Posted at 8:10 AM on January 21, 2008
by Bob Collins
Oh boy, it's Super Bowl hype week, and the New York Giants and their fans are already in playing shape.
"Nobody gave us a shot and now we're going to the Super Bowl," Giants quarterback Eli Manning said after last night's thrilling victory over the Green Bay Packers.
This, of course, is not a new thing in sports, or many elements of life, for that matter. The "us against them" method of harnessing the awesome power of paranoia is a tried and true declaration. But there's a difference between it and reality. The Giants were 7 point underdogs, which is not exactly Mt. Everest. So among the millions who took the Giants and the points, Eli, which ones didn't give you a shot?
Count Antonio Pierce, the Giants linebacker, as one of the doubters. "Of course we should be the underdogs," he said last week. "You look at them (Packers): They are the second seed, went 13-3 and won their division.
On Saturday, Missouri came close, but didn't beat Kansas in college basketball. “Besides what the media says, we already knew we had a chance,” said Leo Lyons, a Missouri player. Dude, you lost.
The obsession with respect is not just an American sporting thing. "Most teams don’t last four days here and frankly, I don’t think anybody gave us a chance against the backdrop of Sydney," India cricket captain Anil Kimble said Saturday after a big victory over Australia.
Self-motivation is important. But more important is recognizing that whatever people say you probably won't do today, doesn't mean you can't.
Perhaps the only bigger cliche in sports is "I don't pay attention to what the media says."