By Nicholas Alfonse 12/28/09
The final day in Giants Stadium was an event for the ages. People purchased tickets, brought friends, cooked food and reminisced on memories and good times shared throughout the years spent there. Everyone was invited to the party, only the football team never showed up. On an afternoon where the New York Giants needed to win in the worst way, the team failed to take control of any and all aspects of the game.
It’s difficult to select the main problem with Giants’ performance yesterday. Was it the four turnovers? Could it be the holding penalty that called back Steve Smith’s touchdown catch in the first quarter? Or possibly the complete lack of any sort of rushing defense? The Giants were poor in literally every aspect of the game, and the final score of 41-9 told the harsh truth.
Many fans were especially upset with the horrendous defense, as Jonathan Stewart successfully rushed for over 200 yards and a touchdown. “It’s obviously not working, I don’t know why he doesn’t change the schemes,” said Brian Dunn of Connecticut about Bill Sheridan's defense.
Not only did the team constantly turn the ball over, but also the entire offensive effort was practically non-existent. Eli Manning fumbled three times, and Mario Manningham lost the ball in the Carolina red zone during the Giant’s opening drive. What should have been a close game turned into an absolute embarrassment for the team and their loyal fans.
“We’ve had so many happy times in the stadium, its too bad the G-men didn’t show up today,” said Mike Loundy of Point Pleasant Beach.
Notoriously known to be a hostile environment for visiting teams to play in, the 12th man was absent for most of this game. The cheers and roar of the crowd was taken out early, as the Panthers scored 24 points in the first half. “Giants stadium is stunned,” said Bob Papa during his broadcast of the game on 660AM WFAN.
The stunned audience began to pour out of the stadium by the fourth quarter, as the Panthers were up by 31 points. What many people were expecting to be a joyous occasion had turned into a disaster. The team embarrassed themselves in front of thousands of people and also did a real disservice to their fans. As fantastic as the team played last week in Washington, was how terrible their performance was yesterday. Tom Coughlin even apologized to the media in a press conference this morning for the team’s complete lack of effort and pride.
The Giants season and playoff hopes came to a bitter end, much sooner than most people expected. Hopefully this terrible memory of the closing game will be replaced by new, enjoyable ones next season. Its just a shame that we will all have to wait that long.