Acting Coridal – Talking Vikings and Giants with UltimateNYG

Once again, Purple Jesus Diaries is happy to work with a Bloguin NFL blog where we preview the upcoming Minnesota Viking football game through the eyes of an opponent. This week we talk with UltimateNYG, a New York Giants blog that kindly reminded us about 41-0. There’s going to be lots of crying in this Q&A session. Make sure to visit their site at UltimateNYG on Firday to read the questions I answered for them, which included a lot of quarterback controversy, depleted secondary, and injury news. Today, I ask UltimateNYG about New York Jets fans, Sage Rosencopter, and the freaky Tom Coughlin. On to being cordial!

Purple Jesus Diaries: Tell us simple Midwestern fans, what’s the major difference between Giants and Jets fans? I always assumed Jets fans were almost all from Jersey and larger douche bags somehow. Would this be a fair assessment, or what’s your take on the two fan bases?
UltimateNYG: Jets fans have a large base from Long Island, given they played in Shea Stadium (Flushing Queens) for so many years.  This explains why they are inbred goons and cretins.  And I actually root for the Jets when they aren’t playing the Giants.  But yes, you are correct- Jets fans are animals.  Where else do you find their element institutionalizing the coercion of women to show their wares at halftime at one of the exits?  I rate them as second to Eagles fans in their boorishness.  Giants fans are old NFL aristocracy, if there is such a thing for football fans.  Many seasons tickets holders are from generations passed down, and only the new stadium’s personal seat licenses have changed any of that.  Oh, and by the way, not that you asked, but the new stadium is a waste of $1.7B dollars.
PJD: Eli Manning has had some terrible luck against the Vikings. It’s really unexplainable. When the Vikings are good, when they’re terrible, it doesn’t matter. I think Tarvaris Jackson even beat the Giants once. That’s scary. However, if you remember from our wound history, the Giants have had their fair turn at soiling the Vikings season dreams as well. 41-0 anyone? Who do you think has the advantage this season? I say Vikings, usually because the crappier team always ends up playing spoiler.

UNYG: I was at that 41-0 game.  I was also at the game when Darren Sharper picked off Eli three times.  Old Eli telegraphs his throws, new Eli looks off the defender.  Sometimes he reverts, which is (one of the reasons) why his performance can be so inconsistent.  With Rice back and a new head coach that the players seem to be playing for, this game is not going to be easy by any means.  I give the edge to the Giants, just because Justin Tuck’s speech at halftime of the Jaguar game seems to be one of those moments where the team came together for each other. 

PJD: You’ve won some Super Bowls, I see. How does that feel? Like a thousand angels caressing your back as you fall asleep on golden sheets? Us Minnesota Vikings fans wouldn’t know, and it sucks.
UNYG: At the top of the banner on our blog are three footballs, which represent the three Super Bowls.  So that should tell you a lot.  I preach to anyone who will listen that you root for your team to win titles, period.  It does not matter whether you finished last or lost in the Super Bowl, 31 teams lose and 1 team wins.  That is it.  The one thing we do have in common with you is that the Giants lost Super Bowl XXXV.  I was there for that one too, and it SUCKED big time.  The pain and bitterness of that loss was what propelled Michael Strahan and Amani Toomer to get the team in the right frame of mind to win Super Bowl XLII.  They explained to their fellow players how horrible losing the title game was, and how losing was simply not an option.  Many teams are happy to get there.  That is utter horsesh*t.  Losing to Baltimore down in Tampa Bay in 2001 was worse than many other seasons.  The final message is this- you have to build your team to win it all.  I’d rather have a team with good schemes that is 6-10 that is building something that can go all the way than a 10-6 team that will be built to fail once they get into the tournament.  That is the lesson of the Denny Greens and Marty Schottenheimers… consistent regular season success and consistent playoff failure.  Your schemes must be built to beat the best.  In 2007, Steve Spagnuolo installed a defense that was 21st Century-pressure-the-QB.  The aggressive defense was part of the reason the Giants won a title.  You have to attack the BEST QBs, not the weakest ones, because only the best QBs will be there in the playoffs.

PJD: You guys are fighting a lot of injuries. How worried are you that this will hurt your run towards a playoff spot, and how is your depth behind those injuries?
UNYG: The Giants got hammered at OL and WR.  It got so bad that we signed Derek Hagan (who was cut at camp), Devin Thomas and Michael Clayton (other teams’ discards) just so that we had BODIES.  Hagan STARTED two weeks later after being on a couch the whole season!  But these guys did their jobs vs weaker opponents and bridged the gap to the Vikings.  Now we expect some of these players back this week (pro bowlers Diehl and Smith to name two).  The injuries ironically make us a stronger team down the stretch because when the players return we will be deeper and our Offensive Coordinator will have more short game.
PJD: Tom Coughlin freaks me out. I remember when you guys won your recent Super Bowl and had the NFC Championship game in Green Bay and I thought Coughlin was going to freeze his face off. I also thought he was going to retire last year. Is he in this for the long haul now? From a team that hates our coaches, how does the Giants fan base feel about theirs?
UNYG: Wow, that is a GREAT question.  We regularly debate the merits and weaknesses of Tom Coughlin.  The more we talk about the guy, the more I am convinced that Coughlin is as good AND as bad as his coordinators.. that he does not add value himself.  In 2006, when both coordinators had to be fired and yet he kept his job, where was Coughlin?  In 2007, we feel it was the 2006 orders by ownership to Coughlin to communicate with his players plus D.C. Steve Spagnuolo’s wonders that made the season.  In 2008 when the Offensive Coordinator choked it big time (10-1 before Burress shot his brains out), where was Coughlin?  In 2009 when the defense imploded, players were freelancing and the team gave up 40+ points to 5 different teams, where was Coughlin?  For the most part, he is an old steward who needs his coordinators to get it done.
PJD: Where do you see the mismatches (or advantages too) between the two teams? Or really, who are you most worried about on the Vikings team?
UNYG: A year ago it would have been (ex-Giant) Shiancoe.  But since solidifying Safety during the offseason, our concern would be heightened at LBer, and that means Adrian Peterson.  We’ll probably have Michael Boley assigned to AP in coverage, and that is how I would attack the Giants.  Whichever receiver is in the slot (Harvin?) will have an oppty vs Aaron Ross.
PJD: Why does it seem the Vikings and Giants play every single year? I looked in to it once, I think early this decade they played for nine years straight. That’s stupid luck.
UNYG: Worse, the beat writers are bitching because it always seems to land in December.

PJD: What’s the buzz on the team in New York? Do people think this team is a legitimate threat in the Super Bowl race this season? Are they rebuilding? Are they in their prime?
UNYG: I think there is a legitimate opportunity to win it all because of Hakeem Nicks.  You see, he is injured, but while he was playing he gave the Offensive Coordinator its first legit X Wide Receiver since Burress went down.  It makes the offense go into overdrive, is why the team started scoring 30+ points per game in the middle of the season.  Nicks is the former #1 from last year and he is the real deal.  Add in the fact that Eli has not played a complete single game this entire season and you can see that if he does (like he did in the ’07 playoffs), the team becomes a scary opponent.  Balancing out that view of unbridled optimism is that the Giants are a couple of boneheaded mistakes (see Titans game, 2nd Dallas game, Philly game) from losing to anyone, including the Vikings.
PJD: What happened to Brandon Jacobs? He was such a stud for years, and now he’s getting like 5 carries a game. Is Ahmad Bradshaw really that good? Is Jacobs that bad?
UNYG: Bradshaw is terrific.  At gaining yards.  At fumbling.  Sound familiar?  No he is not as good as AP on his best day, but he is a tough son of a gun [Ed. Note – Alright, settle down guy.].  He replaced Jacobs as the #1.  Then he lost the starting job when he kept putting the ball on the ground.  Jacobs, for his part, is the healthiest he has ever been for this time of year (due to the reduced carries).  Jacobs had an injury in Week 1 of the 2009 season and is beginning to look like the old Jacobs for the first time in literally ~26 games.  Not good timing for the Vikings.

PJD: We traded you guys a couple of players early in the season (Sage Rosenfels and Darius Reynauld) for … I don’t even remember. Some draft picks spread over two years? Garbage. I would rather have both those players still. Have they done anything for you guys?
UNYG: I really like Rosenfels.  I felt he got a bad rap in Houston.  He is a solid backup. Every week Eli is healthy, the better that Rosenfels will know our offense.  Reynaud has been awful as a returner.  I’d much rather have Blackmon or Ware returning punts.
As for the trade, it was ego-driven, and one of the reasons/symptoms for why Childress is gone.
PJD: How do you see the game playing out, and what’s your score prediction?
UNYG: Both the Giants and the Vikings are playing better football as of late.  For the Giants, that means 1 turnover in the last two games, compared to 30 turnovers in the first 10 games.  For the Vikings, the way we see it, they are really playing to see Frazier get the job as Head Coach.  That, and a little detail like the fact that they want their jobs again next year.
The key to the game will be both trenches.  Can the Vikings protect their injured QB (we suspect Favre will play) and produce holes for Peterson.  Can the the Giants OL do the same for Eli Manning and the running game.  Both teams want that play action to work, and you need a credible running game for that to happen.

I believe in the Giants.  They should win the game as long as they protect the ball.
We’ll see about that, you Big Blue … Balls! Because … blue balls, is … is a thing, and … the team I cheer for is like, 5-7. Whatever. Thanks for being entertaining, UltimateNYG!


About PJD

I once saw Paul Edinger kick a 56-yard field goal for the Minnesota Vikings against the Green Bay Packers to win a game in the Metrodome. It was exhilarating.