The defining sports moment in 2008 happened within the first few weeks of the year, at Super Bowl XLII.
If your a Giants fan, it will never be as great as it was on February 3rd, 2008.
It will never be that big. It will never be against 18-0 team. It will never be between two cities who’s sports fans hate each other so much they immediately judge one another upon hearing they are from that region. It will never be against the prototype of how to run an NFL franchise. Never again will it be against a franchise that has done almost nothing wrong in the past seven years. It will never be on the biggest stage in American sports. It will never be against the NFL version of Michael Jordan, Tom Brady. It will never be a game that close and there will never be a play like this one…
If you were given all the ingredients to rekindle this moment in your backyard, you couldn’t do it. It wouldn’t work. It couldn’t happen because it was too unbelievable, too perfect, too storybook.
In this fairy tale moment, too much would need to go wrong and too much would need to go right for this play to happen again. The Offensive line would have to blow their blocking scheme, the quarterback would need to be on the brink of having his jersey torn from his back, that same quarterback would need just a hair too much athletic ability to beat out the rush, the ball would have to overthrow into coverage just right, the wide receiver would need to be able to leap at the perfect time and then he would need the instincts to clutch that ball against his helmet as he fell straight on to his back, and into the arms of one of the most feared Safeties in the NFL. Too much would have to go wrong and too much would have to go right to make that moment happen again.
For weeks after the victory, Giants fans, sports fans, and radio/television personalities struggled to come up with a name for this play. Sublime laced arguments were strung across New York City- What can you call this play? was Manning the one who made the play happen? Was Tyree the one who made this happen? Can it at all be summed up in a few words?
The roundabout argument and the difficulties in giving this play a name were as worn down as the argument of what came first the chicken or the egg? But it stood as an example of why this play was the defining sports moment in 2008.
Maybe, further on down the road- years from now- you will remember where you were when Feder and Nadal tested each others will at the center court in Wimbledon. Maybe you will remember were you were when the Celtics came back from 24 in Game Four (Although my guess is a ton of us were in bed, asleep since it was near midnight on a Tuesday). Maybe you will remember where you were when Michael Phelps won any of his 8 gold medals. Maybe you will remember the moment you realized the Tampa Bay Rays were not that team you kicked around from foul pole to foul pole in past years. But there’s no “maybe” about this, as a sports fan you will remember this play, where you were, and the feelings in that room the minute that Tyree landed with a ball stuck to his head in Super Bowl XLII.
So, New York Giants fans, take it from a guy who’s never seen his team in a Super Bowl. That moment was as good as it will ever get- so enjoy it and never forget it. February 3rd, 2008 in Glendale, Arizona was the day that every sports fan waits for his entire life, and rarely ever gets.