Can the Giants really be that good?
JAN. 15, 2001
There are a lot of things on the brain today…I guess because I've seen a lot of memorable things this week. But on Sunday I saw what was probably one of the most unbelievable.
Can somebody please tell me how in the world a team with as high-powered an offense as the Minnesota Vikings gets skunked 41-0? How is that possible? Are the Vikes just snakebit not only in Super Bowls but in conference title games as well?
Or are they just so much better inside the Metro-dome than on real grass?
I don't know, but I do know superstar Randy Moss was held to just two catches for the second consecutive week. But this time instead of racking up 122 receiving yards, he only managed 18. And his pass-catching mate, Cris Carter, caught only three balls for 24 yards.
The wise-cracking, smack-talking Carter of a week ago was nearly weeping after Sunday's debacle. The syllable-spitting Carter had done in the mug of New Orleans Saints head coach Jim Haslett last week was replaced Sunday by Carter choking back tears in FOX reporter Pam Oliver's mike.
And as for Moss? One could only savor the moment as one of the league's top trash-talkers got his due. Moss sprays water on refs like nobody's business and, let's face it, when it comes to being humble about his accomplishments, he will never win any awards.
Another question I have is what would have happened if the Saints had won in Minneapolis?
Yes the Giants who are hot right now would probably still be making plans to go to Tampa today. But would it have been as bad as 41-0?
Does the way New York manhandled Minnesota show that the Saints are not nearly as good as any one of the league's final four?
New Orleans did slug it out with Oakland in the regular season, but look at what happened to the Silver and Black attack and at home, no less.
Would the Giants have won at all? That's a tough one. The Giants are tough to beat in the New Jersey swamp, but the Saints come from the swamp too, so who knows?
The Giants have been to their fair share of NFC title games, while the Saints have watched their fair share on TV.
But the Saints were 7-1 on the road during the regular season. Six of their 11 wins were on grass surfaces. Those wins represented the only outdoor games the Saints played in.
I think the 2000 Saints were built to play on grass. When you lose seven games a year on turf and a truckload of players to the carpeted concrete, maybe a big new outdoor stadium on the west bank isn't such a bad idea.
I really believe they would have put up a better showing than did Daunte Culpepper and company It's amazing how a pro football team can go from looking so good one week to being a laughing stock the next week.
Yeah, yeah, defenses win championships a tired phrase. But it's the reason a recovering alcoholic who lit up a fat cigar when Mike Ditka bailed him out of jail will be a marquee name in the Super Bowl. If that isn't scary enough, consider that the other major sidestory will be that, Dilfer, a castoff from the Tampa Bay Bucs will have a chance to come back and strut his stuff in Raymond James Stadium.
In two weeks, will anybody outside of New York and Baltimore care? Maybe to ease fan apathy before the game, CBS' sideline reporters can take us on a tour of the Pirate Ship.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com.