Juiced on the Giants, Nash knows best
Friday - February 08, 2008
So much for all the talk about the New England Patriots being the best NFL team of all time. What a difference a couple of plays make. Or even one play. If Eli Manning didn’t squirm out of an apparent sack and David Tyree didn’t make an impossible catch, we’re probably talking about Tom Brady’s place in history. Instead, it’s all about Manning’s coming of age, and Giant defensive co-coordinator Steve Spagnuolo being the defensive genius of the moment.
The Giants had been the better team the last several weeks and were the better team in the Super Bowl. They won the battle on both sides of the line of scrimmage and still needed an amazing 83-yard drive in the last 2:42 to win it. It was one of the more exciting finishes to a Super Bowl in recent memory. As a lifelong Giants fan, I enjoyed it immensely. But I’m still amazed at the number of people who are congratulating me, as if I had anything to do with the outcome. I don’t recall having made an acrobatic third down catch, or bursting into the back-field to sack Brady. It’s quite strange how spectator sports have become an exercise in vicarious living. Still, I managed a couple of war cries from the couch.
I resisted several invitations to Super Bowl parties, and took up my wife’s offer to provide great food and then take the boys to the zoo during the game. I don’t have HD; I have TS. That’s total solitude. I highly recommend it, particularly if you’ve got a strong rooting interest. No arguments, just ahi poke, wings and homemade turkey chili.And several frosty beverages. I was alone, but hardly lonely. All in all, a beautiful day.
If you’ve followed the adventures of the Rainbow Warrior basketball team, you know you’ve seen an unlikely story unfold. Evaluating the talent at season’s start, I figured them for seven wins.After the Rainbow Classic, where UH got swept, I thought I’d guessed high. But then something started to happen when conference play began. First, a well-played game against preseason favorite Utah State resulted in a close loss. Then, a gritty road win at San Jose. After being roughed up by Nevada at home, the Warriors beat the Spartans in the rematch and won going away against Fresno State. A split on the road trip to Idaho and then New Mexico State rolled into Hawaii. Coming off a national TV rout of Utah State, the Aggies are loaded with blue chippers and NBA prospects - and Hawaii absolutely took them apart. Terrific intensity on defense, excellent ball handling against pressure, great shooting and unselfish play on offense. This despite losing its last physical presence inside (P.J. Owsley) to injury.
They followed that with a scrappy, workmanlike effort to beat Louisiana Tech. UH is now 10-11 overall and a surprising 6-3 in conference. Credit first-year head coach Bob Nash with a fabulous job in the director’s seat. He’s got his team believing they can beat everyone in the league, and they’re playing like it. In terms of preparation, substitutions, execution and motivation, Nash should be the front-runner for WAC coach of the year. And never a complaint about being robbed of a recruiting season, or of being undermanned and overmatched. If you haven’t seen this team in person, make the effort to catch one of the three remaining home games. You’ll leave the arena entertained and inspired.
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