If it isn’t the Yankees and Red Sox in Major League Baseball or the Boston Celtics and New York Knickerbockers in the National Basketball Association then it’s the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins and New York Rangers.
But this Sunday, on the biggest sports stage this country, and maybe the world, offers the New York Giants and New England Patriots vie for the National Football League championship and the Vince Lombardi trophy in Super Bowl XLVI, a rematch of Super Bowl XLII.
These two towns, at least sports-wise, dislike each other intensely. Clam Chowder versus Coney Island hot dogs. Fenway Park versus Yankee Stadium. Many sports afficionados believe the deep dislike was triggered by Bucky Dent’s game-winning home run for the Yankees in a 1978 one-game playoff with the Red Sox and hasn’t stopped since.
Regardless of the past, on Sunday the Giants will be too tall for the Patriots.
The big game will be a repeat of Super XLII, the only other Super Bowl where these two teams met, and which the Giants won.
New York has new England’s number in every way. On offense, Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning is more solid, especially in the last three minutes of a game, than the Patriots’ Tom Brady.
Brady is more vulnerable, mentally and physically, especially given New England’s porous secondary. He may try too hard early to penetrate the New York defensive zones.
The Giants win over New England earlier this season proved that the Giants will is powerful and magical this year. One only has to go back to last year’s Green Bay Packers to find a team on an equally meaningful and confident run.
New York’s running game of mainly Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs is underrated and has performed well in the post-season. The ground attack will have a field day with the Patriots’ defensive line and linebackers.
The Giants’ two starting wide receivers, Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks should also victimize the Patriots’ defense. Look for Cruz to come near or surpass 100 yards in receptions to top-off a one-of-a-kind season in which he went to the Pro Bowl and is perhaps the most feared wide out in the game.
As for new England tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, they will not find many open spaces in New York’s much-improved secondary.
The Giants pass rush, which often sends four or five defensive ends at the quarterback in their NASCAR formation will hurry Brady and see to it that the Giants win their sixth straight game, fourth in a row in the playoffs.
In wining SB46 in Indianapolis, the Giants will garner their fourth championship and prove just like Green Bay did a year ago that getting hot at the right time is not one thing in professional sports these days, it is the only thing.
In addition to the Packers, the MLB San Francisco Giants in 2010 and St. Louis Cardinals last year and 2011's NBA Dallas Mavericks prove that when is more important than what or how.
The New York football Giants move me deeply and profoundly as they are perfect examples of perseverance and keen belief in themselves. The little team that could.
The only players that can beat them do not play in Foxborough, MA, but wear blue and white uniforms and play in Rutherford, NJ.
NY Giants 24 NE Patriots 17