Well, it’s almost here. The new season. The new stadium. The new defense. The same old jokes.
Yes, we’re back to listing the Bottom Five Things you should be looking for in the upcoming game. As you know, anyone can give you the top couple of things to keep an eye out for in the game, whether it be the Giants trying to stop the run or how Kenny Phillips looks playing for a full game.
But here we like to go deeper down the list. All the way to the bottom, in fact. So here, after four preseason lists, is the first regular-season Bottom Five Things to Look For when the Giants play the Panthers on Sunday:
5. Chase Blackburn’s captaincy goes to his head. Frustrated with the play-calling he rips the headset off Tom Coughlin late in the fourth quarter and announces that he’s the only one capable of turning this team in the right direction. He then cuts every player who was drafted, keeping only the undrafted free agents. The Giants will go 12-4 with the first player/coach in modern NFL history and Bruce Johnson and Victor Cruz become stars.
4. Perry Fewell mistakenly drinks decaffeinated coffee before the game and has trouble staying awake. At one point he dozes off mid-call. Players say it is really no different than last year under Bill Sheridan.
3. In an image reminiscent of the climactic bridge scene at the end of “Turk 182,” Rex Ryan rappels down from the top of the New Meadowlands roof and throws the switch that turn all of the lights and signage in the building from blue to green. “Our F*-ing House!” Ryan chants as he dangles over the crowd. “Our F*-ing House!”
2. Brandon Jacobs, Deon Grant and Osi Umenyiora ask Jim Sorgi and Sage Rosenfels for advice on being backups. Lesson Number One: Where to stand to get on television while on the sideline. And …
1. General Raymond Odierno, home from his four and a half year mission in Iraq and a special guest of the Giants, equates the game to the capture of Saddam Hussein. He equates the new stadium to the capture of Saddam Hussein. He equates the beer and hot dog he has at halftime, the line at the men’s room, and the traffic getting out of the parking lot after the game to … the capture of Saddam Hussein.