And so it ends, another season in the bag. Congratulations to the New York Giants, the World Champions who truly earned the title by coming through with six consecutive must-win victories against top notch teams. Obviously, if you just look around this site, there are some very happy people around here. But as part of the mission of Tuesday Morning Tailback, we have to examine whether the 2011 season (including the Giants championship) has advanced the NFL or furthered its eventual tailspin into oblivion.
There are two distinct ways to look at this championship by the New York Football Giants. On the one hand, it is fantastic that the pro league (unlike their corrupt college counterparts) actually decide on the field who will be champion (see more at The College Scam, Part III). Going by the college “rankings”, the NFL Championship Game would have “awarded” to Green Bay, with clearly the best record and regular season, and probably New Orleans, due to the propensity of “voters” to favor southern teams. Neither of these teams made it to the final four in the real world. Meanwhile, the 9-7 Giants probably would have been relegated to the Poinsettia Bowl against the Tennessee Titans (also a 9-7 team). On the other hand, for the first time ever a 9-7 team won the World Championship, rendering the regular season ever more useless. Is this a good thing? Although a seven-loss team had not won it all before, this is the fifth time in the last seven years that a lower seed (fourth or below in their conference) won it all. Parity is good, but this may be getting ridiculous.
On the brighter side, Sunday’s Super Bowl was the fifth in a row, dating back to the Giants and Patriots first meeting in Super Bowl XLII, which came down to the final minutes to determine the outcome. In last week’s article, I expressed my hatred of the Super Bowl and much of that was based on the lousy games that traditionally took place. But now we’ve got competitive football at the highest level, and that is a good thing. The rest of the fluff surrounding the game; the listless NBC pregame show, uninspired commercials, Madonna and the middle finger, ESPN’s lack of Chris Berman and Tom Jackson in its Sportscenter highlights – was all pretty crappy.
So we finish our coverage of the 2011 season with this 24th consecutive Tuesday morning article. We will probably follow the same pattern as last off-season, foregoing coverage of the NFL Combine, Draft, Training Camp, or any other events that take place outside of the competitive season. We’ll be back again with the popular “No Bullshit” challenge and season preview in about 28 or 29 weeks.
Over the course of the 2011 season, we explored many areas and tried many new approaches. The aforementioned “College Scam” article may have been unwise by leaving the NFL universe, but most of what we’ve done and said actually worked pretty well. And we’re also proud of the times we were right when we stuck our necks out and made bold predictions, starting with picking to Giants to win the NFC East when the popular choice was the “dream team” Eagles during our Season Preview (alright, alright I know we also picked Miami and St. Louis to win their divisions).
We were well ahead of the Tim Tebow trend when we ran this article in September about the media’s suppression of his playing and then ran an equally scathing article in December called Cut It Out! about the over-the-top hype of Tebow when he started having success. Midway through the season we explored the consistent over-rating of Phillip Rivers, which was confirmed when he was named to the Pro Bowl despite throwing 20 interceptions this season (20!) and went in front of quarterbacks having remarkable seasons in this Year of the Quarterback. We also accurately predicted another Dallas Cowboys collapse in November’s Champions and even stepped into controversial issues when we opined against the stupid pink accessories worn by players in The NFL’s Soft Pink Underbelly.
This year on Big Blue Bullfrog, editor J.D. Cook started a weekly Giants Blog, providing a more directed look at that team. To our good fortune as a site, the Giants went on an exciting run and closed the deal with another championship, which is well covered on other parts of this site. So please forgive this column for not getting into further details about the Giants victory in the Super Bowl in the fashion that we paid tribute to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers following last year’s Super Bowl. The G-men got the job done and they will deservedly bask in the glory for the next 28 or 29 weeks.
As always, we will look to expand and improve for the 2012 season and welcome any and all of your comments, pro or con.
Enjoy the off season!
Tuesday Morning Tailback is a weekly article during football season which take a critical look at the NFL. We do this from the base belief that NFL football is the greatest game in the history of mankind, but some recent policies and the overall direction of the league has chipped away at this greatness. Our primary goal is to spark debate on these subjects, so please leave your own opinion on this article in the comment box below.