If Giants were a horse, they would need a urine test

Dec 27, 2005 4:20 AM

With 16 weeks gone, nothing really has been decided, except for those who won’t be around for the Grand Brawl on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5.

Of those who still have a shot after four months of wrangling, the issue is like Winston Churchill’s assessment of Russia — a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

Last weekend’s rehearsal of the most likely final scenario, Seattle and Indianapolis, proved nothing but the cleverness by Tony Dungy. Although absent because of the tragic disaster of the death of his 18-year-old son, the Colts head coach undoubtedly made the call to let Peyton Manning sit out most of this dance.

Beating Indianapolis 28-13 without Manning is one thing. Beating with them Manning is totally another. After having their undefeated season ruined by San Diego, and having clinched the AFC’s South division, it was a smart move to bench him. There was little to lose and a lot to gain, like instilling false confidence in the Seahawks that they can do it again. Maybe with a better pass defense next time, if there is one. They still have a healthy Shaun Alexander, a problem Indianapolis or anyone else will have to solve or lose.

Of the rest, who?

Cincinnati: Couldn’t handle Buffalo? Cincinnati and Super Bowl do not sound right together.

Denver? Somehow, Broncos do not look like a Super Bowl winner, even at 12-3. They still have to get by the San Diego spoilers, which the Colts could not do at full strength.

Chicago? The Bears have the momentum of a World Series winner and all that Windy City wildness that went with it for inspiration. Inspiration alone, however, does not win big games. All Bears are dangerous. Don’t treat them carelessly. And don’t mess with their defense!

Giants? Will the real Giants please stand up? They beat the Redskins 36-0 earlier in the season, then lost to them, 35-20. In horse racing that would call for a urine test. Brilliant New York columnist Selena Roberts had it right when she wrote the team has one defining quality — arrogance. They are like the city’s cab drivers and cops and much of its population — a superior bunch, even if only in their own minds. Roberts had them right, noting that on the road they make mindless mistakes, gather needless penalties and show lethargy. It is a very long road from Broadway to Oakland.

Jax or TB? Florida is okay in the winter, but we doubt if either the Jaguars or Bucs are Super Bowl material. We should note, however, that we didn’t think Wanda could or would do what she did, either. Jacksonville at 11-4 isn’t out of it.

Dallas? C’mon. The Cowboys won with a flurry of yellow hankies on the field for Christmas. They and their glum and sullen leader, Mr. Parcells, won’t have that kind of luck again. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Kansas City? Can you have Larry Johnson carry the ball 100 times?

Pittsburgh? It’s not called the Steel City for nothing. The 41-0 whitewash of Cleveland, including eight sacks of Charlie Frye, will give the Steelers confidence against hapless Detroit at home this weekend.

New England? Never count out a team coached by Bill Belichick even with Charlie Weis gone. The 9-5 record (not including Monday’s result) is not Super Bowl quality, but the wily William always is plotting and planning, And, All-American boy Tom Brady still is passing.

What’s that? You say enough already, you want the winner? You remind us of the Jewish grandmother who took her young grandson to the beach, and watched in horror as he was washed away by a giant wave. Weeping and wailing and screaming loudly to the skies in hopes of reaching the Lord, she finally caught his attention, and told him of her lifelong dedication to the temple and contributions to his blessings. Then, swoosh, another giant wave washed her grandson back up on the shore intact and unharmed.

The grandmother looked skyward with a complaining look and said demandingly, "He had a hat!"

Be satisfied with the gifts you got. Go figure the rest for yourself.