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Tuesday October 28, 2008 10:59 pm

NFL’s Big Hits: New York Giants, Mike Singletary, Joe Namath

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Eli Manning

Did you catch your Super Bowl preview on Sunday? Giants have to be the prohibitive favorites in the NFC. The AFC may be up for grabs, but I still think you’ll see the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLII. Meanwhile, the Bay Area teams and some Hall-of-Famers provide plenty of notable news.

The Steelers may not be a lock for the AFC, but who do you see knocking them out? The Tennessee Titans? They beat the Indianapolis Colts at home, but let’s see them win a close game on the road. The New England Patriots can’t win it all with Matt Cassel leading the team. He, like Kerry Collins, will fall short in critical series in a playoff game. The Steelers will have enough to survive, get to the Super Bowl, and then lose to the Giants.

The Giants play a “cockroach game.” They’re pesky, they stick around and you can’t get rid of them—just like in last year’s Super Bowl against the Patriots. Against the Steelers they can’t get in the end zone despite numerous trips to the red zone, but the defense keeps them close (despite allowing a couple of big plays for Steelers’ touchdowns).

In the fourth quarter the defense really turns it on and, in essence, gains top field position for the offense. Then Eli and the gang finally put it together: a great pass, some good runs and boom! Touchdown and Giants win. This season that approach will be enough to make them the favorites heading to Arizona in February.

A week after calling them a dog I am now a big fan of the San Francisco 49ers. New head coach Mike Singletary’s post-game press conference knocked it out of the park. Holy Toldedo! If this guy can’t turn around the Niners, sign him up quickly as your ace motivational speaker! Kick Donald Trump out of the boardroom and let this guy fire people for you! Telling Vernon Davis to hit the showers during the fourth quarter of their game versus the Seattle SuperSonics was off-the-wall genius.

No need to bring in Condoleeza Rice to head the campaign to fund a new Niners stadium. Let’s just name it “Singletary Park” and be done with it. I know Shaun Hill will make a contribution as the starting quarterback.

Speaking of ex-players making news this weekend, did you catch Joe Namath and Don Maynard knocking the current New York Jets?  They opined that only long-time coaching and playing experience is what translates into NFL coaching success. I guess they’ll contribute to Singletary Park too. Current Coach Eric Mangini doesn’t make the Christmas card list. See what happens when Broadway Joe stays off the sauce and keeps his feelings about Suzy Kolber to himself!  Focus, baby, focus.
And then John Elway states the obvious about the Oakland Raiders’ situation: “Maybe” Al Davis is out of touch, “maybe” his contributions are actually hurting the team.  It used to be that players had photos of their hot girlfriends taped to the inside of their lockers. Do you think JaMarcus Russell will have that news article posted inside his?

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