“The stars are blazing like rebel diamonds cut out of the sun, Can you read my mind?”
So speaking of stars; It’s truly amazing that one franchise has cornered the market on touchdown reception playoff miracles. Sure, you can include the Helmet of God (David Tyree’s catch to beat the Patriots) and of course the Immaculate Reception by Franco Harris. But if you actually broke down the greatest catches in NFL postseason history, you could argue the Niners have an amazing 3 of the Top 5. So let’s start off with a couple of video appetizers:
The Catch II
I took the choppy video because it includes the 49er radio announcer Joe Starkey with the greatest line ever, “Terrell Owens, he hasn’t held onto anything, including his fingers, all day. I don’t believe it. I just don’t believe it.” Wait a tic, late game heroics with Joe Starky at the helm? Where have I seen this before?:
Wait, The Play?
Oh that’s right. Hang on…Was there a band on the field? Oh college football, you are so silly. Sorry, I digress, back to the action.
The Catch III
Side note, if you watched both Terrell Owens and Vernon Davis after their game winning grabs, both were seen sobbing. I’m not talking single tear, both men were literally bawling after winning the day. You know who has no emotion and thus no heart?
NY Giant QB 1
Eli Manning is the reason I’m taking the Niners, eating the 2.5 points, and chowing down on a bloomin’ onion from Chile’s while I’m at it. Why? Because crybabies win championships, SF smokes NY in awesome factor, and I like deep fried onions.
But let’s get back to championship crybabies: Rocky Balboa screamin’ for Adrian through puffy eyes, Walter Payton in the Chi and his Hall of Fame speech, Michael Johnson on the podium after sweeping gold in the ATL, Federer’s first at Wimbledon hoisting the cup at Centre Court, and The Ultimate – Gretzky leaving Edmonton and abandoning the entire country of Canada for the City of Angels. Catch a trend?
Champions weep, and Vernon Davis losing it on the sidelines cemented the fact he will never buy an Anchor Steam in North Beach ever again. Even better, you can bet he’ll get a crack at the Mount Rushmore of 49er greats: Montana, Young, Rice, Lott (sans pinky).
Either way, I could spend hours breaking down why the 49ers pull this one out. But the number one key is the defensive front. Offensive efficiency and special teams are key factors, but as the G-Men proved last week against the NFL’s best team: Offense gets you the girl, but Defense lands the trophy wife. So we move on to the blood and guts.
New York Defense: The last time NYG visited Candlestick in November, they were without both supremely talented defensive ends Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora. This presents a slight challenge, as Osi basically made MVP Aaron Rodgers lay down and play dead for 3 quarters. Alex Smith is not Aaron Rodgers. Suffice to say with the game on the line, Smith won’t be running a naked bootleg like he did on New Orleans. Giant’s lost by 7 on a 49er goal line stand. This one will be closer, mainly because of 2 superfreak exterior defensive lineman. Keep an eye out.
San Francisco Defense: With all due respect to Vernon Davis, SF really needs another brilliant day from Justin Smith, your sure fire defensive MVP. This is by far the greatest season I have ever witnessed from a Niner defensive lineman since Bryant Young laid thunder in the 90’s. If the Niners win it’s because Eli was engulfed in pain grenades from Smith all day. So keep your eye on number 94, and that secondary which is the best in the league.
Gambling: NY Giants at San Francisco -2.5. Eat, swallow, and relish the points. I was thinking it would open at an even 3, so I’m giddy to hope for at worst OT, and SF relying on the foot of Akers. Get in early, because I bet this thing could be 3 or 3.5 by Sunday morning. And do not do not touch the over, Alex Smith could win by putting up 9 or 41. You just don’t know.
Gambling by Fan Base: Jim Daly Sr./Jim Daly Jr. (NY) at Connor/Charlie (SF) Profanities/Punches Thrown – 43.5. I took four wildcats and basically put us in the octagon. I’m just happy we’re separated by 3000 miles. Take the over in a hurry because this one will be a dogfight. It’s like Jim Daly Sr. (Mr. Meadowlands) taught me, the Giant’s defense is like an old fashioned – Sweet start, little rough around the edges, and then your knocked out (courtesy of Lawrence Taylor). I tried to respond with a comment about Ronnie Lott, but got pistol whipped by Phil Simms. Either way, from coast to coast punches will fly. Plus, my Southie compatriot Jimmy Jr. is not a happy camper when Eli doesn’t move the rock, and Connor goes ballistic when Vernon doesn’t get the pigskin. Combined it’s nuclear. Looking like Chernobyl on Sunday, and that is why we….
Roll Tide. TWDY.