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In Enemy Territory: A Giants Fan Perspective of the Super Bowl by Vincent Zahler


"At least we got rings!" -Fans of Eagles' rivals Not since the early 2000s has the grass looked unquestionably greener(pun intended) on the other side. The Giants wrapped up arguably their worst season in franchise history with the only positives being a distribution of pink slips and getting their hands on the second overall pick in the 2018 draft. If that wasn't depressing enough, for most of Giants fans, that like myself, who live within Enemy Territory(Eagles Country) the nightmare is far from over. The Philadelphia Eagles are on the precipice of winning their first Super Bowl Championship with a back up quarterback no less. If that wasn't enough, they're going up against the dynasty that so far, only the Giants have been able to conquer under the light of the World Championship game. As all Giants fans are aware, it's a feat that's feasible considering how it's happened in the past. This obviously includes the Giants Super Bowl XXV victory over the Buffalo Bills. That of course, was when little known Jeff Hostetler took over for an injured Phil Simms late in the season and managed to beat not one but two hall of fame quarterbacks(Joe Montana and Jim Kelly) en route to a Lombardi trophy. Unlike Hostetler, Nick Foles is already well known. Mostly due to his statistically historic 2013 season where he passed for an NFL record, 27 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions. On top of that he put up top 5 all time passer rating that year, as well as even being named Pro Bowl MVP, and has a following of Eagles fans who have pulled his jersey from the back of their closets where they were hidden during his journeyman years as a Ram and Chief and since have proudly and justifiably dawned them again on during this late Super Bowl run. Much like the last three Giants championship runs, the Eagles are fully embracing their underdog role. A role which fits perfectly in an underdog blue collar city. Local social media has been littered with highlight videos featuring clips from the Rocky film series. Try as they might, non-Eagles fan can't seem to get away from the understandably smug jubilation that is currently Eagles nation. Even those simply asking Amazon Alexa are met with a machine responding with "E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!". This all happening despite the at the time, front runner for league's Most Valuable Player Carson Wentz getting knocked out for the season with a torn ACL. It appears that the Eagles are a team of destiny with an arrow pointing way up as they are a fairly young squad that fully expects their blooming superstar quarterback to return and proceed to lead the franchise for at least the next decade. Win or lose this Sunday, its high times for the Eagles and their fans. Meanwhile...... Giants fans are dealing with the 3 win season of which the only relevance it had was the absurd ending of Eli Manning's start streak as well as the firings of GM Jerry Reese and HC Ben McAdoo. While the team has a decent level of talent currently on the roster, there's little that strikes positive inspiration among Giants fans at this point. The offensive line is still is disarray, and the contracts of several impact players are either expired or about to be by the end of the 2018 season. Most notable of that group would be one Odell Beckham jr. If that weren't enough, the quarterback position is a major question going forward. While there are multiple reports that Eli Manning will indeed be returning in 2018 as the starter, it remains to be seen on what is to happen once the clearly declining 37 year old has reached the end. With the 2nd overall pick in the draft, on what many consider a quarterback rich class. Unfortunately, no matter how promising a prospect may look, there's always the risk that they don't pan out. As of now, Giants have no choice but to admit that the Eagles are much better situated at quarterback and will most certainly be for quite some time. For Giants fans right now, the only positives are anything but certainties. Sure, there's a new Head Coach in Pat Shurmur and a new rising star at Defensive Coordinator in James Betthcher, but few are ecstatic with the hiring. Shurmur is supposedly a quarterback guru and was beloved by his players in Minnesota but his lone stint as Head Coach for Cleveland was a disaster. Then again, so has everyone's. There's a new man running the front office. The once second in command before getting hired as General Manager by the Carolina Panthers, David Gettleman. Shockingly fired during the 2017 season, Gettleman has already made his presence known since he became GM of the Giants by immediately firing longtime scout Marc Ross and releasing the human turnstile and locker room clown Bobby Hart. It's not much but its truly all the Giants have to be hopeful for now. Similar to how Eagles fans often revel in the fact that the only team to ever beat the coach of which the Super Bowl trophy is named after in the postseason, Giants fans revel in the fact that they're the lone team that has beat Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. If the Eagles upset the Patriots on Sunday night, not only will Giants fans lose the "At least we got rings!" argument, they will also have to share the prestige of having been able to stop Brady/Belicheck. Needless to say, it isn't high times to be a Giants fan at the moment. Especially those living amongst Eagles fans in South Jersey. All we do for the time being, is look at our Philadelphia fan neighbors celebrating with full knowledge that the grass is indeed, greener on the other side.


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