Let the first live-entry of this blog commence:
1:16 EET (the first and only mention of the timezone): OK, so the game did not being at fifteen past. Half past? Pretty please?
1:17: And let it be noted that I’m really tired already. Let’s hope for some early action on the turf.
1:19: This is by far the lamest rendition of the Star-spangled Banner in ages. By Jordin Sparks, an american idol, doomed to sink into the marsh of ideniti-kit R&B sooner or later.
1:21: A human-interest bit on Brady. Meh. I’ll go pick up the first beer of the night instead.
1:23: Oh yeah, I’m watching on Viasat, so there’ll be no complaints about the finnish commentary. Unless the repetitive and offensively bad jingles drive me to MTV3.
1:27: Giants won the toss and elect to receive the kickoff. Eli Manning looks a bit frightened. But then again, he’s the only QB that didn’t throw a single pick in the playoffs, so pressure might be just the thing to make Peyton’s kid brother shine.
1:36: Ow! Painful-looking collision between two Patriots defensemen. Which leads to a timeout. No idea whether this will be charged on the team on whose account the game is halted.
1:40: Nice start for the Giants, with three third downs converted.
1:41: Big Brother is watching you.
1:42: Make it 4 of 4. The Giants look surprisingly confident facing the 18-0 monster.
1:45: 3-0 for the New York team, Patriots finally stifled the offense (and were close to a pick in the end zone on a pass to Plaxico Burress).
1:48: 43 yards on a kick return. Not in the caliber of Devin Hester, but scary start for a drive nonetheless.
1:59: A big penalty on the Giants brings the Patriots to the one yard line. And with Brady having lots of time throw, that’s not a good place to have four downs from.
2:02: 3-7, Giants’ line was porous enough for Lawrence Maroney.
2:05: Gostkowski kicks off and out of bounds. Which gives Giants a great opportunity, since the play begins on their forty.
2:09: Burress almost fumbled, but the preceding pass was fortunately ruled incomplete. Followed by a beautiful long pass to the 20 for yet another third down conversion.
2:13: Meh. In the first turnover of the game a low pass bounces off Smith’s hands to the Patriots’ defense.
2:18: First punt. And a decent return, as the Pats are unable to benefit from the turnover.
2:21: And the firsts in the game keep piling up – Eli Manning gets sacked for a loss of three.
2:22: Well, I sure didn’t know a fumble can be reversed by digging the ball back out from the guy who recovered it. No surprise that a drive containing a fumble and a sack did not net the ten yards needed.
2:27: Woo, back to back sacks on Brady. And I’m suddenly out of salsa. Two unconnected events, one joyous, the other less so.
2:37: Ok, that’s not an old school conversion, but sadly the inspired fumble pickup by Smith (past the yards marker) is superseded by a penalty. So, instead of 1st and 10, it’s 3rd and 14.
2:48: Here’s the previous play in its glorious whole (as provided by the kainalopallokorneri liveblog.):
3-4 NE25 (2:31) (Shotgun) E.Manning sacked at NE 32 for -7 yards (A.Thomas). FUMBLES (A.Thomas), touched at NE 30, recovered by NYG-S.Smith at NE 20. S.Smith pushed ob at NE 29 for -9 yards (B.Meriweather). PENALTY on NYG-A.Bradshaw, Illegal Bat, 10 yards, enforced at NE 29.
2:51: Brady fumbles, but there’s only ten seconds on the clock for the Giants. Time for a Hail Mary.
2:54: Nope. Two long passes failed. The half-time show is hopefully painless and short.
3:03: Here we go. With Tom Petty as the headliner, I’d bet a dollar that we’ll get to hear Into the Great Wide Open.
3:09: Stumbled on an extensive glossary of american football terms while hunting for the reference for Hail Mary.
3:27: Half-time show in a word: boring. That’s not a desirable characterization on the year’s biggest show on US soil.
3:33: Belichick challenges. No-one seems to be exactly sure what is being challenged.
3:36: Bizarre. The challenge goes through, as the Giants had too many men on the field on the punt. And the Patriots get a fresh set of tries.
3:43: Instead of a long field goal attempt, the Patriots go for the first fourth down conversion of the game. And fail, as Brady overshoots the receiver.
3:52: And the possession changes again, as the ball is punted to the Patriots. Score unchanged since the first quarter.
3:56: A sack in the end zone comfortably close on Brady on the first down. On the second, the Giants’ pass rush is not quick enough to prevent a snappy pass to Wes Welker.
4:01: Giants defense has suffocated the New England offense once again, and frustration shows on Tom Brady’s face. The constant sacks are not exactly raising confidence on the Patriots’ offensive line.
4:03: And as wishes go: dear Santa / Easter Bunny / other anthropomorphic holiday entity, I’d really like to see the Chargers-Saints game on Wembley this fall. Yes, the repetitive Viasat jingles are affecting my sleep-deprived mind.
4:07: Nice big play to Kevin Boss. Proving that there’s power in the Giants’ air force. Jeremy Shockey in the stands ought to approve.
4:11: And the Giants score their first touchdown. Eli Manning to David Tyree. 10-7.
4:12: Hesari just dropped down the mailslot as a functional timestamp. Tomorrow’s not going to be an easy day at work.
4:19: Giants defense frustrates Brady again, and they get the ball with 9:20 to play.
4:25: With a yard or two missing after Amani Toomer’s catch, the Giants are forced to punt. Eli Manning had a great escape from a sack, but sadly his parabolic throw didn’t reach a wide open Plaxico Burress.
4:39: New England scores. On a drive where Tom Brady finally plays like he has done all season long, and Randy Moss briefly emerges from the shadows where he has hid in throughout the Patriots’ playoffs campaign. 10-14. The Giants have 2:42 to score a touchdown, anything less than full six points does not help at this point.
4:41: 83 yards to go. With full three timeouts left.
4:47: The third down comes up short, and the Giants have to go for it. Brandon Jacobs crosses the line, and the Giants drive continues.
4:51: Just when Eli Manning seemed to be sunk in a sack, he steps out of touch and launches a 20+ yarder to David Tyree, rescuing the Giants once more.
4:53: 51 seconds. No timeouts. On New England 24. No mercy.
4:55: Third down. Steve Smith runs out of bounds after the catch. Clock stopped. There’s a play or two left. No quarter.
4:56: Plaxico Burress scores. On a 25-yard pass on a wide open route in the end zone. 17-14.
5:00: Brady is sacked for the fifth time. 19 seconds on the clock.
5:03: And that’s the game. Eli Manning would be my pick for the MVP. With the key play his escape from an all-but-certain sack on the last drive.
5:05: Miracle on Gridiron, enough said. Let the confetti rain in Phoenix, I’m so off to bed now.