Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Superbowl XLVI: Falling into the Endzone:

I’ve read many descriptions of that memorable play near the end of Superbowl XLVI, but none of them, I think, captures the full narrative. I shall tell it here.

There was scarcely more than a minute left, and the Giants were inside the Patriots’ ten yard line. The Giants appeared about to go ahead, as they were only two points behind. One of the NBC announcers, Chris Collingsworth, told us TV fans that the right play for the Giants, strange as it might seem, was not to score too quickly, to run out the clock.

The Giants’ coach, Tom Coughlin, did not tell his team not to score. In the huddle, Manning did not tell his team not to score.

The moment Manning handed the ball off to Ahmad Bradshaw, he saw the Patriots standing there, allowing Bradshaw to score. I suspect Manning made a sensible, quick decision: anything that the Patriot’s coach wanted to do must be wrong. It’s indisputable that Manning yelled, “Don’t score,” after the hurtling Bradshaw.

Bradshaw was running with a lot of momentum. Not just physical momentum, but also mental momentum. Here’s how he put it after the game: It’s terrible not to score the winning touchdown in the Superbowl.

Bradshaw teetered on the one foot line, trying to keep his balance, and he fell in.

There’s a miracle here. Can you imagine a Patriot running up to Bradshaw and shoving him into the endzone, to save a second on the clock? Can you imagine a Giant grabbing Bradshaw and hauling him away from those six points? I’m so glad we were saved from all that.

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