Sound Heart but Giant Headaches about the Super Bowl

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Fingers crossed Big Blue will repeat Patriot win

By Josh Rogers

My head says the Giants won't win the Super Bowl this Sunday. It's not that I'm one of those doom and gloom Giants fans, although admittedly I was raised by one. No matter how bleak things look at the beginning of the season, I usually go in with the attitude of "Hey, if things break right this year, we could win it all."

It didn't start that way. The Giants were terrible my first few years watching football. To me, they were the team to root for at the beginning of the season, before teams like Dallas and Pittsburgh marched through the playoffs. I don't ever remember thinking-or even hoping-the Giants would make the postseason.

That all changed after Lawrence Taylor came to the Giants and they started making the playoffs somewhat regularly. For the team's past Super Bowls, my head and heart said they could win each time.

This year, it feels like a win so soon after the Giants shocked everyone and denied the Patriots' bid for perfection is asking too much. Of course the Pats would play hard, regardless of their opponent. Yes, they're not as seemingly invincible as they were four years ago, and yes, they have had a lot of turnover since then.

But when you get a win as sweet as Super Bowl XLII, human nature says you can't help but expect some payback-at least, my human nature does. I understand that there are people out there who always expect to be on top and are almost never disappointed. I'm an optimist: I think you can get more good than bad, but there have to be some limits.

Beating the Patriots again may be over the line.

The 2008 game was not only the most satisfying one to me and undoubtedly most other Giant fans Fox Sports has just ranked that game as the greatest of all 45 Super Bowls.

After a frustrating 2007 season, the Giants barely limped into the playoffs with no reason to think they could make the big game, let alone beat a team they had just lost to, a team with a perfect record that appeared to be about to make history. But Eli Manning outplayed Tom Brady, escaped that rush at the end and heaved that ball that David Tyree pinned to his helmet to set up the winning touchdown.

If they win this time, Eli would finally get his due as being as good or better than any other quarterback playing now. After a career spent underrated, he'd probably spend the rest of it getting as much or more credit than he deserved.

But then there's that damned and beloved heart talking again.

It'll do what it can. It'll make sure my body wears no Giants paraphernalia on game day because-to state the obvious-that would bring bad luck.

Such subtlety is lost on my 2-year-old son, who, like you, will be unlikely to even understand it when he's an adult. He'll do what he did for last week's championship game. He'll wear his Giants pajamas the night before, and while the game is presumably far from decided, he'll wear them again and hopefully Daddy will be happy in the morning.

We're doing what we can, including writing this column.

If I thought there were strong arguments suggesting the Giants were very likely to win, I would certainly not write them down. That'd be a jinx. Saying I think they'll lose might work as a reverse jinx.

It's all I can do. Go Big Blue.

Josh Rogers, contributing editor at Manhattan Media, is a lifelong New Yorker. Follow him @JoshRogersNYC.

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