I'm having a tough time typing this, because on my way home from the Super Bowl party I must have exchanged violent, running-start, mid-air High Tens with the 300,000 or so Giants fans who have taken to the streets after tonight's win. My palms are still throbbing, and my metacarpals are in deep distress.
It's my own fault, I suppose. Normally, I believe 40-year-old men should be Constitutionally banned from wearing team jerseys. But I suspend this rule when I whip out the one jersey I own, an old-school Phil Simms that I found lying in a heap in the corner of Modell's a few summers ago. I've worn it for each game during the Giants' improbable run to glory, and now I will take offers from all rabid collectors who might want to own the Magic Talisman, the Wonder Garment that is solely--solely!--responsible for Big Blue's third Lombardi trophy. It is also the reason why dozens of NYU college kids descended on me, like drunken seagulls to a fish barge, and beat my hands to deliriously happy pulps.
I'm not going to sit here and tell you I thought the Giants had a chance. Because I didn't. My plan was to watch the first half with the boys (complete with the requisite whooping and head-butting) until their bedtime and then, if the game was still competitive, head out to watch the second half with The Boys. It was, so I did, and when the Giants went ahead for good I was shocked. Or I would have been, had it not been for all the whooping and head-butting.
You know what the best part of all this is? The game lived up to the hype. The undefeated juggernaut looking to complete a perfect season vs. the team most people wrote off for dead six weeks ago. The marquee quarterback against the kid brother of the other marquee quarterback. Boston vs. New York. The Week 17 thriller. The spying scandal. If you tried to pitch this as a screenplay treatment, even the after-school-special people would call you a hack and pelt you with loogies.
But it's real, and it's mine to cherish. And I have the destroyed hands to prove it.