Of all the Giants fans who were shocked by the team's ascension to the Super Bowl, perhaps none of them were more taken aback than Roger Director, author of I Dream In Blue, an account of his year following the Giants around ... LAST year. Here, he muses on the loss of his favorite player, Jeremy Shockey, and how he can make his presence felt this Sunday. Director will also be reading with us tonight at the Changing Hands bookstore in Tempe, Arizona.
What a throwaway nation we are. This is what I was thinking walking my Writers Guild Shift yesterday. People were talking about Hillary Clinton's tumble from sure No. 1 draft pick status. Which only left me pondering the wastebasketization of someone way more important to the quality of life and the future security of our great nation — Jeremy Shockey!
Since Big Blue's greatest warrior was carted off the field with a busted wheel six weeks ago, his place has been taken by Kevin Boss, a guy so huge he seems not to have a head. Boss has played great, and pretty much mistake-free, save for a holding call and a couple dropped passes, throughout the Giants' Super Bowl run.
Some people are reacting as if Kevin Boss is the Tom Brady of tight ends, some future Hall-of-Fame diamond in the rough. Some people are saying the Giants don't need Shockey! Some people are saying the Giants only made it to the Super Bowl because they don't have Shockey! That Eli Manning's quarterbacking, and the team's performance, is better without Achilles at arms upon the Plains of Troy! Some have even mentioned to me that Giants would be wise to trade Shockey!
Those who entertain such thoughts will be rounded up and shot.
What a throwaway nation we are. Boss-ites go around trafficking in treason and taunting us aloud with: "Where is Jeremy Shockey?"
I'll tell you where Shockey! is. Upon awakening in the recovery room following an operation on his leg, Shockey tore the tubes out of his arm and tried to get back to the Giants. Two burly orderlies tried to restrain him. But they were about as good at holding Shockey! down as the Dallas Cowboys defense. Two unconscious orderlies, one destroyed hospital ward and one SWAT team later, Shockey, still fighting to get back to the Giants, was finally multi-tasered. He was shackled and carted off in restraints to a maximum security holding cell at a Super Max prison on the high plains in Colorado.
That's how much Shockey! wanted to suit up for Big Blue. So much even the Super Max couldn't restrain him. He grabbed a couple crazed killers and, using them as human shields, broke out of SuperMax, zig-zagging on his not-yet-rehabbed leg through the spray of machine gun bullets and automatic arms fire. He laughed his way over the electrified, barbed wire fence only to find himself encircled by a ring of U.S. Army tanks and a voice coming through a megaphone telling him he wasn't yet medically cleared to play.
So the Giants will go with Kevin Boss. Leaving Shockey! where, exactly? The trail's gone cold, and I suspect his whereabouts are known only to a select few. The last I heard, he'd been sedated, locked in a cage and flown to a remote CIA outpost on a rocky island off the West coast of South Korea. The only way to know where he is and how much Shockey! wants to play in this Super Bowl are by the needle spikes on the seismograph in labs at Seoul and Manila.
But even without Shockey! the Giants will win. I know this because I am the same guy who predicted in my preview before the season even began that the Giants would wind up with the Vince Lombardi Trophy at year's end.
The Patriots will score 17 or 20 points. They'll score off a blocked Tynes field goal and you've got to figure Brady's arm is worth another 10 or 14 more.
But the Giants will outscore them. They will pound down the Pats defense. Eli will throw three TD passes and Tynes will kick one of two through the uprights. The turning point in the game will come early on, and, ultimately, the Patriots' and Rodney Harrison's toe tags will read: Cause of Death - Brandon Jacobs' knee.
It will be a great victory. One we can tape and take in the casket beside us to watch on our journey to the Great Blue Beyond.
But don't tell me it couldn't have happened with No. 80.