I’m a New York Giants fan so this was a great football season for me. Well, maybe not the whole season because the G-Men played some games that were pure torture to watch as they barely hung on to win (they lost some too) against teams that, on paper, they should have had an easier time with. But then they got hot, played well in playoffs against some good teams, and went on and beat the unbeaten Patriots to win Super Bowl 42 (screw Roman numerals which are actually Etruscan numerals). A story book season. The teams first championship since January 1991. Hooo-Rah!

I downloaded the highlights of the Super Bowl from iTunes plus I video captured ESPN’s post Super Bowl highlights show. I’ve watched them a couple of times and they do a descent job of telling the story of the game but the highlights are missing something. On some occasions the low-lights are really needed to tell the story of the game. The Giant’s final game winning drive needs the low-lights to really tell the story.

It was a low scoring Super Bowl but it was filled with excitement. Every down was packed with intensity because both teams were playing well and both teams were capable of big plays at any moment. On offense and defense. The Patriots coach, Bill Bill Belichick even made coming back from commercial after a Patriots punt exciting as he threw the red challenge flag and made the refs go to the video replay because the Patriots noticed a Giant player didn’t get off the field in time. Going into the fourth quarter the Giants were down 7-3 but then they put together a nice scoring drive to go up 10-7. The Patriots soon answered with a scoring drive and a touchdown of their own to pull ahead 14-10 with just over two minutes left in the game.

The Patriots scoring drive was a thing of beauty. A classic NFL drive where the quarterback spreads the ball around and the team marches down the field on eight to twelve yard plays. Tom Brady and the Patriots offense looked in peak form on that drive. They were unstoppable in a way that is familiar to all NFL fans as they’ve watched Joe Montana, John Elway, Brett Favre, and many other quarterbacks put together drives just like that to win games. In those kind of drives almost every play is a highlight.

In contrast the low-lights in the Giant’s game winning drive need to be seen in order to put the highlights in context. The Giant’s game winning drive was not a classic NFL thing of beauty drive. It was a chaotic, frenetic, unpredictable bit of football. Both teams were playing as hard as they could and throwing their bodies around recklessly because the game was on the line. The Patriots defense disrupted the Giants offense on a few occasions and the designed play went out the window as guys had to improvise and just play sand lot football.

Some of the low-lights: 1) On the Giants first set of downs they failed to make any yards on their first two plays and ended up have to go for it on fourth down. The game was on the line and they barely made the first down. 2) Eli Manning threw a pass that was almost intercepted. It bounced off of the defenders fingertips and if he had held on the Patriots would have won. 3) Eli Manning almost fumbled the ball away as he was tackled from behind after a short run. 4) Following the spectacular escape and catch by Manning and Tyree a second pass to Tyree bounced off of a defenders hands. Yet another potential interception that didn’t happen. Another chance for the game to end but it didn’t. 5) Finally, before Steve Smith’s catch to make a key third and eleven conversion we have the two unsuccessful plays that got them to third and eleven. I think one of them was the almost interception I just mentioned and the other a sac as Eli ran for his life.

Most of the Giant’s low-lights were dramatic and showed how hard both teams were trying to win the game. The low-lights were not the Giant’s botching plays but the Patriots making plays. It was a near thing and on a couple of plays the game was decided by inches.

It was a game winning drive for the ages but a truly unique one. Both sides were playing their hearts out. The defense was creating chaos as the offense was trying to create order. I think in most game winning drives order wins over chaos. What makes the Giant’s game winning drive so different is that order didn’t so much win over chaos as order adjusted to chaos and tried to ride the wave chaos created. It was a crazy anything could happen drive and just the highlights don’t tell the story.

By the way I watched the whole game winning drive the other day and the two minutes of game time when the Giants had the ball took about twenty minutes of real time. And that is without the commercials. That’s how long the craziness went on. long live the craziness.