Random thoughts over random matters at random times

It wasn't easy...

(2012-01-08 18:51:04) 下一个
I\'ve seen lots of live games of different sports before, soccer, basketball, hockey, baseball, and football. I\'ve seen games at different stadiums in different cities and countries for different events. But today, it was my first live playoff game ever, New York Giants vs Atlanta Falcons. 24-2, if it weren\'t for the sack in their own end zone, it would have been a clean shutout.

I know a lot less about football than I do in soccer, basketball, or even hockey. It doesn\'t say much, but I am learning.

The score showed a clear cake walk, but I didn\'t have that impression till the 3rd touchdown. Afterwards, the Falcons clearly gave up. It was a cold but clear Sunday afternoon. Parking permits were sold out early, and fans in all kinds of Giants jersey or hats started their fun way before the kickoff. They parked the parking lots and road side with their beer cooler and BBQ gears. Lots of them were half drunk before the game, and their voices were broken before they saw the players entering the field. I was lucky to get some pretty good seats at the club section on first level (there were 3). As usual, you don\'t see difference in the crowd, despite the difference in race/age/occupation, you just see bunch of fans cheering for the home team, high-five each other after each good play. One petite blonde showed really strong high-five or a slap:)

I guess it\'s typical for a playoff game, each team started very cautiously. Both teams tried to establish their running game early without any surprise. But treading water is kind of boring for fans, especially for unknowledgable fans like myself. First down came in for either team untill it passed 11 minutes mark. Giants defense was very focused and solid from the get-go. Nothing spectacular, nor did the Falcons give them any reason to. But the Giants offense was nervous as well, trying too hard with the rush/running game. Yeah, no interception was possible, but it was too hard to get any movement going as well, for your opponent only needed to stop one play. The crowd was into the game - biting their nails, but there wasn\'t any real roaring or wild wave, for the home team didn\'t give them any reason to.

As I said, I don\'t know the game much, but maybe just like other sports - best paid star leaves his mark in the game, and makes it happen when the going gets tough. Midway through the second quarter, Giants was again at offense, again they were not moving, and again it was already 3rd down and 6. The play started, after some scrimmage, Falcons were running at Eli Manning, and Eli was trying to get away. I would have been satisfying if it wasn\'t a sack. But somehow, Eli got away, but he still had nowhere to pass. He kept moving forward, and his left just became open, and he kept running, till out of bounds, first down! He was lucky, and the Giants were lucky. But luck happens to prepared people. Eli was calm, he kept moving, and he went for it when the opening was there. If I recall correctly, from that moment on, the Giants started to play like a winner. They were sure about the plays, and they never looked back since.

Obviously, Nicks was a big star today with his two beautiful touchdowns, especially the second one. It was a pure beauty to watch those nimble feet dancing for that 70 some yards. But Eli turned on the game with that awkward and forced run for first down. The Falcons did have their chance, remotely. Both in first and second quarter, when both teams were playing cautiously with their running games. There were 2 occasions, Falcons were at 4th and 1. They chose to go for it, for it was deep in Giants half, at around 15-20 yards. They failed both times for that 1 yard. Giants defense stood up tall and firm, while the Falcons were too conservative and uncreative. Maybe, it could have been a totally different game, if the Falcons had squeezed out that one yard and gone on with offense. But, it\'s the playoff, you won\'t win if you just play not to lose.

I saw quite a few games at the Metlife Stadium this season. This game wasn\'t as exciting as the nail-biter loss to Green Bay; nor was it so electrifying as last game vs the Cowboys; the crowd was into it, as usual; the beer was such a ripoff, as usual; and it was super cold. But I really enjoyed it, because it\'s my first playoff game, and it ain\'t easy. Let\'s go, Giants!

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