What a train wreck (Part 1)

The New York Giants’ season ended last weekend, not with a last desperate attempt to salvage their season, but with a pathetic mockery of a professional athletic competition.

The Giants’ lost 41-9, but the game wasn’t nearly as close as the score indicated. The Giants were in the game for one possession, as the offense took the opening kickoff and marched downfield. It appeared the drive had ended with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Steve Smith. But that was nullified by a holding penalty by Madison Hedgecock. A few plays later, a big third-down conversion was cut short when Mario Manningham fumbled and the Panthers recovered at the Carolina 20.

That was that. The Panthers marched downfield, kicked a field goal, allowed just one first down before a Giants’ punt, marched downfield again and got in the endzone.

Now at that point, it’s 10-0. Prior to this game, the Giants biggest comeback was being down 10-0 to Dallas three weeks earlier. It’s sad when the game is less than 20 minutes old, and you can already feel the game slipping away from you.

Meanwhile, Carolina scores two more times before halftime. The Giants’ offense got close enough to try for a hail mary right before the half, but that didn’t actually happen. Manning couldn’t find anyone to throw to, had to move up in the pocket and kept looking for someone to throw to until he must have realized he was five yards past the line of scrimmage. And so, Eli runs.

This play could only be considered high comedy. The clock is reading 0:00, so getting a first down, or even just running for as much as possible, is pretty useless. So Eli is trying to run for a touchdown. Of course, the Panthers will never allow that to happen. So Eli is running, and us fans in the stands are screaming while also thinking, “This can’t end well.” Of course it doesn’t. Eli gets hit, fumbles and the Panthers recover. At least the defender got tackled. The play was followed by a rain of boos from the Giants’ faithful as the professionals ran to the locker room with their tails between their legs. Or so we thought.

I’ll be back for Part 2 of this debacle. I promise.