Despite saying that Eli Manning "met" Charlie Conerly's widow on Friday night (I'm fairly certain that Eli used to visit Perian Conerly routinely during his time at Ole Miss - a tidbit that received some attention right after the 2004 draft), Mike Lupica makes a good point today - one that has occurred to me this entire season, even as I've believed throughout that the Giants' future is bright.
You only get so many chances to win.
This is the NFL's ultimate truth. Anything could happen to the Giants next year that could derail what is "supposed" to be their season. Eli could get injured, a la Chad Pennington in 2003 (or Donovan McNabb right now). The offense might lose a couple of linemen to free agency and fail to "click," a la the Giants in 2003. Big Blue's key players might suddenly get old.
There's just too much inherent randomness in professional football to count on anything beyond one Sunday afternoon.
Just ask the Eagles.
And yet, I'm still not worried about today's game. I'm not saying that the Giants are definitely going to win. I just feel that whatever is meant to be will happen (which has nothing to do with the fact that Serendipity is on TBS right now).
Yes, I do believe it's the Giants' turn. Yes, I believe the karmic ledger should be balanced, considering all the garbage the Giants (and their fans) have had to endure in recent years (perhaps even extending back to the 1993 season finale, when Emmitt carried the Cowboys to a victory and a division title despite a separated shoulder). Why not now?
Most of all, I believe Eli Manning is destined for special things. I have faith in him. Because of Eli, the Giants have a chance to win each and every single game they play, regardless of the competition. And when you look at him, you can see the game's past (and in some cases, its present). You can see older brother Peyton when Eli marches up to the line. You can see a little Brett Favre whenever he darts around the pocket before firing an off-balance rocket (something you'd never see from his brother). And you can see a little John Elway (or Johnny U.) when the game is on the line.
And eventually, if you watch him enough, you can see what Ernie Accorsi saw when he fell in love with him.
Eli's still got a ways to go. As Bill Parcells would say, let's not put him in Canton just yet. But even if the Giants lose today, I cannot imagine it will be because Eli allowed it to happen. Which is a slightly different way of saying that every fiber in my being knows Eli will not allow the Giants to lose (even if they end up losing; and before your eyes glaze over, think about how the Giants lost last week and you'll see what I mean).
I truly, seriously cannot wait for this game. I have this crazy feeling that it's going to be a classic.