Giants take down Super Bowl countdown sign

The New York Giants’ playoff hopes are history, and so is the

Super Bowl countdown calendar in their locker room.

The Giants (5-8) removed the calendar after being eliminated

from playoff contention following a 37-14 loss to the San Diego

Chargers on Sunday.

Giants general manager Jerry Reese put up the countdown calendar

to the cold-weather Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in late July to

stress the importance of this season after New York missed the

playoffs in three of the past four seasons.

Losing the first six games went a long way in making it four of

the past five seasons.

”I didn’t even notice it was down,” quarterback Eli Manning

said Wednesday. ”I didn’t really notice when it was up,

either.”

Receiver Victor Cruz recalled looking at the calendar

momentarily at times this season and then just as quickly returning

to work. Its absence on Wednesday was nothing special.

”From the outside looking in, I guess you could say that it’s

the final piece saying that our chances are gone,” Cruz said.

”But it didn’t affect us. We knew what our goals were whether he

put that up there or not. We knew exactly what we needed to do for

us to get our goals and get to where we needed to be.’

Coach Tom Coughlin was testy earlier in the day when asked

whether the calendar would still be up.

”I didn’t put it up, so I’m not taking it down,” said the

67-year-old coach who led the Giants to Super Bowl titles after the

2007 and ’11 seasons.

Most of the players said they didn’t realize the calendar was

gone.

”It has no reason to be up right now,” safety Antrel Rolle

said. ”I think as players we understand what we’ve created here

for ourselves, which is not a chance to go into the postseason, but

right now I think that’s not everything. We still have a lot to

play for. We still have everything to play for. This is a game that

we’re professionals. When you go out there each and every Sunday,

you’re not going out there each and every Sunday to play for a

Super Bowl. You’re going out there to play for that particular

Sunday. `

The Giants face the Seattle Seahawks (11-2) at MetLife Stadium

on Sunday. The Seahawks will have a chance to win the NFC West and

earn the No. 1 seed for the playoffs with a win and losses by San

Francisco and New Orleans.

If they do, the road to East Rutherford in February will go

through Seattle.

”No, we’re not looking at it that way,” Seahawks coach Pete

Carroll said. ”We’re just trying to get there and get focused on

this game and take care of business and we’ve talked about that a

long ways down the road. That really shouldn’t be in our business

at all right now.”

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org