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Giants and Red Sox: Two Teams; Two Different Directions

October 4, 2013

Our Giants (0-4, last place in NFC East)

Our New York Football Giants are bad.  Really bad.  Amazingly bad.  Can you even remember the last time they were this bad?

The Ray Handley years.  Those were dark times.  It didn’t get much better under Dan Reeves either. Remember how often Dave Brown would get sacked?  Eli has reminded me a lot of poor Dave Brown this season, when he pulls himself off the ground and looks around as if to say, “Hey, can we maybe try blocking these guys.”

For the record, Dave Brown was sacked 148 times in 54 games between 1994 and 1997 (thank you, Pro-Football-Reference.com).  That’s almost three times per game.  Eli has been sacked 14 times in four games this season, which is an average of 3.5 times per game.  Yeah, that’s worse.

On top of that, when the Giants played poorly, back in the day, I seem to remember it being the offense letting the defense down or vice versa.  I cannot remember a time when they were this bad across the board.  The offense is bad, the defense is bad and special teams are bad too.

Yet, they have talent.   That’s what makes this season so frustrating and mystifying. Eli Manning is not Dave Brown (no offense Dave Brown) and Tom Coughlin is not and never will be Ray Handley (take all the offense you want Ray Handley).  They’ve had injures, sure, but still it’s no excuse for how bad they have played.

The funny thing is, the Giants are far from out of it.  If they beat the Eagles on Sunday and Dallas loses to Peyton Manning and the Broncos, then the Giants would finish the day only one game back in the division.  It’s crazy, but they could still do this.

And if they don’t, at least we have the Red Sox.

Our Red Sox (97-65, AL East Champions)

Let’s take a moment to appreciate our 2013 Boston Red Sox and the magical season they have put together, before our battle against the Rays in the American League Division Series begins.  97 wins!  After losing 93 games last year, could you have ever imagined a turn around like this?  No matter what happens, this season has been incredible, and I give much of the credit to John Farrell and the great job Ben Cherington did building this team.

However, I’m not going to lie; the Rays scare me, more than any other team remaining.  They’re scrappy, they have good pitching and they don’t like us. They may also have momentum on their side, and, of course, there is the history: the ALCS in 2008 and Game 162 in 2011.  Those are difficult memories to erase.

If we had our choice of opponents, we probably would not have gone with the Rays. Losing to them will be painful.  On the other hand, beating them will feel so good (so good, so good).  If the Red Sox can pull this off, and I think they can, then revenge, sweet, sweet revenge will be ours.  What would make it even better is, if David Ortiz hits the go-ahead, eventual winning home run in Game 3 right off that smug “162 Landing” sign in left field.

I don’t think the Red Sox see this series as revenge though.  Unlike me, they have moved on.  That’s the beauty of this team.  They have put all the badness from 2011 and 2012 behind them.  They play to win the game at hand and don’t worry about anything else.

It’s clear; the Red Sox give us our greatest chance at happiness this year–sorry Giants.  Although, it’s still too early to rule them out.

Funny how things go, two years ago, the Giants were hoisting the Lombardi Trophy and the Red Sox were trying to rebound from one of the worst collapses in sports history.  Today, the Sox are on the verge of something very special and the Giants are circling the drain only four weeks into what could have been a good, if not great season.  I guess the lesson here is that not every year can be 2007.

Go Sox!

And for your continued reading pleasure, check out this New York Times article I found on Ray Handley from December of 1991.

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