New England Evil Empire 37, New York Plaxico Giants 20. Let's stipulate that the Giants are a very good football team. The tread marks on the back of Al Harris's uniform should be enough visual evidence for anyone. But they aren't playing my beloved Packers this time, with their rastafarian cornerbacks and their puzzling game plan. Now they are facing the EVIL EMPIRE.
Tom Brady may come off a little like Eddie Haskell at times, but you have to like his game. He's fearless, makes all the throws and in between all that manages to date one of the most beautiful women in the world. If I weren't already married to the most beautiful woman in the world, I might even be a bit jealous of the guy. But the key to this game is the defense. And I mean New England's defense.
The Patriot defense doesn't get a lot of attention, but it's been awfully good for a very long time now. They have pretty much everything you'd like - a run stuffing defensive line, active linebackers and a clever, aggressive secondary. It's easy to forget, given the amount of points the Patriots have scored this year, that the defense has had a lot to do with the perfect record they've put together. And they now have a little more motivation, thanks to the ill-advised trash talking undertaken by one Plaxico Burress, Giant wideout and T.O. wannabe. Mr. Burress has predicted that the Giants will win the game 23-17. Not gonna happen. A few guesses on what will happen:
- Laurence Maroney will play a major role.
- If a New England receiver makes a key catch, it will be either Donte Stallworth or Jabar Gaffney, not our ol' pal Randy Moss.
- Eli Manning will continue to play very well, but not well enough.
- Tom Petty will give a fine halftime concert and many Americans will say, "wait - he sang that?" at least a half-dozen times. And he won't have a wardrobe malfunction unless he wears the silly hat from the "Don't Come Around Here No More" video.
- Another undercapitalized internet startup or two will pop for big bucks for a 30 second ad that no one will understand and will then go out of business within six months.
- Mr. Dilettante will stop making picks on football games until August at the earliest.
Enjoy the game, kids.
ACTUAL RESULT: NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS 17, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 14. Congratulations to the Giants for a fine season. Tom Brady may be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, but I have yet to see a quarterback who was effective while lying in a crumpled heap on the turf. And I think all of America agrees - Don Shula and the rest of those smug '72 Dolphins should still shaddup.