The Niners came into the game 4-1, having just achieved a franchise record of gaining over 600 yards in their previous victory over Buffalo. Going back to their defeat of the NY Jets two weeks previous, the Niners appeared to be a juggernaut, having outscored their past two opponents by a combined score of 78-3.
The Giants, meanwhile, had struggled, and were a 4-point underdog. Some thought the spread might be more.
But led by coach Tom Coughlin, the Giants kicked San Francisco up and down the field all day long yesterday, humiliating the upstart Niner team 26-3, in a game that wasn't that close.
It reinforced the impression that though they may not be the best team week-to-week, the Giants are an incredibly clutch team led by their star quarterback, Eli Manning. If you forget, the Giants barely squeaked into the post-season last year with a 9-7 record. But Manning led them to upset victories in Green Bay, San Francisco and then ultimately over the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
And the 49ers and their quarterback, Alex Smith? Despite the resuscitation of his career by coach Jim Harbaugh, Smith showed that when the 49ers are losing, he can't bring them back in a big game. The score was only 10-3 at the half, yet a big Giants kickoff return to start the second half set the tone which had already been established in the first half for the G-men. And how about those fantastic catches by Giant receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz? It was New York's day all afternoon long.
As a disgusted Niner fan I was grateful that I could turn my attention in the watering hole I patronize to another television set. That was the thriller in Seattle, where the New England Patriots were engaged in an intense battle with the Seahawks. Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson found Sydney Rice behind the secondary for a 46-yard touchdown with 1:18 remaining, giving the 'Hawks a 24-23 upset over the Pats and Tom Brady.
And by the way, another reason to disdain the Patriots heartthrob quarterback is offered up in the pages of the November Vanity Fair, in an article about JPMorgan Chase C.E.O. Jamie Dimon (of all people).
Remember that huge and risky bet by a JPMorgan Chase trader earlier this year that cost the company billions of dollars, that whole "London Whale" debacle? Well, when the New York City-based C.E.O., who makes over $20 million annually, was getting some critical press, he was cheered up a bit when he got an "unexpected" call from Tom Brady, according to the piece.
"Brady reminded Dimon that even Super Bowl champs have bad days and told him "to hang in there." "I was surprised he even knew who I was, to tell you the truth," Dimon says.
Ugh. We knew Brady was one of the "One percent," as it were, living the high life in Beverly Hills with a supermodel. But to hear that the San Mateo native is there for a despairing Jamie Dimon? Another reason to loathe the Patriots.
My mood wasn't enhanced by the San Francisco Giants losing to the St. Louis Cardinals last night in the first game of the National League Championship Series. But more importantly for Tampa residents who love the New York Yankees, well, how 'bout them Yankees now? They Bronx Bombers are in dire straights, down 2-0 to the Detroit Tigers as that series moves to Motown tomorrow night. Add in the huge blow of losing Derek Jeter to a broken ankle, and the mood is tense for Yankee fans.
But the ultimate consolation goes to Washington National fans. I went to sleep Friday night thinking the Giants would be traveling to the nation's capital to face the 'Nats starting last night. What a comeback by the never-say-die Cards, coming back in the top of the 9th inning to win their series in a thrilling fashion.