The idea of this space each week is to trade posts or questions and answers with a blogger covering this week’s Patriots opponents.
So this week, I did my due diligence in seeking out New York Giants Blogs that I thought were interesting and well written, and contacting them about possibly working something out this week.
The silence was deafening. Not a single Giants blog returned my emails, which I find kind of shocking. Why wouldn’t a die-hard Giants fan leap at the opportunity to get in front of a Patriots audience, if only to remind us of you-know-what.
Nope. Nothing. (Though it seems in one case anyway, someone else might’ve gotten there ahead of us.) So what I’m going to do is give you a quick run down of items the Giants are facing in camp, and what we might look for tomorrow night.
- The big story this week has been defensive end Osi Umenyiora, who stormed out of practice after a dispute with new defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan early in the week. Umenyiora later apologized for the incident, but has not said what led to the dispute. Sheridan faces a tough job in replacing Steve Spagnuolo as defensive coordinator after the latter left to become head coach of the St. Louis Rams.
- Most of us still curse the name David Tyree as we still can’t figure out what the guy had on his helmet that allowed him to hang onto that ridiculous catch to keep the Giants’ final drive alive. Tyree however, is facing the end of his career in New York, as he is currently about eighth on the depth chart. In fact, tomorrow night could be Tyree’s “last hurrah as a Giant”, and ironically enough will come against the Patriots.
- Wide receiver has been an issue all camp for the Giants, with Plaxico Burress literally shooting his way off the team last season. Who is the number one receiver? Steve Smith? Domenik Hixon? Rookie Ramses Barden? Sinorice Moss apparently feels he isn’t getting a fair shake with the club.
- The vaunted Giants defense has been riddled with injuries in the preseason. A recent article noted that safety Michael Johnson and DE Mathias Kiwanuka were about the only Giants starters to remain healthy through camp.
For the Patriots, I expect that we’ll see very little of the regulars, and a whole lot of reserves tomorrow night. (Cue the “Consumer Fraud” calls) With cutdown day looming on Saturday, this will be the last chance that many of these players get to make an impression on the coaching staff.
Yes, cue the ingracious “fraud” claims mostly by a) media who watch for free from a catered media box. and b) people who just want to jab the fans who actually paid to see the games.
Personally, I love the preseason games. The weather is usually great and you can get decent seats on the 2ndary market for reasonable coin.
There is something great about watching desparate young players, with limited knowledge of the playbook, getting one last shot to make an impression. You can also start crossing players off your depth chart as the inevitable mistakes blow up in front of 60k fans. I remember watching
Michael Bishop, Fred Coleman and Kevin Faulk trying everything to make the team. If you have ever strapped on a helmet and played full contact football, realize that you are watching dreams come true and dreams crushed. Add on top of that the tailgating and full Patriots experience, taken it for what it is, it’s a great experience and not a bad value.
Not all of us get “free tickets” or can afford to wait 30 years for a chance to buy a season ticket in the nose bleeds.
I once paid $300 for a cab ride from Burlington VT to see one preseason game. Please, if you don’t want your 100 or 200’s section preseason seats, don’t cry about them, share them with someone who does.
I agree with everything you said.
If it wasn’t clear, my mention of “Consumer Fraud” was a reference to the pathetic Kevin Mannix columns that the former Boston Herald football writer would seemingly compose every year on the topic.
No doubt… I knew exactly what you meant.
It’s a lazy journalist that reprints the same tired rehashed “preseason greed” complaint rather than dig in and research to produce a story of interest. The annoying thing is, the story is somehow presented as a legitmate complaint “on behalf of season ticket holders” when we are actually complaining about lazy preseason reporting.
I’m not saying I want more preseason games, just that I appreciate them, right up to the last desperate 4th game.
The other day I heard Belichick on with Ordway and the talk naturally turned to O’Connell, and then developing quarterbacks. Belichick at one point brings up the frequent criticism “we don’t need four pre-season games” and placed it in the context of how infrequently they get to see a developing quarterback in actual game conditions, as sort of a counter-argument to the “too many” argument. He said something to the effect of “when are you going to play them? You’re not going to play them in the regular season unless you have to.” Good point. Basically the idea is you need the four games so that you can play them and then evaluate them. I was thinking that the same theory applies to the rest of the hopefuls as well, though not as obviously as quarterback.
Anyway, I’m sold on four games for that reason alone.
Simple solution: sell beer, food and select souvenirs at 30 percent off during the 4th preseason game. Fans stock up, the stadium sells more stuff overall, everyone’s happy.
For the reasons Timbuk mentioned, I enjoy preseason games. Don’t we all root for the underdog? Don’t we all want to see if the guy we’ve gotten to know a little bit during camp can actually play? That’s good stuff.