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NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2012 - 11:23 A.M.

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  • NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2012 - 11:23 A.M.

    HERE NOW THE NEWS

    THE DATA WILL UPDATE THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND SHOW THE UPDATE TIME IN THE HEADER.

    NFC EAST DIVISION CHAMPIONS
    NFC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS

    PLAYOFFS 3 - 0: ON TO INDIANAPOLIS!


    NEWARK STAR LEDGER

    PATRIOT'S OWNER, ROBERT KRAFT, HEAD TO SUPER BOWL WITH A HEAVY HEART

    "Four years ago, the Giants advanced to their first Super Bowl without longtime
    owner Wellington Mara, who had died of lymphoma just over two years before at
    the age of 89. It was difficult for the team to not notice his absence as his
    son John was the first to hoist the Lombardi Trophy after the Giants defeated
    the Patriots.



    As the two squads prepare for a Super Bowl rematch next Sunday, it's the
    Patriots side that will sense a void in the owner's box. Robert Kraft's wife,
    Myra -- a constant presence during the Krafts' ownership dating back to 1985 --
    died last July of cancer at the age of 68.




    The Patriots have played with an "MHK" patch above their hearts in honor of
    Myra and the team has rallied around Kraft, who has endured an emotional season
    without his wife and still refers to Myra as his sweetheart.




    Emotions were high again today when the Patriots were sent off with a pep
    rally at Gillette Stadium before they went on to catch a flight to
    Indianapolis.




    "At the stadium today, it was so special because the times we’re in now, to
    have 25,000 of our fans come to the stadium and cheer our team off and they were
    chanting my sweetheart’s initials as well," Kraft said. "It was a very emotional
    experience and very special."




    Both Kraft and the Maras have dealt with emotion in Super Bowls and are
    familiar with each other, having been instrumental in negotiations with the
    players' union during the lockout.




    "I’m very fond of the ownership on the other side," Kraft said. "The Mara
    family has done so much for the league over the last 90 years and put the league
    first."




    "And the Tisches are a great family and they have a great team. And Coach
    [Tom] Coughlin – Tom and Bill [Belichick] they worked together so I think the
    fans of the NFL are going to have a great football game."



    PATRIOTS' TOM BRADY HAS CONFIDENT MESSAGE FOR FANS, TEAMMATES

    "This morning at Gillette Stadium, 25,000 fans filled the lower bowl of the
    structure to send off the Patriots to Super Bowl XLVI. When it was quarterback
    Tom Brady's turn to address the crowd, he did so with confidence.



    "We're going down there, and we're going down there for one reason," Brady
    said. "We're going to give it our best and hopefully we have a lot more people
    at our party next weekend."




    The Patriots would only have a party, of course, if they defeat the Giants on
    Sunday. Brady's take on his confident words?




    "It was a pep rally," he said, as the team arrived at its hotel in
    Indianapolis tonight. "People were pretty excited."




    His fellow teammates appreciated his message.




    "You'd have to ask Tom about that statement, but I think we’re a confident
    football team," guard Brian Waters said. "I think we have every reason to be. I
    think both teams have every reason to be. But I'm confident in my teammates, and
    as the week as goes on, I've said -- the way we prepare, if we prepare like we
    prepared the other 17 or 18 weeks in this season, I think the confidence level
    will be at an all-time high."




    The Patriots arrived in Indianapolis a day ahead of the Giants. They will
    practice tomorrow and Tuesday will be their off day, mimicking a regular
    week."

    PATRIOTS' BILL BELICHICK SAYS GRONKOWSKI'S STATUS IS DAY-TO-DAY

    "Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said that tight end Rob Gronkowski will be
    "day to day" this week after sustaining an ankle injury last Sunday against
    Baltimore.



    Gronkowski was seen wearing a black walking boot when coming off the team bus
    today.




    Gronkowski injured his ankle in the third quarter on a Bernard Pollard
    tackle. Earlier in the week, Gronkowski's father, Gordy, told a Buffalo radio
    station earlier this week that it was indeed a high ankle sprain.




    This season, he hauled in a league-leading 17 touchdown receptions and
    finished sixth in the league with 1,327 receiving yards.




    "I know that I need to make some plays with (either of the tight ends out of)
    the game," Welker said. "They're definitely a big integral part of our offense
    in everything they do, and if one's not in the other guy has to step up and do
    some things out there."




    Perhaps in a vote of confidence for Gronkowski, Welker added: "We're going to
    continue to lean on (Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez) through this game."




    Of the week in general, Belichick said that the team is looking to keep their
    schedule as normal as possible in order to combat all the possible distractions.
    They will practice tomorrow and take Tuesday off, resuming a regular practice
    schedule on Wednesday.




    "We'll try to approach it in as much a routine as we can," he said. "The team
    has been great all year in terms of their focus and preparation, so hopefully
    that will serve us well this week."



    ##

    GIANTS' PRINCE AMUKAMARA BRINGS A FRESH PERSPECTIVE IN IS FIRST SEASON

    "Prince Amukamara sensed something wasn’t right. His Giants teammates were being overtly nice
    and he awkwardly felt everyone’s eyes on him as he walked to his locker to put
    on his suit.


    The rookie quickly realized why: His dress shirt hung at his locker without a
    sleeve, his tie cut to about four inches long. And that’s what he had to wear on
    the cross-country trip to San Francisco back in Week 10. “Man, it was one of my
    favorite shirts and favorite tie, too,” the cornerback said. “It was fit and
    tailored. I was going to bring my Burberry tie, too, so I’m glad I didn’t bring
    that one.”




    It was just another example of the playful rookie hazing the
    first-round draft pick
    has received from veteran teammates in what has been
    a unique rookie season.




    Amukamara, without the luxury of any offseason workouts because of the
    lockout, was the final first-round draft pick to sign and arrived to camp six
    days late. On his second day with the team, he broke his left foot, sidelining
    him until Week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles. He arrived in East Rutherford
    quiet and shy — he says he likes to feel people out when he first meets them —
    but it didn’t take long for the real Prince Amukamara to surface. He began
    taking exception to the veterans’ treatment of rookies, refusing or prolonging
    the mundane chores that rookies have historically been relegated to.




    “Sometimes I think they take it overboard just because they’re vets they get
    to be mean about it and tell you what to do,” Amukamara said. “I just kind of
    flipped the whole script and kind of had fun with it with being insubordinate a
    little bit just so it can be more playful and I think that that whole vibe just
    creates a great locker room atmosphere.”




    He quickly became comfortable in his surroundings, riding around the practice
    facility on a Segway and letting loose a unique personality that includes that
    sense of rebelliousness. And it quickly caught up with him.

    It all began with a daily toss into the cold tub — broken foot and all — for
    a week straight during training camp.


    “I don’t do stuff. I protect him,” 12-year safety Deon Grant claimed.




    “Until he gets to talking too much. See, I used to stop them when they used
    to throw him in (the tub) every day. I’d be like, ‘Let him chill now.’ But
    sometimes Prince gets to talkin’ junk and I’ll just give ‘em the green light:
    ‘Get ‘im. Get’ im.’?”




    So the veterans got Amukamara and continue to pile on him as the rest of the
    11-player rookie class has seen their rookie-specific treatment subside as the
    season has gone on.




    Teammates — rookies included — say the treatment comes as a result of his
    inability to bite his tongue, but his personality also makes him an easy target.




    Maybe it’s his high-top fade — something Amukamara said he began his junior
    year at Nebraska inspired by the 1990s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” — or
    the pink phone case that draws second looks.




    Whatever it is, they can’t seem to point a finger on how to describe him.




    “He’s a different cat,” rookie safety Tyler Sash. “I don’t know if there’s
    another way to say it. He’s just different. He’s just Prince.”
    Amukamara says
    he just isn’t afraid to speak his mind and be himself.




    “It’s like if you’re thinking of saying stuff and thinking of doing
    something, but you’re kind of scared to do it or you only do it when you’re
    drunk,” Amukamara said. “I’ll just do all that stuff sober.”




    That tendency brings a sense of aloofness and goofiness his teammates joke
    about and ride him for. Running backs Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw — whose
    lockers are to the left of Amukamara’s — capitalize on it, applying rules on
    cleanliness and their locker room space; rules they know he’ll have trouble
    following.

    “He’s kind of slow on life,” Jacobs said. “He doesn’t know too much about
    life. I think if Prince had to take care of himself outside of football, he’d be
    stuck. But I think he’s slowly learning. He’s doing a nice job of learning.”


    The veterans claim there’s a deeper motive to the teasing. They want to give
    him an edge, a rough side to the otherwise cheerful personality that they
    believe can only help him reach his potential.




    “He’s had the easy way it seems like,” Bradshaw said. “He’s gotten babied by
    his big sisters — he has five sisters. It’s kind of like we’re big brothers to
    him. We’re teaching him a little bit on the field and off the field about just
    life in general and having it the hard way.”




    “They do it just to toughen him up a little bit,” defensive tackle Linval
    Joseph added. “You can’t be soft to play on this defense and that’s what they’re
    trying to do.”




    It may be the perfect antidote for a rookie who’s gone through some
    adversity.




    Upon returning from his foot injury and intercepting a pass in his first
    series against the Eagles, it has been downhill for the cornerback.




    Four games later, he was benched at halftime in the Giants’ loss to the
    Washington Redskins and has seen little playing time on defense since.




    Since then, the teasing has continued, but so have the words of encouragement
    and advice. And with the pass-happy New England Patriots standing between the
    Giants and another Super Bowl, Amukamara may find himself on the field to
    conclude what has been an eventful season — on and off the field.




    “It has been a roller coaster, but that really doesn’t do nothing to my
    spirits,” Amukamara said. “I’m always going to be high on life no matter
    what.”

    GIANTS' KEVIN GILBRIDE HOPES CONSISTENCY LANDS HIM ANOTHER HEAD COACHING JOB

    Excerpt: "Standing in front of his locker on Friday after another practice in advance
    of Super Bowl XLVI, Chris Snee paused a moment when asked what impresses him the
    most about Kevin Gilbride.


    The Giants’ right guard saw an
    opportunity to defend his offensive coordinator, and took it.




    “I don’t think he gets enough credit,” said Snee, a starter since his rookie
    season in 2004. “I feel like I always hear so much negative stuff said about
    him. He’s the first one everyone wants to blame for play calling and things like
    that. I think he does a great job.




    “Especially this year in particular sticking with the runs. He keeps calling
    them and we really haven’t given him much reason to do that, but he has faith in
    us, he believes in us and he keeps calling it.”




    Gilbride can only hope one day a team will once again show such faith in him
    as a head coach.




    If not for the Giants’ playoff run, that day might’ve already come.




    The former head coach of the San Diego Chargers was on the Tampa Bay
    Buccaneers’ short list to replace fired Irvington native Raheem Morris,
    according to someone informed of Tampa Bay’s plans. The person, who requested
    anonymity because the Bucs didn’t divulge their list of candidates after hiring
    former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano
    , said the team was waiting for the Giants
    to be eliminated to talk to Gilbride.




    Tampa Bay didn’t request permission to interview Gilbride during the first
    week of the playoffs. By league rules, the next window to interview coaches
    still in the postseason opened last week, though the team appeared to have been
    wowed by Schiano at that point.




    Reports from the Tampa Tribune last week indicated there was a “mystery
    candidate” in the mix during the final stages. It’s believed Gilbride was that
    candidate.




    It’s unclear whether Gilbride would’ve been able to beat out Schiano, but
    indications are the 61-year old would’ve at least had a chance to interview.




    It’s surely another disappointment for Gilbride, who was a finalist for the
    Oakland Raiders’ job three years ago and was a candidate to replace Randy Edsall
    at UConn last winter.




    Gilbride was unavailable for interviews last week but recently told the New
    York Post of his head-coaching aspirations, “Hopefully, people are acknowledging
    what we’ve done and appreciate the work we’ve done developing all these young
    players and say, ‘Hey, that’s something we’d like to do at our place.’?”




    The Giants’ offensive players are glad they still have Gilbride at their
    place.




    “Yeah, definitely,” wide receiver Hakeem Nicks said when asked whether he’s
    relieved when Gilbride returns each year. “We’ve been doing fine offensively
    since I’ve been here. Eli (Manning) is doing good so I don’t see any need to
    change.”




    They’ve been better than good under Gilbride. Like Manning said of himself,
    this offense is arguably elite." Read more...

    ROAD TO THE SUPER BOWL: GIANTS' BRAD BENSON HAS PLENTY TOP SAY, EVEN IF IT'S NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT

    "“Wait a sec,” he said, stopping about 10 yards away from the showroom door,
    at the rear of a black SUV that was about the size of the USS Intrepid.


    Brad Benson extended his right forefinger and rubbed it into the thick layer
    of grime on the rear hatch, around shoulder level. He scribbled two four-letter
    words, the first one being “COPS.” The second one was not vulgar, but it’s not
    entirely fit for print, either.




    So this is how you treat vehicles that you don’t sell and service?




    “It’s okay, it belongs to a friend of mine.”




    Then you’re going to tell him you did that?




    “Nah, he’ll find out soon enough. Probably on the way home.”




    Bwah-ha-ha-ha. Or something like that.




    We were standing outside his auto dealership in South Brunswick, in the
    shadow of the goal post he bought from the rummage sale at the old Giants Stadium, and the conversation hasn’t
    really started yet.




    So if you’re wondering whether the former Pro Bowl left tackle is like the
    car salesman with the exuberantly sardonic chirp you hear a half-dozen times a
    day on your favorite radio station, that vignette would be your first hint.




    We stopped by his Hyundai-Mitsubishi headquarters to kick off our Road To The
    Super Bowl — or as it is also known, Getting to Loath Flyover Country in 700
    Easy Miles — because we figured the first sojourn of this slushy journey should
    involve someone who might want to give us a free car. Pass incomplete.




    It was still worth the trip to South Brunswick, because we wanted to tip our
    cap to someone affiliated with the ’86 Giants — the team that made Jerseyans
    have faith in the football gods, which is almost as fanciful as selling $20,000
    products by insulting people on the radio for your own amusement.




    Benson, of course, has taken shots at everybody in his WFAN ads — from
    presidents and governors, Pastor Terry Jones, BP, Sarah Palin, Plaxico Burress
    and Roger Clemens, some of whom are honored with the “International Idiot”
    award.




    Does it affect sales? He says he has the No. 1 Hyundai dealership in the
    country, so perhaps the more relevant question is this: Who cares?




    “We tweak ’em all,” Benson boasts. “We’re an equal opportunity offender.”



    We thought that was merely harmless schtick, but actually, it’s what he is.
    Only on this day, the grin isn’t as wide as usual because he’s preoccupied with
    pain — he’s walking around campus like he’s carrying a balloon between his
    knees.




    Turns out Benson injured himself last week on his 300-acre farm in
    Hillsborough engaging in his favorite hobby: riding cutting horses, which is a
    sport for the criminally insane. Essentially, the rider tries to separate the
    calf from the rest of the herd, which sounds simple enough. Only you have to
    drop the reins (them’s the rules), and the studs tend to get very ornery, so
    these frisky beasts can throw even a former football player for great distances.




    “It’s like drugs for me — the sport is so competitive, and the angles are the
    same I used to have in football,” Benson explained.




    “But I had a wreck last weekend — the horse stood up and the saddle slid off,
    and one vertabrae. … I had surgery on it once, so I hope I haven’t started up
    anything again.”




    Even if that’s the case, the mouth works fine, and no subject is off limits.
    All you have to do is let Benson riff:




    •?On Joe Paterno’s assessment of him after graduating from Penn State in ’76:
    “He told the owner of the Patriots that he didn’t think I could play in the NFL.
    I guess every man is entitled to his opinion, God bless his soul.”




    •?On Paterno’s culpability in the Sandusky affair: “Joe telling his boss what
    was going on with Jerry Sandusky was ludicrous to me, because (athletic
    director) Tim Curley wasn’t very high in the pecking order compared to Joe. …
    Personally, I know if I missed a trigonometry class, Joe knew about it. So it
    makes it hard for me to believe that something that big, he didn’t know about.”



    •?On Bill Belichick: “I saw what he did for us (in ’86). It wouldn’t be
    comforting to look across the field at him and know he had something to do with
    the people who were lining up over me. I wouldn’t like that feeling, after
    seeing what he did to really screw up some offenses.”




    •?On Harry Carson’s possible candidacy in the 5th congressional district:
    “Intellectually sound guy. … (But) I don’t know if the water will run off his
    back to be a politician. I know him to be a sincere, intuitive, caring type of
    individual. I don’t know if he qualifies for” the political shark tank.




    •?On NFL defenses: “Defenses in the NFL are like suits for men — a good one
    never goes out of style. They’re still running the same thing. If you have four
    great defensive linemen, you’re going to go to a four-man front. The nickel is
    still a nickel. And they’re still trying to recreate Lawrence” Taylor.




    •?On the key to Super Bowl XLVI: “I’m prejudiced — I think if the Giants’
    offensive line can recover (from the NFC title game) and give Eli Manning time,
    the Giants will win this game.”




    •?On whether he’ll attend the game: “I’d love to, but I got an 80-inch
    screen. You know what I’ll do the whole game? It’s a habit I can’t break. I’ll
    watch that left tackle — figure out whether they’ll pass or run depending on his
    stance.”



    •?On what’s bugging him lately: “When I see three soccer fields get built to
    one football field, it bothers me. Absolutely. When football is the American
    sport? I know they’re gonna say a lot more kids can play at the same time, and
    there’s fewer equipment (costs). But fewer injuries? Unequivocally not true. I
    think it’s more of a multicultural experience that we’re trying to go to. And I
    personally am not into that.”




    You get the idea: He’ll say just about anything, and probably already has.




    Especially in his radio ads, which have provoked famous people and companies
    alike — namely Jerry Seinfeld, Hugh Hefner and Flintstone vitamins — to send him
    cease and desist orders.




    But the commercials, judging by the jammed showroom, are doing their job. And
    as we left, almost on cue, a familiar voice popped up on the radio, telling a
    story about crashing a free car during prep week for SB XXI in Pasadena. “So,
    who’s going to do something stupid next week in Indianapolis?” Benson asks. “Go
    to my Facebook page and submit your answer …”




    It was at that moment we felt a great relief that we remembered to get the
    car washed."

    SUPER BOWL: GIANTS' STEVE DEOSSIE SHOWS PRIDE FOR HIS SON AND FORMER TEAM DEEP IN ENEMY TERRITORY

    "The tall leather banquettes, and deep wood tables and chairs, were “made for
    football players,” the maître d’ explains proudly. The cuts of steak, like the
    bone-in marbled rib-eye, are just as generously sized.


    And the décor? Fred & Steve’s Steakhouse could be considered a haven for
    Giants fans. In the heart of New England Patriots territory.




    “Blood is thicker than anything,” Steve DeOssie, the Steve in Fred &
    Steve’s, says with a wide grin.




    DeOssie, of course, is the former Giants linebacker and long snapper whose
    gold-and-diamond Super Bowl XXV ring flashed over dinner Friday night. He takes
    more pride in the Super Bowl XLII ring his son, current Giants long snapper Zak
    DeOssie, earned four years ago — and Zak’s chance for another next week in
    Indianapolis.




    About 98 percent of the patrons at Fred & Steve’s offer DeOssie
    congratulations — good luck might be a bit much to ask — as the Giants and
    Patriots’ ballyhooed rematch nears. Then, there is the small sliver of rabid New
    England fans, like the buddy that texted after the championship games last
    Sunday: “(Bleep) you and your son! The Patriots are going to kill them.”




    “The problem is, he was relatively serious,” DeOssie said, shaking his head.
    “Come on.”




    DeOssie’s Super Bowl XXV replica trophy is displayed behind the bar,
    extracted from his son’s closet when he and Fred Smerlas, his close friend and
    former NFL nose tackle, opened the restaurant about 10 miles north of Providence
    in 2007.




    Above one dining booth hangs DeOssie’s game-worn jersey from the infamous
    “Wide Right Game.” In the next is a custom blue jersey with Steve’s No. 99 on
    one side and Zak’s No. 51 on the other, plus each of their Super Bowl patches.
    The Giants mega-fan known as “License Plate Guy” made it for Zak, who told his
    dad, “This belongs in the restaurant.”




    But if any of the memorabilia makes Patriots fans cringe, particularly this
    week, the irony is that Steve DeOssie has strong New England ties of his
    own.




    He has lived in Boston most of his life. He finished his NFL career with the
    Patriots, too, lured out of possible retirement by none other than Bill
    Parcells, his coach with the Giants. And since 1996, he has been a voice of
    Patriots coverage on radio and TV in Boston, so he’ll be broadcasting from
    Indianapolis all week.




    In 2007 — when he and Zak became the first father-son duo to win Super Bowls
    with the same franchise — he picked against his son’s team on-air.




    “I didn’t think the Giants had a chance last time,” DeOssie admits. “I told
    Zak, ‘Hey, doesn’t mean I don’t love you.’?”




    DeOssie is more confident in the Giants this year. So confident, that he
    didn’t get too irked when he had to host the Patriots’ post-game show from
    Foxborough last Sunday, instead of being able to travel to San Francisco. He was
    certain the Giants would advance.




    He was right, though not without some nail-biting. The show wrapped just
    before halftime of the NFC Championship Game, and he raced to his favorite cigar
    bar in Boston. When the Giants lined up for the winning field goal in overtime,
    DeOssie couldn’t watch his son’s snap, or the hold, or the kick.

    “I turned away and paced,” DeOssie said. “And when I heard my buddies
    screaming, I turned back and watched.”


    Fifteen minutes later, DeOssie’s girlfriend sent him a picture of the kick
    from behind. Something about it — the backdrop at Candlestick Park, a kicker
    wearing No. 9 — took him back to the game-winning field goal he snapped for in
    the NFC Championship Game two decades ago.




    DeOssie dialed Matt Bahr, his Lawrence Tynes on that magical day. This fact
    humbles him: The Giants have advanced to four Super Bowls since 1990, and three
    times they have gotten there with a game-ending field goal snapped by a DeOssie.




    DeOssie played for four professional teams, but his ties to the Giants run
    the deepest. Part of it is the championship he won with the team. Part of it is
    his personal respect for late owner Wellington Mara, whom DeOssie said provided
    him with the help he needed to beat his mid-career slip into alcohol and drugs —
    without judgment or professional repercussions.




    The biggest reason now, of course, is Zak.




    After the Giants’ divisional playoff win at Green Bay, they met at the
    post-game tailgate Packers fans graciously host for the visiting team, win or
    lose.




    “I served your father beer and brats 20 years ago,” one Packers fan told
    Zak.




    “Can I have another?” Steve asked.

    Less fun are the calls DeOssie receives a few times a year, after Zak has
    heard a story about his dad from someone in the Giants' organization. “Did you
    ever …” Zak will ask. DeOssie universally fires back, “I deny it!”


    Fred & Steve’s opened the spring Zak was drafted by the Giants in 2007.
    Less than a year later, the team gathered there to celebrate the Super Bowl
    victory. DeOssie hopes he will be hosting another such party this year.




    His Pats-loving clientele might have something to say about it, but a third
    ring in the family would mean the most.




    “He already shows me how big his ring is compared to mine,” DeOssie said. “I
    told him my team was a lot better.”

    http://www.nj.com/giants/

    NY DAILY NEWS

    LUPICA: GIANTS TAKING AIM AT LOST YEAR

    Excerpt: "These days we talk and talk about the 2007 Giants, a team that came on at the
    end the way it did and beat the Patriots in Super Bowl 42. How can we not talk
    about that team now that this Giants team comes on at the end the way it
    does and plays the Patriots in Super Bowl 46. Those Giants beat the Bucs in the
    playoffs, then the 13-3 Cowboys on the road, then the Packers at Lambeau in
    overtime in the NFC Championship Game, finally the Patriots. These Giants have
    beaten the Falcons, the Packers at Lambeau, finally the 13-3 49ers in overtime
    in the NFC Championship Game. And get the Patriots again.



    Lawrence Tynes
    kicked the field goal that put the Giants into the Super Bowl four years ago,
    Tynes kicked the field goal that put them in the Super Bowl this time. It is why
    Osi Umenyiora looked
    at Tom Coughlin last
    week, in the locker room at Candlestick Park, and said, “Do you realize how this
    is all going down?”




    Everybody does, especially Giants fans who think they are going to do it to
    Belichick and Brady and the Patriots all over again.




    But when you look at this Giants team, the way it is playing right now, you
    see something else, four years after Glendale, Ariz.: See the team and the title
    defense it was making in the ’08 season before Plaxico Burress
    turned into a complete bonehead, went clubbing with an unlicensed handgun in New
    York City, shot himself in the leg, did as much damage as one player can do to a
    team on its way to winning two Super Bowls in a row.




    Coughlin was talking to me about that the other day, about the Giants’ record
    when Burress shot himself and ended up in the hospital before he went off to
    spend two years in jail. Coughlin was polite enough to simply say what happened
    to Burress “threw us off.”




    If you watched the season, if you saw what happened after Eli
    Manning
    lost his biggest target and favorite receiver, the receiver who
    played so brilliantly in the cold of Lambeau and then caught the pass that won
    the Super Bowl, you know it was a lot more than that. The Giants looked helpless
    on offense against the Eagles in the playoffs after a regular season when they
    had beaten all the teams that would eventually make the final four in the
    playoffs:




    Steelers, Ravens, Eagles, Cardinals.




    If they had beaten the Eagles in the playoffs, that January Sunday at old
    Giants Stadium, all that would have stood between them and the Super Bowl — and
    a rematch against a Steelers team they had already beaten in Pittsburgh — was a
    home NFC Championship Game against the Cardinals." Read more...

    EXPERTS AGREE; ELI IS AMONG THE LEAGUES ELITE

    Excerpt: "When the laughter subsided this summer after Eli Manning declared he
    was in Tom Brady’s class, he
    left himself with a nearly impossible job: Go prove it.



    If Manning stood nearly alone at the time thinking he was an elite
    quarterback, he has made believers around the NFL. “Eli has been the best
    quarterback in football the last month,”
    one former head coach said. “It’s
    not even close.”




    Manning closed the gap on Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew
    Brees
    with the best season of his eight-year career, and if he beats Brady
    in the Super Bowl for a second time next Sunday, then it might jump him to the
    head of the quarterback class and secure him a place in the Pro Football Hall of
    Fame.




    But where does Manning stand among the game’s elite going into Super Bowl
    XLVI in Indianapolis against the Patriots?




    The Daily News convened a 12-member blue-ribbon panel to vote on the top five
    quarterbacks. The panel is comprised of current coaches and general managers,
    former coaches and general managers and two former Super Bowl quarterbacks.




    The guidelines were narrow and focused: The best quarterbacks in the league
    right now, not who has had the best career. Peyton Manning was
    off the ballot. He did not play in 2011 and his neck issues put in doubt




    whether he will play again.




    Five points were awarded for first place, four for second, three for third,
    two for fourth and one for fifth.




    Here are the top five in order:




    - Tom Brady, Patriots: He received five first-place votes, the same as Aaron
    Rodgers, and 49 of a possible 60 points. He finished one point ahead of
    Rodgers.




    - Aaron Rodgers, Packers: He had perhaps the best regular season for a
    quarterback in NFL history, but Brady has three Super Bowl rings to his one.




    - Drew Brees, Saints: He set the single-season yardage record, but received
    only two first-place votes.




    - Eli Manning, Giants: After the big three of Brady, Rodgers and Brees - they
    were the only QBs to receive first- or second place votes - there was a 21-point
    drop from Brees to Manning, but Elite Eli had a significant edge over Big Ben
    for fourth place. He was named on 11 of the 12 ballots.




    - Ben
    Roethlisberger
    , Steelers: Big Ben - the player the Giants would have drafted
    if they were unable to trade for Manning in 2004 - finished 10 points behind
    Eli




    I also asked the panelists: Who would you rather have starting in the Super
    Bowl next Sunday: Brady or Manning. It was a lopsided 10-2 for Brady. “How could
    you say you wouldn’t want somebody who has been to five Super Bowls?” one former
    coach said. “But Eli doesn't flinch. You couldn’t go wrong with either one of
    them.” Read more:

    FIVE UNSUNG GIANTS WHO HELPED MAKE RUN TO SUPER BOWL POSSIBLE

    "Eli Manning shattered
    team passing records, and Jason Pierre-Paul
    became a feared force. Victor Cruz broke out,
    and Justin Tuck
    rediscovered his fury late in the season.


    But when GM Jerry Reese
    evaluates how his Giants made this stunning run to Super Bowl XLVI, he doesn't
    always point to those obvious stars. The architect of Big Blue understands that
    his team has also been buoyed by some unknown players thrust into quietly
    important roles.

    "Most championships, you've got to have a little bit of
    luck, and somebody's got to come out of the shadows to make a play," he said
    after the Giants won the NFC title last Sunday. "Somebody you don't expect to
    make a play comes out of the shadows to make a couple plays. It happens every
    year."

    That has happened for the Giants this season, allowing them to
    overcome a grueling schedule and survive the losses of more than a half-dozen
    key players to season-ending injuries.

    Why are they in Indianapolis?
    Sure, Eli, JPP and Cruuuuz have plenty to do with it. So do these five far
    less-celebrated heroes:

    HENRY
    HYNOSKI


    The rookie fullback from Pitt didn't have a carry
    during the regular season and he caught only 12 passes. But when Hynoski was not
    available, his absence was noted.

    In the first five games of the season,
    the 6-1, 266-pound rookie emerged as a solid run blocker, but he suffered a neck
    injury against Seattle. He would miss the next five games before finally
    returning in the Nov. 28 loss at New Orleans.

    One week later, the
    much-maligned run game finally enjoyed a solid performance, totaling 100 yards
    and averaging 5.0 yards per carry in the loss to Green Bay. Offensive
    coordinator Kevin Gilbride still
    points to that game as the turning point for his struggling ground game, and
    Hynoski had plenty to do with it.

    "He's very important," said backup quarterback David Carr.
    "He's a bull of a blocker. And he can do more than that, too."

    Hynoski's
    blocking has drawn loads of attention, but he has quietly emerged as a solid
    receiving threat out of the backfield as well. Defenses must account for him; if
    they don't, he can catch three passes for 20 yards, as he did last week in San
    Francisco.

    "A lot of people don't realize he was a third-down back at
    Pitt," Carr said. "He's more than a bull. He can catch the
    ball."

    DEVIN
    THOMAS


    Even before he recovered a pair of fumbled punt
    returns against the Niners (one was a muff), the unheralded Thomas was making
    key contributions on special teams.

    The former Redskins castoff began the
    season as Big Blue's kick returner, but he was demoted in November. Initially,
    he seemed to sulk, but by December, he had reinvented himself as a dangerous
    gunner on special teams.

    "It was frustrating," he says of his demotion.
    "But I just have to use my athleticism to contribute any way I can. I'm starting
    to get a little niche."

    It was hardly glamorous, but the erstwhile
    second-round pick embraced his new role. When the Giants played the Redskins in
    December, Thomas had established himself as a kamikaze special teams force.
    Twice in that game, he kept dangerous Washington return man Brandon Banks from
    breaking a big return. Thomas suffered a scary stinger at halftime of that game,
    but he had already impressed his teammates. Thomas also started taking advantage
    of his rare opportunities as a receiver; late in the first quarter of the
    Giants' 31-14 win over the Cowboys, his gritty 14-yard catch on third-and-8 from
    the Dallas 48 helped set up Big Blue's second TD. This new Devin Thomas can
    catch passes, make defensive plays and return kicks when needed, and that has
    given Big Blue's roster flexibility, allowing the Giants to deactivate
    one-dimensional players such as KR Da'Rel Scott and
    disappointing WR Ramses
    Barden
    .

    KEVIN
    BOOTHE


    At the start of the season, Reese described the 6-5,
    320-pound Boothe as an offseason "priority," a notion that made fans scoff at
    the Giants' hopes for 2011.

    Five months later, everyone understands. Once
    a preseason punchline, the versatile lineman has become the ultimate
    hole-plugger on a unit that has been hammered by injuries.

    "Kevin's done
    a great job for us, whether he has to play center, whether he has to play
    guard," Manning said. "Sometimes he plays both of them in the same game for a
    few plays."

    Boothe began the year on the bench, but he ably filled in for
    center David Baas when the
    prized free agent battled neck and knee injuries early in the season. By Week 6
    against the Buffalo Bills, Boothe was lining up alongside Baas at right guard,
    clearing holes as Ahmad Bradshaw
    recorded his lone 100-yard rushing effort of 2011.

    A month later, when
    left tackle Will Beatty landed on
    injured reserve with a detached retina, Boothe moved to left guard, allowing David
    Diehl
    to slide to left tackle. It was the sixth-year lineman's final move in
    a season that more than justified Reese's preseason excitement.

    "He's
    been very important to this team," said Manning, "and given us that comfort
    knowing that whatever happens amongst the offensive line, if a guy gets banged
    up a little bit or goes down, that Kevin can come in and play a number of
    spots."

    LINVAL
    JOSEPH


    The Giants struggled to defend the run, surrendering
    a whopping 121.3 yards on the ground this season. But as the season wore on,
    they gradually improved, especially on gritty runs up the middle.

    Thanks
    in large part to the maturation of Joseph, the Giants' interior run defense has
    solidified in the postseason, because the massive Joseph, a second-round pick in
    2010, has gradually asserted himself as a run-stopping force.

    "I think
    Linval's been playing good for us throughout the second half of the football
    season," said defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. "I think
    Linval's just growing up. He's really a rookie, so to speak."

    Joseph
    played sparingly in just six games last season, but he has started regularly
    this year. He's also slimmed down to 323 pounds, getting quicker and improving
    his defensive footwork. He began the season slowly, but by the time the Giants
    played Green Bay in the regular season, he had found his place.

    Joseph
    recorded a career-high nine tackles in that game as the Giants limited the
    Packers to 89 yards on the ground in a 38-35 loss. He has continued that hot
    play through the postseason. Neither the Falcons nor the Packers cracked 100
    rushing yards against the Giants, and while the 49ers managed 150 yards, 42 of
    those came from scrambling QB Alex
    Smith
    .

    "I think Linval's just growing up a little bit," Fewell said.
    "He's just turned it loose, and he's really playing well right now with a lot of
    confidence."

    DAVE TOLLEFSON

    Tollefson, 28, had
    never started an NFL game in his career until this season. But with Justin Tuck
    and Osi Umenyiora nursing
    injuries in the opener at Washington, he got his chance, and he made the most of
    it, delivering two tackles and a sack.

    "I could kind of feel it was
    coming," Tollefson said. "I had a great offseason, and whenever I've ever
    played, I've done a really good job."

    Tuck and Umenyiora would eventually
    get healthy, but Tollefson *— all 266 pounds of him — remained a fixture along
    the Giants defensive line. He was a capable defensive end, but he was also
    physical enough to line up at tackle, battling beefy offensive linemen
    inside.

    Tollefson finished the season with a career-high five sacks,
    tying Tuck for third-best on the team, and his emergence allowed Fewell to
    experiment more with his defensive linemen. By the postseason, the Giants were
    occasionally lining Tollefson and dangerous linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka
    up at defensive tackle, setting Umenyiora and near-unstoppable JPP up at end,
    and letting Tuck function as a giant-sized, stand-up linebacker in a
    pass-rushing alignment that routinely flummoxed opposing
    signal-callers.

    Tollefson rarely made plays in these settings — he hasn't
    recorded a single tackle in the playoffs — but his fierce inside play still drew
    offenses' attention, freeing up his more celebrated teammates for
    sacks.

    "Anything to contribute, man," he said."



    KEVIN GILBRIDE'S "OPTION" OFFENSE IN PASSING GAME FUELS GIANTS



    "The hands clap and the huddle breaks and the receivers jog out to their
    positions. Kevin Gilbride has
    already relayed the play to Eli Manning, but the
    receivers still have no idea where they’re going to go.



    That’s part of the beauty of the Gilbride offense. Everything the receivers
    do is based on what happens next. Is there man-to-man coverage or a zone? Which
    way are the safeties shading? Are the corners pressing on the line or leaving a
    cushion?




    Then, when the ball is snapped and the defense goes in motion, everything
    could change...again.




    “Yeah, it’s definitely tough,” says receiver Victor Cruz. “It’s one
    of the biggest things I had to adjust to, learning how to read coverages and
    adjust mid-route. We had a few read-routes in college, but nothing to this
    extent where it’s 15 yards down field and you have to make an adjustment.
    Sometimes they may line up one way, then when the ball comes they move to
    somewhere else. So you have to see all of that.”




    It’s a demanding system. It can be confusing. It can be frustrating, too,
    especially to a young player. It’s also explosive, “quarterback-friendly,”
    potent, and the most prolific offensive system the Giants franchise has ever
    seen.




    “That’s the beauty of it,” says backup quarterback David Carr.
    “When we’re rolling, it’s hard to stop.”




    That’s what the 60-year-old Gilbride has created in his eighth season with
    the Giants and fifth since taking over as the offensive coordinator. He’s helped
    turn Eli Manning from an erratic, interception-prone quarterback into a
    near-5,000-yard passer. He’s built an offensive machine that has rallied from
    six fourth-quarter deficits this year. It can strike so quickly, the Giants
    never feel like they’re out of a game.




    And he’s done that with a rebuilding offensive line, the 32nd-ranked rushing
    attack in the league, and a tight end (Jake Ballard) and star
    receiver (Victor Cruz) who had never had a single catch in the NFL before this
    year.




    Manning gets all the credit, and much of it is deserved. But it’s not like
    he’s on the field drawing up plays in the dirt.




    “Eli’s playing so well and that’s a tribute to Kevin,” says former Giants
    quarterbacks coach Chris Palmer, who is
    now the offensive coordinator with the Tennessee Titans. “The guy is an
    outstanding football coach and does a great job. What is perceived about him and
    what is real is not necessarily one and the same. Kevin should get a lot of
    credit for the success they’ve had this year.”




    Ask anyone in the locker room, and Gilbride does get the credit. Tom
    Coughlin
    praises his ability as a teacher and his players praise his
    patience and the way he calls a game. It drives them crazy that he’s a target
    for angry fans, who sometimes call him “Killdrive” when games don’t go the
    Giants’ way.

    He’s always had a reputation problem, though, dating back to his days running
    the run-and-shoot offense with the Houston Oilers (1990-94). Gilbride got a
    label he couldn’t shake when former Oilers defensive coordinator Buddy
    Ryan
    famously called his wide-open passing attack the “chuck-and-duck” and
    then even more famously when Rex’s dad tried to punch him on the sidelines in
    the middle of a game.



    Yes, Gilbride may look like a pass-happy coordinator at times, but it’s easy
    to forget that in 2008 the Giants had the NFL’s seventh-best offense with the
    No. 1 rushing attack. In fact, in three of his five seasons as offensive
    coordinator, the Giants’ rushing attack was ranked higher than its passing
    attack in the league.




    What makes Gilbride appear pass-happy is this: He runs what everyone
    considers a “quarterback-friendly” offense that puts a lot of responsibility on
    the receivers and control in the quarterbacks’ hands. They throw because they
    can. And it works.




    “A lot is asked of the quarterback,” Carr says. “You’ve got the freedom to do
    pretty much whatever you want. The playbook’s open to you. You’ve got to be on
    your game. But if you are, it’s a great thing.”




    Explained very simply, Manning has the ability to change the play to almost
    anything in that week’s game plan, based on what he sees in the defensive
    alignment. And when he calls a pass play, the receivers have several options to
    change their routes on each play, depending on what the defense does. It’s
    complicated and hard to learn, and it can be very tricky for the quarterback and
    receiver to make sure they’re seeing exactly the same thing out of each
    defender.




    Because there are so many options in Gilbride’s offense, though, when it’s
    run correctly there are more chances for it to work.




    “You give the receivers several options to get open and when guys get open
    you, as a quarterback, have an opportunity to throw the ball,” Palmer says.
    “When a receiver doesn’t get open, that becomes a burden. It’s reassuring to the
    quarterback that ‘Hey, one of these guys are going to get open.’ I would say on
    most plays there’s going to be a guy that’s open in this offense.”




    “I’ve been in offenses where it’s all based on progressions - 1, 2, 3, find
    the back,” Carr adds. “There’s some of that. But we’re trying to scheme. We’re
    trying to find the best possible play vs. that defense at that time to just gash
    them. That’s why it works.”




    It also works because Gilbride is an outstanding teacher and someone that, as
    Coughlin says, can “evaluate your talent and see what they can and cannot do.”
    He was the quarterbacks coach through the first three years of Manning’s career,
    learned his strengths and his weaknesses well, developed a special bond with him
    and helped him grow into the Pro Bowler he is today.

    “Coach Gilbride and I have a very close relationship,” Manning says. “When I
    first got here, he was the quarterbacks coach, so I got to kind of learn from
    him, and hearing him directly and watching old film of the Oilers and different
    things when they were running it. We think the same way on a lot of things and
    certain looks. A lot of times he doesn’t even need to finish his sentence,
    because I’m already on the same page.”



    Sure, it helps that Gilbride likes to throw. A lot. He even jokes that
    Coughlin sometimes sits in on the offensive meetings just “to make sure I don’t
    veer too far off of the reservation and throw the ball 65 times in a game or
    something like that.” Manning says Gilbride calls plays with “a quarterback
    mentality.” And while he’ll go with whatever’s working, it’s obvious what he
    prefers.




    “If we’re not running it really well and we’re throwing it well, I’ll just go
    up to him and say, ‘Hey, they can’t stop us throwing it. Let’s just keep
    throwing it,’?” Manning says. “And he kind of gets a smile. I think that’s what
    he likes to hear.”




    That’s the way the NFL is now - a pass-first league - which makes Gilbride
    the ideal offensive coordinator for this era. If he were 15 years younger his
    work with the Giants might have already earned him a head coaching job
    somewhere. He’d probably still be an attractive candidate if he hadn’t already
    had a failed stint as a head coach with the San Diego Chargers in 1997-98, when
    he was run out of town with a 6-16 record after he couldn’t connect with his
    hot-headed rookie quarterback, Ryan Leaf.




    When those 22 games are added to his image problem, it helps paint a picture
    that belies the numbers his offenses regularly produce. It also paints a picture
    his players believe is completely unfair.




    “I don’t think he gets enough credit,” says guard Chris Snee. “I
    feel like I always hear a lot of negative stuff about him. He’s the first one
    everyone wants to blame for play calling and things like that, but I think he
    does a great job.”




    Some might say it’s the best job Gilbride has done in his five years running
    the Giants’ offense.




    Considering the players the Giants lost before the season started, the
    injuries that forced him to reshuffle his line and play four games without his
    starting running back, and how he helped turn a blocking tight end and an
    unknown receiver into stars, it might be the best job he’s done in his 23 years
    in the league.




    “I’d rather let you answer that than me,” Gilbride says. “Let me just say
    that I’m very proud of the guys that I work with. We started with five new guys
    and then we had all of the injuries and the youth and the guys who haven’t
    played and some of the things that we ask them to do. You don’t just, in our
    offense, go out and run a 12-yard curl or a 10-yard in-cut. We ask them to read
    a lot of things. We put a lot of pressure on receivers to see things as a
    quarterback would. It’s very difficult as a coach to get those things
    coordinated.




    “So to see them grow like that - obviously, what are you? You’re a teacher.
    When you’re a teacher and you can see your pupils getting better and feel like
    you contributed, you’re very proud of their growth and development. So you feel,
    ‘Maybe I helped them a little bit.’”




    Not that he ever gets the credit for that. He’s too busy taking the blame
    when everything doesn’t work to perfection.




    “I think it’s just the nature of the position,” Carr says. “I think he does a
    good job just by not paying attention to it. He’s going to be who he is.
    Nobody’s going to change him now.”

    GIANTS' WR VICTOR CRUZ'S TEN MOST MEMORABLE PLAYS OF THE SEASON

    "All the Giants wanted Victor Cruz to be was a
    serviceable slot receiver. What they got was much more.



    When the 2011 season began, nobody knew what to expect from Cruz. The
    second-year receiver was tasked with replacing veteran Steve
    Smith
    , but he had little on his resume, save for one explosive preseason
    game against the Jets.




    Five months and 82 Cruz catches later, the Giants are preparing to face the
    New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, and that's largely thanks to the
    big-play talents of their once-unknown wideout, who set a franchise record with
    1,536 regular-season receiving yards and transformed the salsa dance into a
    national phenomenon.




    "Every step of the way, I've just tried my hardest and whatever opportunity
    came my way, I just tried to take advantage of it. I understood that these
    opportunities were going to come few and far between," Cruz says.




    The 24-year-old has seized every one, becoming Eli Manning's favorite
    target and making big play after big play. Here, we look at our favorite Victor
    Cruz moments this season.




    1. BACKING UP HIS WORDS…at Jets, Dec. 24




    In the days leading up to this Christmas Eve clash, Cruz has talked of not
    being afraid of Darrelle Revis, and
    Revis has retorted that he doesn't even know who Victor Cruz is. And right now,
    with 2:27 left in the first half and the Giants trailing, 7-3, Revis seems to be
    right.




    Then Cruz backs up his own talk. On third-and-10 from his own 1, he lines up
    in the slot, dashes 10 yards, then turns out, just in time to snare Manning's
    pass. As corner Kyle Wilson
    flails after him, Cruz sidesteps Antonio
    Cromartie
    . No Jet can catch him, not even safety Eric
    Smith
    , who dives at the 45.




    Cruz cruises into the end zone. He's just recorded the franchise's first-ever
    99-yard play from scrimmage and infused his Giants with life. Big Blue outscores
    the Jets, 19-7, the rest of the afternoon on the way to a season-saving 29-14
    win. And by the end of the day, Cruz has passed Amani Toomer, setting
    a club record with 1,358 receiving yards.




    "It's just a surreal moment for me," he says. "It's amazing man."




    2. THE BREAKOUT…at Eagles, Sept. 25




    This is where it all begins. Cruz enters this game with just two catches on
    his NFL resume, but with Mario Manningham
    injured, he must deliver. On third-and-2 from the 26, with 1:02 to play in the
    first quarter, Cruz finds himself in the slot.




    He slants out and catches a quick Manning throw around the 36. Corner Kurt
    Coleman
    , tries for the big hit and misses, allowing Cruz to race past.
    Coleman pursues, and Nnamdi Asomugha
    tries to close in near midfield, but Cruz deftly eludes both players. As Coleman
    and Asomugha collide, Cruz is off to the races, scoring his first NFL TD on a
    74-yard catch and staking the Giants to an early 14-0
    lead.

    3. THE BREAKOUT, PART 2…at Eagles, Sept. 25



    It was a nice first quarter, but the Eagles have clawed back, taking a 16-14
    lead into the fourth quarter. But finally, the Giants offense is clicking again,
    and Manning has the Giants at the Eagles 28. With 8:15 to play, he drops back
    and uncorks a deep pass just before he gets hit.




    The throw seems risky, but it's not. Cruz blocks out Asomugha at the 1-yard
    line, then outjumps the ballyhooed corner and safety Jarrad Page to
    make the catch. As both players fall to the ground, Cruz reaches the ball over
    the goal line, scoring his second career TD and putting the Giants in front for
    good. They go on to win, 29-14.




    "There's no way he should have come away with that with two guys there," a
    frustrated Asomugha says afterwards. "One of us should have gone up and made
    that play."




    4. THE JUGGLING ACT…vs. Seahawks, Oct. 9




    Just 13 minutes remain, and the Giants are trailing Seattle, 19-14. They face
    third-and 13 from their own 32, and a desperate Manning heaves the ball toward
    the right sideline toward a double-covered Cruz near the Seattle 30.




    The ball should be batted away, but Seattle's Kam Chancellor only
    tips it, giving Cruz a chance. The opportunistic receiver reaches his right hand
    out and cradles the ball, tapping it to himself as he runs away from CB Richard Sherman
    and scampers into the end zone. The TD puts the Giants back in front, and while
    the Giants eventually lose, 36-25, Manning is impressed with Cruz after this
    one.




    "He makes a lot of big plays and he's understanding the offense and what he
    needs to do," Manning said. "He's still a young player. There's still room to
    grow."




    5. THE GAME-WINNER…vs. Dolphins, Oct. 30




    It shouldn't have come to this, not against the winless Miami Dolphins. But
    somehow, the Giants are trailing, 17-13, with 8:28 to play. In two minutes,
    Manning drives Big Blue down to the Miami 25, but he's just missed Manningham in
    the end zone.




    On third-and-12, Cruz works his way open, catching a pass at the 14. Former
    Giant Will Allen
    tries to wrestle Cruz to the ground, but the wideout deftly spins off and dashes
    into the end zone, giving the Giants a 20-17 lead, the
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

  • #2
    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2012 - 11:23 A.M.

    Good Morning. I love sitting in my breakfast room with the sunlight streaming in, a hot cup of coffee and my computer, sitting here reading your column. It's one of my favorite things to do. TY.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2012 - 11:23 A.M.

      [quote user="ashleymarie"]Good Morning. I love sitting in my breakfast room with the sunlight streaming in, a hot cup of coffee and my computer, sitting here reading your column. It's one of my favorite things to do. TY.[/quote]

      Just wait until next Monday morning []
      “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2012 - 11:23 A.M.



        [quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="ashleymarie"]Good Morning. I love sitting in my breakfast room with the sunlight streaming in, a hot cup of coffee and my computer, sitting here reading your column. It's one of my favorite things to do. TY.[/quote]

        Just wait until next Monday morning []
        [/quote]







        lmao!




        ive already cleared out a portion in the library for the news next Monday! lol.




        thanks Roanoke!

        sigpic

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2012 - 11:23 A.M.

          [quote user="BigBlue1971"]

          [quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="ashleymarie"]Good Morning. I love sitting in my breakfast room with the sunlight streaming in, a hot cup of coffee and my computer, sitting here reading your column. It's one of my favorite things to do. TY.[/quote]

          Just wait until next Monday morning []
          [/quote]







          lmao!




          ive already cleared out a portion in the library for the news next Monday! lol.




          thanks Roanoke!

          [/quote]

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

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2012 - 11:23 A.M.

            thanks

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2012 - 11:23 A.M.

              Thanks RF! Love the article on the scout team. That is ALL-IN right there!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2012 - 11:23 A.M.

                [quote user="derekunion28"]thanks[/quote]

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2012 - 11:23 A.M.

                  [quote user="NY_Eli"]Thanks RF! Love the article on the scout team. That is ALL-IN right there![/quote]

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

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                  • #10
                    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2012 - 11:23 A.M.

                    Great job again RF Thanks for all the info.

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                    • #11
                      Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2012 - 11:23 A.M.

                      [quote user="Voldamort"]Great job again RF Thanks for all the info.[/quote]

                      News will pick up big time again on Wednesday. Tomorrow the GIANTS arrive in Indy and may have a walk through. Tuesday is probably still a day off and then Wednesday it will be non-stop news.
                      “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

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                      • #12
                        Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2012 - 11:23 A.M.

                        [quote user="Voldamort"]Great job again RF Thanks for all the info.[/quote]

                        News will pick up big time again on Wednesday. Tomorrow the GIANTS arrive in Indy and may have a walk through. Tuesday is probably still a day off and then Wednesday it will be non-stop news.
                        “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

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