In typical New York fashion, the denizens of this metropolitan area are waking up this morning and mobbing Modell's and other stores, wanting to be among the first to buy ridiculously overpriced Giants gear, crowing as if they themselves had accomplished something last night other than polishing off a few dozen chicken wings and a plate of nachos.
Of course we at Casa la Brilliant are happy that the Giants won, but even if they hadn't, it was still a hugely entertaining game, and when you don't know until the last second who's going to win, you've gotten your money's and your arteries' worth. Besides, I will always be grateful to Tom Brady for knocking future wingnut politician Tim Tebow out of the playoffs. Seriously...why was Tebow even a story here? You mean a couple of stand-up guys, great quarterbacks both, both with beautiful wives and adorable babies, both of them at the top of their game, isn't enough for the press? Why is it that even in a Super Bowl in which Tebow isn't playing, he's still sucking up all the oxygen in the room? Where's the love for Manning and Brady and the lame-but-game Ron Gronkowski and for Paterson, New Jersey's own Victor Cruz, who plays football with a sheer joy in the game that we in New York are going to miss now that José Reyes has jumped off the Flushing Titanic?
Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich, who two years ago beat cancer, finally lifted the trophy an hour after game's end. He was inactive because of an ankle injury, but his smile was as wide as anyone's. When he passed off the trophy and walked down the stairs, a pair of soldiers from the U.S. Army stopped him.
"You're an inspiration," one of the soldiers said. Herzlich told the man he had it backward.
"You're the inspiration," Herzlich said. "Thanks for everything you guys do."
The soldier nodded and asked Herzlich to sign his seat cushion.
There's a man who has his priorities straight, unlike New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who can put together a ticker tape parade with only 36 hours notice to express thanks to a team that plays in Jersey for winning a football game, but when it comes to honoring returning veterans, all we hear is crickets.
At this point we all know that the Iraq War was not just unnecessary and a war into which we entered based on lies that the Bush Administration convinced itself were true because of its own agenda. We all know that a horrific Middle East nuclear crisis is brewing that's likely to involve conflagration between Israel and Iran and who knows who else, and is perhaps even more likely as a result of the U.S. toppling of Saddam Hussein, who had been a pain in the ass to the Iranians for decades. But still -- there are tens of thousands of Americans who fought in Iraq with the noblest of intentions, and when the Mayor of a major city is willing to spend the money to honor a few dozen well-paid guys for winning one well-played game but refuses to do so to honor war veterans (after this nation had made a tacit promise to never again repeat the look-the-other-way reaction that characterized the exit from Vietnam), well, there's something screwy about our priorities.
Let the Giants and their fans enjoy the parade tomorrow. But while the cars full of Giants make their way up Broadway to City Hall, we'll know that there's at least one Giants player who has his head on straight.
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