That’s it!  Right there, that is the reason these types of games are so maddening for fans.  By playing too conservatively and not being able to capitalize on mistakes and put the game away, the Giants are giving away opportunities to control their own destiny, and fans are left praying to the football gods for a miracle.

Now sometimes the football gods listen, as they did yesterday, and Dez Bryant’s finger lands out of bounds.  Game saved.  The Giants should be grateful to the football gods, but it never should have gotten to get to that point.

As Giants fans, this is something we have come to live with.  We’re used to it.  If you’re not a Giants fan, I hope this helps to clear up why some of your friends, who are Giants fans, were miserable last night.  I’d also be interested to hear if your team does this to you.  Are there other teams out there that make winning feel like losing?

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