Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Happy Anniversary, Super Bowl XXI!
By Rich Cimini
Quick hits on the Giants' 39-20 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI -- 25 years ago today.
1. This was special for the Giants because it was their first trip to the Super Bowl -- their first championship game since 1963. It was particularly gratifying for the fans who suffered with the Giants through the 1970s, when things were so bad that fans burned tickets outside the stadium.
2. Bill Parcells later recalled that standing in the tunnel before the game was one of the greatest moments of his career. He's a Jersey guy, grew up a Giants fan, and he had reached the pinnacle in his profession.
3. The Giants were built on defense -- Lawrence Taylor and "The Big Blue Wrecking Crew" -- but QB Phil Simms stole the spotlight. He played the game of his life, maybe the game of anyone's life. He completed 22 of 25 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns, winning MVP honors. He also became the first football player to do a "I'm going to Disney World!" commercial.
4. The final score, 39-20, suggests it was fairly one-sided, but the Giants actually trailed at halftime, 10-9. The turning point came early in the third quarter, when Parcells called a fake punt. It was successful, as backup QB Jeff Rutledge took the snap and ran for a first down. It changed the momentum, as the Giants went on to dominate. They scored four touchdowns and a field goal on their first five possessions of the second half.
5. The Giants celebrated by dumping a Gatorade cooler on Parcells, showing the world what had become their traditional postgame celebration -- the start of a trend that still endures.