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    "Mario Manningham just couldn't quite do it.

    He was asked to tout the "We get no respect" card again — just days before he
    and his Giants teammates depart for
    Super Bowl XLVI — and came close. Television reporters with cameras over their
    shoulders and microphones in their hands wanted to know if this group of Giants
    wide receivers was the best in the game. No, not the game. The entire NFL.

    He paused.

    "In some people's eyes, we're second," Manningham said, before adding: "To
    Green Bay. Or the Saints. I feel like we're up there with Green Bay. That's who
    I feel like we're up there with."

    There is little doubt left that the Giants' trio of wide receivers — Hakeem
    Nicks, Victor Cruz and Manningham — are among the elite units in the NFL.
    Simmering beneath the surface is a small desire for respect, but for right now
    they are content to let their exact worth be determined by debates in bar rooms
    and sports talk radio.

    The group is young and craving its first Super Bowl title. Because remember:
    None of them were around four years ago for the Super Bowl XLII win over the New
    England Patriots.

    "Not saying (other teams) aren't hungry, but we're hungry because we're so
    young," Manningham said. "We haven't been here before — none of us, ever played
    a playoff game. My first year (in 2008), I was inactive, but there's nothing
    like being out there playing. Yeah, I feel like we like being young. Not
    sticking out like we did the whole year as a receiving corps. I feel like they
    know who we (are) now."

    One of the biggest pieces to the success of the unit so far this season, has
    been the absence of egos. Something that rarely is found in NFL meeting

    "Swallow your pride and just know what you're here for," Manningham said.
    "You're here to win. As long you're winning, you can't complain."

    For Manningham, it has been particularly gratifying to see the Giants wide
    receiving unit reach new heights this season. When the year began, many only saw
    Nicks as the team's lone threat and imagined plenty of games where quarterback
    Eli Manning would be shut down.

    Instead, Cruz emerged alongside of Nicks as the team's biggest deep threat.
    Manningham has added an extra dynamic — especially in the playoffs, where he has
    caught a big late-game touchdown in every win.

    Now, three years after the Giants parted ways with their last big-time
    receiver Plaxico Burress after his gun incident in a Manhattan nightclub, the
    team is flourishing at the position again.

    "I feel like ever since Plax left, that's how it always is," Manningham said
    when asked if people will start believing in the wide receiver position now.
    "Every year, we've found a way to show everybody how good we can be and how good
    we are."


    Excerpt: "

    Add three more veteran New England Patriots — running back Kevin Faulk, tackle
    Matt Light and receiver Wes Welker — to the list of those who have no interest
    in revisiting their Super Bowl XLII loss.

    Light good-naturedly dismissed questions about that game twice with a wink.

    "I don't even think I was here in 2007," Light said.

    Later: "Again, I don’t think I was there for that one."

    All three of the players were with the team in 2007, among the seven
    holdovers currently on New England's 53-man roster.

    Faulk couldn't understand why the subject of seeking revenge for that game,
    in this year's Super Bowl XLVI rematch, was even brought up.

    "Why? How?" Faulk said. "Four years ago. So we were out here for four years,
    worrying about the New York Giants? It
    doesn't make any sense."

    He added: "We could take more from the game we lost against them in the
    regular season than the Super Bowl four years ago. That has no turnover at
    all."


    "On Friday, Jason
    Pierre-Paul said last week seemed to be taking forever
    . The follow-up
    question was about what he expected the two weeks before the Super Bowl to feel

    “Yeah, we’re going to be ready for that (game, too),” the Giants’ defensive
    end said then.

    Oh, he’s ready. With 10 days left before kickoff, this time period feels like
    it’s dragging for Pierre-Paul.

    “It does. I’m ready to play,” he said today. “Just see who’s going to be
    Super Bowl champions.”

    Still, Pierre-Paul realizes the down time is valuable for some people,
    including the
    seven players who sat out practice today
    : center David Baas (abdomen/neck),
    wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (shoulder), cornerback Corey Webster (hamstring),
    linebacker Jacquian Williams (foot), linebacker Chase Blackburn (calf), running
    back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) and cornerback/returner Will Blackmon (knee).

    “It’s kind of a time for everybody in here to get right, give everybody in
    here time to get healthy and do what they have to do to get healthy,”
    Pierre-Paul said. “We have to be ready man. Monday we get out there and then
    media day, three days, and other than that the last three days we have to
    practice hard. And it’s going to be a great Super Bowl.”

    * * * *

    TE Jake Ballard (knee) said he’s feeling much better. He’s been open and
    honest with his injury and the look he gave when he said that indicated he’s
    truly feeling much better."


    "Chase Blackburn was listed on the injury report as having a calf injury, but
    based on all the various bumps and bruises he's had, he wasn't sure which the
    Giants would mark him down with.

    Still, he's confident he'll be ready to go full speed tomorrow.

    "I was out today, for whatever reason it was just one of those days, I don't
    know what they put me on the list for, but it's just one of those days," he
    said. "I'll be back tomorrow, I'll go everything, i'll be fine tomorrow."

    Blackburn said there wasn't any ailment in particular that's bothering him
    more than the other and that there should be no lingering issues come game time.

    For C David Bass, who was out of practice with an ab contusion he suffered
    against the 49ers, he said he's also still receiving treatment for a neck issue
    that surfaced in early December, but that, like Blackburn, expects to be active
    in practice tomorrow.

    The injury report was amended to add his neck injury.

    "I got my neck issue and it should be fine," Baas said. "I mean, massage, ice
    all the normal stuff. But yeah, it'll be good, should be back out there tomorrow
    doing stuff."

    Tyler Sash, who suffered a concussion against the 49ers, said that he passed
    all the requisite tests and that he "should be fine." The injury occurred in the
    fourth quarter on Sunday.

    Mark Herzlich, who returned to practice last week from fractured ankle, but
    was inactive vs. 49ers, added this: "Feeling good. No problems with the ankle.
    It's like a numbers thing right now so we'll see kind of where the numbers out
    everyone and then if i can help, then great."


    Excerpt: "Eleven days to go and they’re already rattled in Boston.

    The fear fairly reeks from the headlines: “There’s no way Patriots lose to
    Giants again, right?” “Will the mistakes of Super Bowl XLII come back?”

    And this curious downer, which seemed less a comment on the past than a
    prediction of the future: “Patriots can’t avoid Super loss to Giants.”

    You think?

    Actually, the Boston sports writer meant to chide fans and players to
    remember their Super Bowl Alamo — a 17-14 loss to the Boys in Blue in 2008 — so
    as not to repeat the past in their Feb. 5 rematch in Super Bowl XLVI.

    But New Englanders, especially sports fans, have long memories (see “Bambino,
    Curse of, 1920-2004”). “There are a lot of people here who wanted San Francisco
    to win (in the NFC Championship),” said Boston native and Patriots fan Eileen
    Marr, “because we’re afraid of the Giants.”

    There it was. Plain and simple.

    New England blinked first.

    If you think there’s more than a little whiff of fear in the frigid New
    England air or concern about — dare we say it — the curse that haunted the Red
    Sox for 84 years after they traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees, then you’d be

    And it’s not just the writers. Anxiety is already bubbling up on Patriots
    message boards. One fan wrote to the Boston Herald, “giants are scary, brady
    will be on the ground a lot, eli is much better than he was 4 yrs ago.”

    Another wrote, “giants are peaking right now, pats are not.”

    And a third added, “history will repeat itself, AGAIN! … Giants are good on
    both sides of the ball, hope we have the schemes to overcome this team, just
    being real about it.”


    Excerpt: "When the Giants lost four straight between weeks 10 and 13, Las Vegas sports
    books boosted the odds on a futures bet for a Giants Super Bowl win to 80-1. Now
    bookmakers are worried about their exposure if the Giants win
    , according to
    a New York Times article today.

    In sports betting, futures bets are bets on a sport's champion made well
    before the championships, with odds varying according to developments along the
    way. The Giants were at 30-1 just after last year's Super Bowl, according to the
    Times, but that losing streak made the odds shoot up.

    Anybody holding a betting slip at 80-1? Comment below." Read more...



    Excerpt: "According to a projected injury report the Giants released Wednesday, three
    players -- WR Hakeem Nicks (shoulder), RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) and S Tyler Sash
    (concussion) -- would have been held of practice. That is, of course, if they
    had practice.

    But they're practicing today and six Giants are not participating. Nicks, who
    missed a few plays on Sunday when landed on his right shoulder when he was
    tackled, and Bradshaw are not practicing. They are joined by four surprises.

    The four are C David Baas (likely an abdominal contusion he suffered Sunday),
    CB Corey Webster (hamstring), CB/PR Will Blackmon (unknown), and LB Chase
    Blackburn (perhaps a stinger he suffered on Sunday).

    Sash apparently has passed the concussion tests and is practicing." Read more...


    "By now, Amanda Tynes knows what a good kicking “operation” looks like. And it
    doesn’t start with the low snap that nearly skidded off the wet Candlestick Park
    grass Sunday evening as her husband lined up for the
    second NFC Championship Game-winning kick
    of his career.

    So she looked away.

    Amanda never saw Steve Weatherford calmly control the ball. She never noticed
    him place it in the perfect spot. Never witnessed Lawrence’s foot make contact
    or the ball sailing through the uprights.

    She only saw, in her mind, the rain blowing in different directions,
    Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy
    Cundiff badly shanking a potential tying kick
    against the New England
    Patriots earlier in the day, family friend Matt Allen running with the ball
    after Trey Junkin’s low snap in 2003, Lawrence’s miss against the Falcons from a
    similar distance and, perhaps in the recesses of her memory, his two misses
    before the made 47-yarder at Lambeau Field four years earlier.

    “Settle down,” her husband tells her now, leaning on one elbow on the floor
    of the living room in the family’s Bergen County home, three days after that
    31-yard field goal sent the Giants to
    Super Bowl XLVI.

    “I’m a professional.”

    These professionals are also regular folks, with regular families that have
    regular nauseous feelings in times like these. Their wives want it badly for
    their husbands, for their careers and for their friends. It’s arguably more
    nerve-wracking for them than the players because they have no control over the

    And to be the wife of a kicker, perpetually the least-appreciated member of
    the roster who’s either a goat or hero … and nothing in between?

    “People are like, ‘You have the hardest job.’ I’m usually the calmest person,
    but in the playoffs, I’m not,” Amanda said as her 4-year-old sons, Caleb and
    Jaden, pieced together a puzzle nearby. “Abby Manning was like, ‘My stomach was
    in my throat. How did you do that?’ I told her I almost fainted.”

    Just like four years ago, when Amanda had trouble looking up after the
    misses in Green Bay.
    Watching alone in an apartment in Clifton about five
    months after the birth of her sons (and an extended hospital stay because they
    were born two months premature), she let out a muted yelp after the final kick,
    ran into the bedroom where the babies’ nanny was and jumped on the bed in

    The Giants were going to the Super Bowl — or as Caleb and Jaden now call it,
    the “Super Goal.”

    This year, Amanda and her “support group” consisting of Kimberly Jacobs,
    Megan Tollefson and Laura Weatherford traveled to the road playoff games. The
    wives who have been through the Super Bowl process before understand the
    enormity of it, so they’re much more nervous than the first-timers.

    “Everyone was kind of on edge this past week,” she said. “Kim was sitting
    next to me and she was talking about forgetting (her son) Brayden’s belt to
    karate. It’s no big deal, we do it all the time.

    “And she just loses it. I knew at that point …”

    Even the kids were feeling the pressure.

    Caleb, who along with Jaden attends a Montessori school, had a young girl
    walk up to him, point her finger in his face and say, “Your daddy better win on

    “She’s in first or second grade,” an exasperated Amanda said. “I asked,
    ‘What’s that girl’s name?’”

    Lawrence interjected, “That’s where it starts. You know she watches football
    with her dad.”

    It’s all somewhat funny at this point because Tynes made the kick. Had he
    not, things might have been different. If he didn’t have that third shot in
    Green Bay (and made it), he realizes he probably wouldn’t be a Giant right

    These are the things that pass through Amanda’s mind.

    “Afterward they said (Sunday’s) games were decided by two chip-shot field
    goals. There’s no such thing!” Amanda exclaimed. “In those conditions, I was
    worried about extra points.”

    During that final field goal, Kim held her hand, Megan had her arm and Laura
    pretty much enveloped her. Like Kim with the karate belt, one emotion took over
    after the screams and hugs told her Lawrence ignored the swirling winds and
    trusted his left-to-right pregame read.
    She began bawling.

    Brandon Jacobs ran over, grabbed all of them by their rain-soaked ponchos and
    lifted them over the railing and onto the field. Amanda, guided by Giants vice
    president of communications Peter John-Baptise, found Lawrence, hugged and
    kissed him.

    Wearing her pink wool hat with the No. 9 on the front, as well as her pink
    poncho, she unknowingly posed for photos with an expression dubbed “ugly cry
    face” by Lawrence and Steve Weatherford.

    “He texted me a picture of myself, ‘How about this ugly cry face?’?” she said
    of Weatherford. “So I found the one of him and texted back, ‘How about your ugly
    cry face? And your chin strap was stuck on your head. That’s a double

    Said Lawrence: “That’s what makes the game so fun, that reaction right there.
    Grown men in uniforms celebrating like kids.”

    This time, Amanda and Lawrence are bringing the kids to the Super

    While Jaden tends to get a bit distracted by stadium big screens and a search
    for a mascot the Giants don’t have, Caleb understands the game a bit. Both boys
    remind Lawrence to “kick it high and far, Daddy.”

    In the end, they might be professionals, but they’re also fathers.

    And if Lawrence needed a reminder, he needed only to hear how Amanda, unable
    to sleep on the red-eye flight home Sunday, was watching a local newscast with
    live shots of the players leaving the Giants’ facility. Like Kim Jacobs, Kate
    Snee and a few other wives seated around her, she knew her husband had to hurry
    the kids to school.

    Once again, she was nervously rooting for him.

    “The reporter says, ‘None of the guys are really stopping to talk,’ and said
    specifically, ‘We tried to talk to Lawrence Tynes but he waved and went on,’?”
    Amanda recalled. “I’m like, ‘He better be waving. He has to get home!

    “?‘Don’t stop! You need to get home! Go!’?”


    "As the Giants prepare for their fifth
    Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, the most prominent member of the
    franchise’s first two championship teams is trying to piece his life

    Lawrence Taylor was interviewed on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL,” which will
    air tonight at 9 pm. In the interview Taylor addressed his 2010 arrest for
    having sex with a 16-year-old girl. He was sentenced to six years probation as
    part of a plea agreement, in which he pled guilty to the misdemeanors of sexual
    misconduct and patronizing a prostitute.

    “This is an underage girl but all I could do is ask the question, how old are
    you?” Taylor said. “That’s all I could do. That’s all I could do is ask the
    question. Now, whether or not the girl was under-age, yes, okay, she turned out
    to be underage. I’m sitting in the dagum police station and wondering, ‘Oh wow,
    what time am I going to be let out of here? If I can play golf, I’ve got a tee
    time at 7 o’clock.’ I didn’t realize how serious it was until we sat down and
    had an interview.

    “What was I thinking? According to my wife, I wasn’t thinking and she reminds
    me of that every day for the last year-and-a-half. We, as boys, think that we
    can do certain things and we’re still going to have that same life we did when
    we were younger, and sometimes my decision process is not very good. I make
    mistakes and I make bad decisions. Do I wish this had gone another way and that
    that day had never happened? Of course I do. The embarrassment I gave my family,
    the embarrassment of myself.”

    Taylor admitted he’s had difficulty adjusting to life after football, which
    has included a number of arrests and, for years, a drug problem. He said he’s
    been clean for 13 years.

    "As a football player, I know everything about football, I mean as far as
    defense and stuff," he said. "I know what every player is supposed to do. I know
    where every player is supposed to be. I can see the play before it happens. I
    know where I’m supposed to be. I know how to manage a football game. The problem
    with me is, sometimes, managing my life. Because I make a lot of bad decisions
    and that’s the process that I’m going through now.

    “For years, I had no discipline. I could do what I wanted to do as far as
    playing in New York. I could do what I wanted to do as long as it was still
    within the law. Life…sometimes it just throws you some curves and just have to
    realize that this is a different time and different age and you have to tell
    yourself to be a man, boy."

    The Hall of Fame linebacker also lamented the NFL’s offensive evolution and
    strict rules against certain contact.

    “They still play defense in the NFL? I didn’t know that,” he said. “I thought
    it was a free-for-all. Everybody just run, run, run. The only people I see
    playing defense right now is the New York Giants defensive line.

    “How do you instill fear into a player if you can’t make contact – I mean
    serious contact – with him? Guys, we used to hit where guys would be blowing
    snot bubbles. That’s what I’m talking about. That’s how you make a player scared
    to play you. When I was playing back in the days, I always prided myself on
    being a very clean player but thorough. When I went through you, I went through
    you. I want to go through because that’s how you make people say, ‘Well, I
    really don’t want to be hit by him so many times.’”


    "The Giants and Patriots enjoyed a rare Wednesday off today, but the teams
    still released projected injury reports for those interested.

    In the case of the Giants, if they were to have practiced today WR Hakeem
    Nicks (shoulder), S Tyler Sash (concussion) and Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) would have
    been held out. DE Osi Umenyiora would have been limited.

    Nicks was driven onto his right shoulder on a tackle against the 49ers, but
    was back on the field a few plays later. Sash didn't return after suffering his
    concussion Sunday, but Tom Coughlin told reporters on Monday that he was feeling
    better on the flight back to Newark after the game. Bradshaw has only practiced
    once a week since returning from a fractured foot injury in the first week of

    Umenyiora has been limited in practice since returning at the end of the
    regular season.

    For the Patriots, only one player -- and a prominent one -- would've been
    held out if they were to have practiced today: TE Rob Gronkowski. The
    second-year tight end, who has 20 touchdowns this season including the
    postseason, suffered an ankle injury against Baltimore on Sunday and his status
    for the Super Bowl is up in the air.

    A whopping 12 Patriots would have been limited today.

    They are:

    WR Wes Welker (knee)
    WR Deion Branch (knee)
    S Patrick Chung
    LB Rob Ninkovich (hip)
    G Logan Mankins (knee)
    LB Brandon Spikes
    T Marcus Cannon (ankle)
    LB Dane Fletcher (thumb)
    S James
    Ihedigbo (shoulder)
    DL Kyle Love (ankle)
    T Sebastian Vollmer
    LB Tracy White (abdomen)

    Both teams will practice tomorrow."



    Excerpt: "It was right before the Giants-Packers game in Green Bay when Carl
    , who helped win Super Bowls once for the Giants on defense, called his
    old coach and asked him if defense still wins championships in the NFL, because
    you sure couldn’t tell from the regular season. Bill Parcells laughed
    and told him, “Jam their tight end today and find out.”

    The Giants did a bit more than that at Lambeau. Now it was a week later, at
    Candlestick Park, and Banks, who does such a terrific job on the Giants radio
    broadcasts with Bob Papa, was sitting
    outside the Giants locker room, smiling, because this Giants team, on this night
    of oldtime football, had answered his question.

    “It turns out defense does still win championships in this league,” Carl
    Banks said.

    It won the NFC Championship for the Giants Sunday night, nearly did the same
    for the 49ers. And as much as we still talk about what Eli Manning did the
    last time the Giants won it all, as much as Eli earned his Super Bowl MVP, you
    know the biggest reason the Giants won that game, and why the Patriots didn’t
    end up 19-0 that year:

    It was Michael Strahan,
    and Justin Tuck, and Osi
    . And Jay Alford had big hits
    that night in Glendale, Ariz. The Giants won the game because they won the fight
    against Tom Brady and what had
    been one of the great offenses in NFL history.

    “They hit Brady hard from the first series,” Ernie Accorsi said
    last week, “and when that happens, you’re looking around the rest of the

    Tuck, who had the game of his life in Glendale, is still here, so is Osi. Mathias Kiwanuka,
    who missed that Super Bowl with an injury, is healthy now. Chris
    is the player the Giants thought they were getting. Jason
    ? He has become an ascendant star of his sport.

    Now the guys up front try to do it to Brady again in Indianapolis. Believe
    they can do it to Brady again, have believed since the start of the playoffs
    they are playing defense better than anybody. And kept proving it Sunday when
    their season was on the line in the fourth quarter and overtime, when the whole
    thing already felt like sudden death at Candlestick Park.

    It really started when the 49ers, trailing 17-14, had a second-and-goal on
    the Giants’ 10-yard line, around six minutes left in the game. If the 49ers had
    gotten a touchdown there, maybe they are the ones going to Indy. But they
    didn’t. And didn’t come close to scoring a touchdown the rest of the day.

    The 49ers ran 14 plays starting with that second down, not counting punts and
    the field goal David Akers was about
    to kick. And the only time they really gained yards down the field was the last
    play of regulation from their own 38, four seconds left on the clock. The Giants
    dropped all the way back and let Alex Smith
    complete a pass to Delanie Walker for
    29 yards, and as soon as Walker was on the ground, it was overtime at
    Candlestick."


    "Don't ask Michael Boley what
    happened the last time the Giants met the New England Patriots in a Super Bowl.
    Aside from whatever he has seen on the highlights, the linebacker wouldn’t

    “I don’t watch the Super Bowl if I’m not in it,” he said. “I’ve been like
    that since I came into the league.”

    Boley won’t watch this year’s Super Bowl XLVI showdown with the Patriots,
    either, because he will be busy trying to win it. Seven years in the NFL have
    taught Boley how rare these opportunities are. So in this, his first trip to the
    Super Bowl, he wants to finish the job.

    He has already missed so many Super Bowls that he can’t even remember the
    last one he actually watched. And, until this season, he had played in just one
    playoff game, suiting up for the Falcons’ 30-24 wild-card loss to the Arizona
    Cardinals in 2008

    “That’s why I get it,” he says. “It’s hard to come by.”

    And that’s why Boley is doing his best to keep the rest of the Giants’
    linebacking corps focused. Boley, fellow veteran Chase Blackburn and
    rookies Greg Jones and Jacquian Williams
    will face perhaps their greatest challenge of the season in New England’s
    dangerous tight end duo of Rob Gronkowski and

    Gronkowski and Hernandez created matchup problems all season and have been
    even more effective in the playoffs, combining for 353 receiving yards and four
    TDs in the Patriots’ two games. Their standing in the Tom Brady-led offense has
    grown, so much so that coach Bill Belichick loves
    to move both players all over the field.

    The Giants believe they can match Gronkowski and Hernandez, because they have
    battled through a string of quality tight ends ever since facing the Jets’ Dustin Keller on
    Christmas Eve. Only San Francisco’s Vernon Davis, who
    scored twice last week, managed to find the end zone in that span.

    “From week to week it has been a similar thing for us as far as our game
    plan,” Boley says.

    Much of that burden has fallen to the linebackers. Boley said the group did
    “OK” against Gronkowski and Hernandez in the Giants’ 24-20 regular-season
    victory over New England, but the duo still combined for 146 yards and two TDs.
    Since then, Boley says, his unit has “meshed more” and Williams, who forced a
    critical Kyle Williams fumble
    last week, has found his role in the defense.

    “Jacquian could be huge,” Boley says.

    Boley will make sure the rookie is ready. After all, as the veteran knows
    well, these opportunities don’t come along often."


    "Gronk Nation will have to hold its breath for another day.

    Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski who
    along with NFL-playing brothers Dan and Chris have developed a following that
    has its own website — was listed on the team’s injury report as “DNP” Wednesday
    even though the Patriots did not practice. Both the Giants and Patriots had to
    estimate each player’s participation. Gronkowski is nursing a sprained left
    ankle that he sustained in last Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.

    On Monday, the second-year Patriots TE was wearing a protective boot on his
    left foot, but did not speak with reporters. Multiple Boston media reports have
    said that Gronkowski will play in the Super Bowl, citing sources. Gronkowski
    tied an NFL record for most touchdown receptions in a postseason game when he
    hauled in three against Denver.

    Gronkowski was a favorite target of QB Tom Brady all season
    and finished with 1,327 receiving yards, which surpassed Kellen Winslow’s
    1980 record (1,290) for most receiving yards by a tight end. Gronkow-ski had 18
    TDs - 17 receiving, which is also a record for tight ends - and 90 catches
    during the regular season.

    The Patriots also listed 12 players as “limited” including WRs Deion
    (knee), Wes Welker (knee), S
    Patrick Chung
    (knee), S James Ihedigbo
    (shoulder), G Logan Mankins
    (knee), and LB Brandon Spikes


    "It was the night before the Giants played the undefeated Packers in December
    and it was a time when they had lost three in a row and it looked as if they
    might not win another game.

    They had lost to the 49ers and Eagles, been embarrassed the previous Monday
    night by the Saints and now were playing the Super Bowl champion Packers.

    So it was the perfect time for Tom Coughlin to call
    on Lt. Col. Greg Gadson to
    deliver the night-before-the-game speech. Gadson, who lost both his legs on May
    7, 2007 in Baghdad when a roadside bomb went off, became a member of the Giants
    family that season through former Army teammate Mike Sullivan, a
    Giants assistant coach.

    He has become their inspirational leader.

    His powerful message to the players the December night in New Jersey: Live
    for the moment.

    “One of the things that I’m able to remind myself and remind people is there
    are no guarantees in life,” Gadson said by phone Wednesday from his office in
    Alexandria, Va., as he recalled the speech. “You can’t even play for tomorrow.
    You have to stay in the moment and play for that day because your life, your
    career, can change very quickly. I’m living evidence and living proof of that.
    Understand the situation you are in and the opportunities and always make sure
    you leave it on the field.”

    He was a constant presence during the Super Bowl run four years ago and has
    been on the sidelines in his wheelchair for the playoff games this year against
    the Falcons, Packers and 49ers, sitting on the defensive end of the bench. He
    was also there for the NFC East clinching in the final game of the regular
    season against the Cowboys. He’s been around the team the last five seasons,
    making one or two speeches a year. He braved the minus-23 wind chill for the
    title game in Green Bay in 2008.

    “He is an incredible man,” Coughlin once said. “A powerful man. The power of
    spirit. That is what he has really done for us, just the idea that the spirit
    rises above all these adverse conditions. He is still the same man that he
    always was. He just had a terrible thing happen to him, which he is not going to
    hold him back.”

    The Giants lost that regular-season game to the Packers, but saved their
    season. They lost by a field goal on the final play, but it convinced them they
    could play with anybody. They’ve won six of their last seven games, including
    the last five. They have left it all on the field.

    “It was clear that day that they could play with what the NFL thought was the
    best and they went toe-to-toe,” Gadson said. “They came out of that game, even
    though it was a loss, with some confidence. You can win and play horrible and
    play good games and lose. In life sometimes you got to be able to sort those
    situations out.”

    There are 15 Giants who remain from the Super Bowl four years ago, and Gadson
    has developed a close relationship with Eli Manning, Justin
    , Osi Umenyiora and Chris

    The constant, of course, is Coughlin. “He’s a dedicated man,” Gadson said.
    “One of the best leaders I’ve been around. He just cares with every fiber of his
    body and soul.”

    In the Jets game, Coughlin got run over on the sidelines and hurt his leg. He
    was looked at by the trainers on the bench, quickly got up and limped back to
    his spot on the sidelines. “He’s had to be resilient this year,” Gadson said.
    “The injury got him on the sidelines and he just powered through it. You talk
    about being a leader and leading by example, that’s what he did. He set the

    Gadson is still on active duty with the Army. He’s the director of the Army
    wounded warrior program that provides support to injured soldiers and their
    families. “Our motto is the path to independence is really about resiliency,” he
    said. “We really don’t have a lot of control over what happens in our life, and
    it’s foolish to think that we do. You are going to have your moments in life and
    you prepare yourself to deal with them. It’s okay to fight, it’s okay to
    struggle, I think that is what life is all about. You are not living life to its
    fullest if you’re not maximizing your abilities.”

    This Giants team has certainly struggled. But it has also persevered and
    shown great resilience. Now they will try to be the first team to win the Super
    Bowl after being just 9-7.

    The turnaround started in the Green Bay game
    in December. They heard from Gadson, but he’s reluctant to say how much of an
    impact he made with his speech.

    “I know that I have a special relationship with them and they do appreciate
    whenever I talk to them,” he said.

    Gadson was presented with a Super Bowl XLII championship ring as a sign of
    the Giants’ appreciation. Now they will try to get themselves — and him —
    another one."


    , the feisty matriarch of the Giants who took on Hall of Fame
    quarterback Terry Bradshaw, is
    recovering at home after breaking her shoulder in a fall on Monday.

    Mara, 82, suffered the injury just hours after she and the Giants returned
    from San Francisco following their 20-17 overtime victory in the NFC
    Championship Game. After arriving back in New Jersey, she went to church and
    fell as she was returning to her seat after receiving communion, according to a
    team spokesman.

    John Mara, Ann’s son and
    co-owner of the Giants, told ESPN - which first reported the story - that his
    mother is “probable” for Super Bowl XLVI.

    Given what the world saw on
    Sunday night, it would take a lot more than a little injury to keep Ann Mara
    away from Indianapolis on Feb. 5. The widow of Wellington Mara
    became an instant fan favorite - and a viral Internet sensation - when she
    interrupted Bradshaw’s postgame interviews on live TV on Sunday night, wagged
    her finger at him and scolded him for always picking against the

    Bradshaw, working for Fox, was trying to interview Victor
    , and John Mara was off to the side trying to stop his mother’s pursuit.
    But she persisted and jabbed Bradshaw with her finger until he apologized. She
    then smiled and walked away.

    On Tuesday, Giants players were delighted by
    her passion.

    “I like her attitude,” Eli Manning said. “And
    I like the way she spoke her mind about something she cares deeply

    Added Antrel Rolle: “Hey,
    that’s what it’s about, man. When I say ‘All on deck,’ I don’t mean just the men
    in the locker room.”

    RB Ahmad Bradshaw
    (foot), WR Hakeem Nicks
    (shoulder), and S Tyler Sash
    (concussion) would not have participated if the Giants had practiced on
    Wednesday. They did not practice, but were required to issue a “projected”
    injury report. DE Osi Umenyiora
    (knee/ankle) would’ve been limited."


    "One of the greatest players in Giants history is still battling through one
    of the most frustrating periods of his life.

    Lawrence Taylor
    enjoys watching his old team, but he’s still struggling to get past his most
    recent transgression, a 2010 arrest for having sex with a 16-year-old girl. And
    on Wednesday, for the first time, the 52-year-old Hall of Famer discussed the
    issue, speaking on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.”

    “I’ve taken the long road on a lot of different things,” said Taylor, who has
    also battled drug and alcohol addiction. “I’ve taken the long road, you know,
    like when I had my drug problem. Yeah, I’ve been clean for almost 13 years now,
    but it took me a while. I had to learn... I took the long road.”

    A remorseful Taylor, who nearly came to tears a few times during the
    12-minute interview, said he hears about the May 2010 incident “every day, every
    day, every day.”

    “According to my wife, I wasn’t thinking,” he said, “and she reminds me of
    that every day for the last year and a half. We, as boys, think that we can do
    certain things and we’re still going to have that same life we did when we were

    Taylor hardly has that now. He was sentenced to six years of probation last
    March for patronizing a prostitute and sexual misconduct. He must now register
    as a sex offender.

    “Do I wish this had gone another way? Of course I do,” Taylor told James
    and Cris
    . “As a football player, I know where I’m supposed to be. I know
    how to manage a football game. The problem with me is sometimes managing my
    life. I make a lot of bad decisions. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a
    proud person and I’m going to walk it like I talk it, but the worst thing about
    the whole situation . . . is the embarrassment. That’s where I can’t get past
    right now.”

    Perhaps the highlight of the interview came when Collinsworth asked Taylor
    “what makes you think you changed?”

    Taylor quickly responded, “I never told you I was different. I never told you
    that. I never said I was different. I realized that times have changed and there
    are consequences for every action. No matter if you think it’s innocent, there
    are consequences for every action.”

    To that Collinsworth responded, “but that wasn’t innocent. This was an
    underage girl. That’s pretty serious.”

    Taylor responded: “This is an underage girl, but all I could do is ask the
    question, ‘How old are you?’” he said. “That’s all I could do. That’s all I
    could do is ask the question. Now whether the girl was underage, yes, OK, she
    turned out to be underage. I’m sitting in the daggone police station wondering,
    ‘What time I’m going to be let out here so I can go play golf?’ I didn’t realize
    how serious it was until we sat down for an interview.”



    Excerpt: "He had finally rung himself dry after spending nearly four hours out in the
    rain and as the great triumph in San Francisco became part of very-recent
    history, Justin Tuck was immediately asked to look back, to Super Bowl XLII, and
    to look ahead, to Super Bowl XLVI, to the Patriots, again.

    Four years later, Tuck understands — as the player who savaged Tom Brady back
    then — he is not the same player hoping to throw Brady on the turf Feb. 5 inside
    Lucas Oil Stadium.

    “I think I was a no-name at that time,’’ Tuck said. “They didn’t know
    anything about me, they didn’t take into account of who I was.’’



    In so many ways, Tuck symbolized the Giants then and he represents what they
    are now. His transformation is the Giants’ transformation and they had better
    realize that before they get to Indianapolis. This trip will not be taken by a
    little team that could, despite the 9-7 regular season and the high-wire act
    required simply to squeeze into the playoffs. Four years ago, the Giants were a
    12-point underdog to the perfect Patriots and anyone who picked them did so for
    reasons outside of football logic.

    On Feb. 3, 2008, the Patriots did not overlook the Giants because that’s not
    Bill Belichick’s way but they weren’t viewed as seriously then as they are
    today. Remember when Brady caught wind of Plaxico Burress’ prediction in The
    Post that the Giants would win the game 23-17? Brady couldn’t hold back a wide
    smile. “We’re only going to score 17 points?’’ Brady asked before a hearty
    chuckle. “OK. Is Plax playing defense?’’

    Presumably, Brady knew Justin Tuck was playing defense. If he did not know it
    before the stunning 17-14 upset to ruin the Patriots’ undefeated season, he knew
    it after Tuck brutalized the pristine New England quarterback with two sacks,
    two quarterback hits and one forced fumble.

    It is worth recalling that Tuck introduced himself to the national stage with
    that game. After all, he started only twice the entire 2007 season, playing
    behind Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora. Sure, Tuck had 10 sacks, but it was
    not until that night in Glendale, Ariz., that he burst onto the scene.

    In some ways, Tuck would like to recreate that scenario but neither he nor
    his team can hide in the weeds this time around.

    “A lot of people haven’t given us a shot and I think we kinda like it that
    way,’’ Tuck said this week, “so all you oddsmakers out there keep rooting
    against us.’’

    Sounds good, but it won’t work. No one foresaw this playoff run, but knocking
    out the 15-1 Packers at Lambeau Field gave these Giants legitimacy and the way
    they escaped Candlestick Park stamped them as tough enough for anything. The
    Patriots this time are favored, but only by three points." Read more...


    Excerpt: "New York is a tough town that demands tough teams. Teams that get knocked
    down, get back up, and stand tall as a tower again. But we’re romantics, too. We
    can fall head over heels for the long shot that came out of nowhere against all
    odds. Teams that believed, when no one else believed in them. They can capture
    our imaginations and steal our hearts too.

    My message for these Giants is this: Win this last game. Beat Tom Brady and
    Bill Belichick in Super Bowl XLVI and leave one of those forever footprints on
    the soul of this city.

    Because there is no better place to win than New York.

    And no worse place to lose. No one remembers the loser. Ask the Super Bowl
    XXXV Giants about that.


    This is the game that gets you a parade up the Canyon of Heroes. This is the
    game that gets you that precious Super Bowl ring. This is the game that changes

    Your chance to make history. Don’t blow it. Seize the moment. Let New York
    embrace you as only New York can, and has. Of the 55 New York teams that have
    won championships, some stand above the rest:


    Johnny Podres shuts out Yankees in Game 7, and it’s no more “wait till next”
    year for Dem Bums.

    1968 JETS

    Broadway Joe Namath guaranteed the monumental upset that changed his life,
    and the course of pro football. The AFL joined the NFL establishment. Men
    immediately began growing Fu Manchus, or rushed out to purchase fur coats and
    were no longer afraid to wear white shoes, even in the dead of winter. If you
    were a Jets fan on Jan. 12, 1969, you don’t have to be reminded that you still
    are waiting for your second championship.

    1969-70 KNICKS

    The Team of Teams, offering a clinic on the right way to play the game. Share
    the ball. Hit the open man. An inspirational Willis Reed hobbling onto the court
    and the Garden rising as one and Goliath Wilt Chamberlain sagging. Clyde Frazier
    seizing the inspiration and dominating Game 7.

    1969 METS

    Cubs fans, and Ron Santo, were certain this was going to be the year. The
    Amazin’s had other ideas. Only seven years after Casey Stengel kept asking,
    “Can’t anyone here play this game?” the Mets became lovable for something other
    than the misadventures of Marvelous Marv Throneberry. The Franchise, Tom Seaver
    ... Tommie Agee’s Game 3 World Series catches against the Orioles ... Ron
    Swoboda’s Game 4 catch ... Cleon Jones catching Davey Johnson’s flyball in left
    field and kneeling with the championship in his glove." Read more...


    "1. Victor Cruz’s 99-yard TD vs. Jets

    Dec. 24

    Not only did Cruz’s record-tying catch and run start the Giants’ turnaround,
    but it also started the Jets’ downward spiral. Big Blue were trailing 7-3 near
    the end of a dreary first half when Cruz hauled in a short pass from Eli Manning
    and outmaneuvered a host of Jets for a back-breaking touchdown that propelled
    the Giants to a 29-14 win. They haven’t lost since.

    2. Jason Pierre-Paul’s blocked field goal at Cowboys

    Dec. 11

    Given a second chance after coach Tom Coughlin iced Dallas kicker Dan Bailey
    with a last-moment timeout, Pierre-Paul capped a huge night by deflecting
    Bailey’s last-second, 47-yard attempt that would have sent the game into
    overtime. Instead, the Giants escaped with a 37-34 win that snapped a four-game
    losing streak.

    3. Hakeem Nicks’ Hail Mary at Packers

    Jan. 15

    Green Bay apparently thought Manning was going to play for a field goal with
    six seconds left in the first half of the divisional playoff at Lambeau Field,
    because the Giants caught the Packers flat-footed — literally. Manning heaved a
    perfectly arched 37-yard floater into the left corner of the end zone that Nicks
    snatched out of the air for a touchdown. That gave Big Blue a 20-10 halftime
    lead, and the Giants never looked back.

    4. Jacquian Williams strips Kyle Williams in OT at 49ers

    Jan. 22

    Kyle Williams’ earlier muffed punt had enabled the Giants to take the NFC
    Championship into overtime, and Jacquian Williams’ strip of San Francisco’s
    fill-in returner midway through the extra session set up Lawrence Tynes’ 31-yard
    field goal and sent Coughlin’s team back to the Super Bowl for the second time
    in five years.

    5. Cruz’s 44-yard, David Tyree-like spin catch vs. Cowboys

    Jan. 1

    Facing a win-or-go-home game with their arch-rivals in Week 17, the Giants
    got a clutch play in the fourth quarter from Cruz that looked a lot like Tyree’s
    famous grab in Super Bowl XLII. Boxing out Dallas cornerback Orlando Scandrick,
    Cruz came down with a 44-yard pass over the middle to set up a Lawrence Tynes
    field goal and send the Giants on their way to the playoffs after the Cowboys
    had cut their deficit to 21-14.

    6. Tony Romo’s missed throw to Miles Austin at Cowboys

    Dec. 11

    Leading the Giants 34-29 with 2:25 left, Romo had a golden chance to put the
    Giants away — and most likely end their playoff hopes — when Miles Austin got
    wide open behind their secondary on a fly pattern down the right sideline. But
    Romo’s third-down throw was too strong, missing Austin’s outstretched hands by
    inches and allowing the Giants to complete their furious rally for the win.

    7. Kenny Phillips forces fumble by Ryan Grant, at Packers

    Jan. 15

    The Giants were holding a fragile, 23-13 lead midway through the fourth
    quarter when Aaron Rodgers found Grant, the former Giant, with a short pass to
    the left side that Phillips alertly stripped. The fumble led to Chase
    Blackburn’s 40-yard return to the 4-yard line and a Manning touchdown pass to
    Mario Manningham that sealed the playoff win.

    8. Lawrence Tynes’ 31-yard FG sends Giants to Super Bowl, at 49ers

    Jan. 22

    Just as he had done four years ago at frigid Lambeau Field, the reliable
    Tynes punched the Giants’ ticket to The Big Game with a picture-perfect overtime
    field goal. Tynes’ effort may have been more impressive this time because Zak
    DeOssie’s snap was low, forcing holder Steve Weatherford to scramble to get the
    ball in place on the soggy Candlestick Park turf just in time for Tynes’ foot to
    make contact.

    9. Jake Ballard’s DIVING 1-yard TD catch at Patriots

    Nov. 6

    Tom Brady hadn’t lost to an NFC opponent at home in nearly a decade until
    Ballard’s clutch scoring grab of a Manning pass with 15 seconds left rallied the
    Giants to a stunning victory at Gillette Stadium. Considered little more than a
    blocking tight end at Ohio State, the undrafted Ballard looked like Mark Bavaro
    while extending for Manning’s throw.

    10. Cruz’s 28-yard catch vs. Nnamdi Asomugha at Eagles

    Sept. 25

    This game was Cruz’s coming-out party. He got it started with his first pro
    touchdown — a 74-yarder that stunned perennial All-Pro Asomugha and the Eagles,
    but the big play came in the fourth quarter when he beat Asomugha again. After
    the Eagles came back from down 14-0 to take a 15-14 lead, Cruz outleaped
    Asomugha for a 28-yard score. And the legend was born."




    Excerpt: "Joe Flacco was stumbling around in the pocket, searching for open receivers,
    under intense pressure from the Patriots defense.

    Then the first quarter ended, and the Ravens offense led by Flacco moved the
    ball with relative ease against the overwhelmed Patriots defense. The Ravens
    scored on four of their next five possessions from the start of the second
    quarter to the middle of the fourth quarter. The following three drives were
    snuffed out by a Brandon Spikes interception, a turnover on downs, and the
    missed field goal that ended the AFC Championship.

    And that was
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

  • #2

    thanks Ro...

    thank you also for not putting that John Rowe piece up from the Record. I made a thread about.

    Sent a letter to the editor too.....

    Well.....another day closer to the big event...

    too many more days to go......

    "Measure Twice......Cut Once"
    You couldn't be more full of **** if you were break dancing in a Port-a-Potty.......Kruunch


    • #3

      [quote user="GameTime"]

      thanks Ro...

      thank you also for not putting that John Rowe piece up from the Record. I made a thread about.

      Sent* a letter to the editor too.....

      Well.....another day closer to the big event...

      too many more days to go......

      [/quote]Awesome, thanks RF.


      • #4

        [quote user="lttaylor56"][quote user="GameTime"]

        thanks Ro...

        thank you also for not putting that John Rowe piece up from the Record. I made a thread about.

        Sent a letter to the editor too.....

        Well.....another day closer to the big event...

        too many more days to go......

        [/quote]Awesome, thanks RF.[/quote]

        “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


        • #5
          Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012 - 9:30 A.M.

          [quote user="GameTime"]

          thanks Ro...

          thank you also for not putting that John Rowe piece up from the Record. I made a thread about.

          Sent a letter to the editor too.....

          Well.....another day closer to the big event...

          too many more days to go......


          It's a lot of non-football news so far today it seems. Practices at both camps should put some football news out there
          “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


          • #6
            Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012 - 9:30 A.M.

            Thanks RF. Interesting article on Tynes wife.


            • #7
              Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012 - 9:30 A.M.

              thanks Roanoke! [B]

              just a few more days! [:P]

              this time next week i wll be fr***led to no end! [:S]



              • #8
                Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012 - 9:30 A.M.

                [quote user="BigBlue1971"]

                thanks Roanoke! [B]

                just a few more days! [:P]

                this time next week i wll be fr***led to no end! [:S]


                “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


                • #9
                  Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012 - 9:30 A.M.

                  [B] TY.


                  • #10
                    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012 - 9:30 A.M.

                    [quote user="ashleymarie"][B] TY.[/quote]

                    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


                    • #11
                      Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012 - 9:30 A.M.

                      is it supe yet?


                      • #12
                        Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012 - 9:30 A.M.

                        As always, thanks for posting that RoanokeFan.

                        I really enjoyed the Tynes article, we some times forget how invested the players families are. "All In" means all in.

                        The Mara article was moving, made me emotional reading it and very proud to be a Giants fan. Great organizations in sports always start with having owners like Giants, Steelers, Patriots, etc. do.

                        The Jarvis Green story was so funny! Awesome.

                        Thanks again RoanokeFan.


                        • #13
                          Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012 - 9:30 A.M.

                          [quote user="Cindy in INdy"]

                          is it supe yet?


                          One day closer
                          “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


                          • #14
                            Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012 - 9:30 A.M.

                            [quote user="EZ_E"]As always, thanks for posting that RoanokeFan.

                            I really enjoyed the Tynes article, we some times forget how invested the players families are. "All In" means all in.

                            The Mara article was moving, made me emotional reading it and very proud to be a Giants fan. Great organizations in sports always start with having owners like Giants, Steelers, Patriots, etc. do.

                            The Jarvis Green story was so funny! Awesome.

                            Thanks again RoanokeFan.[/quote]

                            As Antrel Rolle said, when you say ALL IN, we mean everyone
                            “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1