In the last game the Giants will ever play at Giants Stadium, the 2009 Giants decided to honor the team that ushered in the stadium, the 3-11 1976 Giants, by playing just like them. Actually they played worse. Craig Morton, Walker Gillette and John Mendenhall were nowhere in sight, but somehow their ghosts invaded Giants Stadium (and somehow they have ghosts even though they’re not dead yet), as this year’s edition played like a last place team. The final score was 41-9, but the game really wasn’t that close.
This game is probably beyond analysis, but we’ll try anyway. Tackling? Pathetic. Rushing? Pathetic. Defense? Pathetic. Offense? Pathetic. That pretty much covers it. With the season on the line, the Giants just didn’t show up, and now they’re as dead and buried as Jimmy Hoffa. And they closed out Giants Stadium in humiliating fashion, dishonoring all the teams that played before them. It was a sad and pitiful display of football, with the team showing no heart, pride, character or toughness. Other adjectives describing this game: Woeful, disappointing, deplorable, repulsive, rotten, putrid, noxious, painful, lacking, weak and craptastic. Fumbles, interceptions, a plethora of sacks allowed and a defense being shredded is no way to play a football game. Especially in a must-win situation. And here’s the saddest and loneliest stat: Brandon Jacobs gained one yard. I’ll say it again – one measly yard.
Last week’s smackdown of the Redskins was looking like a momentum shifter, but it turns out the only momentum that shifted was the vague idea that the Skins weren’t that bad. Apparently, the 45-12 score wasn’t because the Giants are good. The first five weeks of the season, the Giants looked like the best team in the NFL, but starting in week six, you never knew which Giants team would show up. We’ve now come to learn they’re just not that good this year. Their victories look like mirages now. We no longer have to wait for the “good” Giants to show up. They never existed in the first place.
Giants Stadium is a nondescript structure in the middle of a parking lot in the middle of a swamp. But it was our nondescript structure in the middle of a parking lot in the middle of a swamp. Sure, it saw Joe Pisarcik and Flipper Anderson, but two NFC Championship games were won there (by scores of 17-0 and 41-0 no less!), it was the Giants’ home while winning three Super Bowls and the greatest defensive player ever to play the game spent his whole career wreaking havoc there. Defense, smashmouth football and toughness were signatures of the Giants over the last 30 years or so, and this is how it all ended? The last memory of Giants Stadium is the hometown team being booed off the field. The Giants embarrassed themselves, they embarrassed their fans, they embarrassed their past and they embarrassed their stadium. What a way to go out.
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