Back in the dark times, before the Internet, there was this late-night TV infomercial for the sale of some video atrocity that depicted in gleefully graphic fashion the myriad ways in which a human being could meet an untimely and gory demise.
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Train wrecks, plane crashes, bear attacks . . . you name it, they had it, in glorious full color and agonizing slow motion. The commercials eventually got yanked for being too gross, but not before searing their disgustingly unpleasant images forever into my brain.
However, some poor schlub stepping off the curb to get splattered by the crosstown bus can’t begin to compete with the horror Giants fans witnessed at New Meadowlands Stadium on Sunday. And they can thank the Philadelphia Eagles, who scored 28 points in the final 7:28 for a 38-31 victory over New York.
Congratulations, Joe Pisarcik. You’re off the hook.
This one was worse than Pisarcik’s most infamous botch job, the play Giants historians have come to know simply as The Fumble. Back in 1978, all Pisarcik had to do was take a knee to hang on and run out the last few seconds for a win, but the Giants quarterback went for an ill-advised handoff that somehow bounced into the arms of the Eagles’ Herman Edwards, who ran it back for a touchdown and a Philadelphia victory.
Sitting in my parents’ house during a break from college, I watched that game by myself in our living room. The rest of the family had long given up on the Giants, in favor of such less painful pursuits as raking leaves and cleaning out the gutters.
As Pisarcik took that fatal snap, my mother walked into the room.
“We’re gonna win,” I said.
Then, bing, bang, boom, fumble, Edwards’ touchdown, Eagles win. Mom just looked at me like I’d left a banana peel under the bed for a month, shook her head and walked out the room without saying a word. No words needed to be said.
The Fumble was the worst moment in team history. Until Sunday. This collapse is now officially the worst choke job in the history of the New York Football Giants.
There’s no reason why any of you reading this should care about what I think. Sure, I work here. But these days everybody’s opinion is just as valuable (or worthless) as everyone else’s. Isn’t that what they tell us on the first day of “The Future of Media is in the Hands of Your Crazy Drunk Neighbor’s Kid’s Girlfriend’s Dogwalker’s Cousin’s Manicurist 101?”
For those who have not already skipped to the comments to let me know how much I stink, consider this:
How many things had to go wrong for a collapse of this magnitude to occur? It’s too bile-inducing to look, but let’s take a peek anyway, shall we?
The Giants’ Eli Manning had thrown for four touchdowns. The last one, an 8-yarder to Kevin Boss, gave New York a 21-point lead with 8:17 remaining. If New Meadowlands Stadium had a roof, it would have started popping a few bolts at this point.
What happened next? For expediency’s sake, let’s just cut and paste the gory details straight from the box score:
Eagles TD, 5:28 left. Michael Vick 4-yard run (David Akers kick). Plays: 5 / Yards: 57 / Time: 2:00
Eagles TD, 1:16 left. Jeremy Maclin 13-yard pass from Michael Vick (David Akers kick). Plays: 8 / Yards: 88 / Time: 1:45
And then the crusher:
Eagles TD, 0:00 left, DeSean Jackson 65-yard punt return (David Akers kick). Plays: 0 / Yards: 0 / Time: 0:00.
Zero, zero and 0:00.
That’s zero, as in the Giants’ ability to stop the tight end Celek as he lumbered in for a score.
Zero, as in the Giants’ preparedness on the ensuing onsides kick, which Philly recovered, leading to Vick’s touchdown run.
Zero, as in the Giants’ ability to retain possession of the ball, turning it over and allowing the Eagles to tie.
Zero, as in the chance rookie Giants punter Matt Dodge has of being employed next week. It was Dodge’s line drive punt that Jackson bobbled, then returned for the game winner.
And finally …
Zero, as in the Giants’ chances of saving their season. Sure, they can officially make the playoffs if they win their final two games, at Green Bay and Washington. Good luck with that. Teams that collapse like this don’t somehow manage to put on a play and save the orphanage from foreclosure. There will be zero miracles here.
Besides, the miracle already happened.
For the Eagles.
Stephen Miller is the managing editor of FOXSports.com and has seen more New York Giants’ late-game gags than one man should be allowed to bear.