by | Nov 21, 2008 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The truth is, the Chicago Bears were never really eliminated — they died and came back as the New York Giants.

Lock your doors. It’s the Blue Meanies this year. The Giants. They’ve won 10 in a row, and they’re one massacre away from the Super Bowl. I don’t like to use words such as awesome and destructive, but when the Giants’ defense comes off the field, you expect it to burp.

You want to know when Sunday’s playoff game was really over between New York and San Francisco? Second quarter, San Francisco ball, quarterback throws a perfect pass to wide receiver Derrick Crawford down the left sideline. Only Crawford never goes for it, never sees it.

What he does see is a Giants linebacker coming straight at him.

And he’s more worried about that than the ball.

That’s how rattled New York had the 49ers Sunday. Final score, 49-3. No, that is not a typo. The last time a playoff game was decided by 46 points, the Lions were in it.

They lost, by the way.

But let’s face it. In the Giants, we are looking at the latest team of destiny, ugly and rough and here it comes, terrorizing your neighborhood, stealing your footballs. No defeat. No surrender. No guilt.

“Was this the best you guys have played all year?” someone asked linebacker Carl Banks, after the victory over San Francisco by more than six touchdowns.

“Well, if you mean 1987, yeah,” he said.

Blue Meanies now.

‘Just Giant defense’

Forty-nine to three? Can that be right? This might have been the most lopsided game of the entire season, let alone the playoffs.

But these were the Giants Sunday. Nose tackle Jim Burt sent Joe Montana to the hospital, while Lawrence Taylor stole Montana’s pass and returned it for a touchdown.

Banks stuck to more chests than the Izod alligator. Taylor scared people just by breathing in their vicinity. When the Giants’ linebackers showed blitz, the only thing missing was the “West Side Story” music. They should have been snapping their fingers and singing, “There’s A Place For Us — Right In Your Nostrils.”

And after they stuffed the 49ers, and after they dumped the Gatorade bucket on coach Bill Parcells — certain to become the next trend hailed by New York magazine — after they became the first Giants team to reach a championship game since 1963, well, that’s when they became really scary.

That’s when they became . . . calm.

No screaming. No whooping. They showered, shaved and talked about Washington next week.

“You seem so low-key,” someone said to linebacker Harry Carson.

“Well,” he mused, rubbing his chin, “it wasn’t as if we won it in the final seconds, you know.”

“Why aren’t you guys more excited?” someone asked Banks.

“We just played typical Giant defense,” he said, reaching for his soap.

But we’re ignoring the Giants’ offense here. It was touchdown, Phil Simms, touchdown, Mark Bavaro, touchdown, Joe (“Yes, Jamie is my brother”) Morris, touchdown, Phil McConkey.

Phil McConkey? Yeah. He caught a touchdown pass, too. And what of it? The way the Giants dominated, Ernest and Julio could have run one in.

They racked up points like a kid at a video arcade. The only reason they stopped is that they ran out of quarters. Simms threw for four touchdowns and Morris ran for two and the Giants were done with this “big” game before most New Yorkers were done with Sunday brunch.

“It was one of those things today,” Parcells said. “Everything just went well.”

“Could anyone have beaten your team today?” he was asked.

“Yeah,” he said. “I’m sure there’s somebody.”

Name it.

We’re waiting. . . .

1987’s ‘Best Team Ever’

And now a word for the 49ers.


“We were shattered by a great team,” coach Bill Walsh said. “I believe they’ll go all the way.”

“The Giants,” 49ers guard Randy Cross said, “are this year’s ‘Best Team Ever.’ “

Well put. They are the Bears with an offense. The next target for that clever record producer with an eye toward the video. Of course, nothing is for certain. But if New York doesn’t win the NFC title next Sunday, it’ll be the biggest one-week drop since someone said to Ivan Boesky, “Hey, wait a minute. . . . “

Blue Meanies now.

As their mighty team marched off the field Sunday, the delirious Meadowlands fans began chanting: “We want Skins! We want Skins!”

If I played for Washington, I’d wear long sleeves next week.

The Giants might take them literally.


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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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