Saturday, February 25, 2012

Better than the real thing

Earlier this afternoon...

The New York Giants carried a 35-14 lead into the fourth quarter against the visiting Cleveland Browns, on the strength of a couple of bombs from Eli Manning to Mario Manningham and a defense that stymied Peyton Hillis and Colt McCoy, limiting the Browns to one score and no sustained drives (the Browns got one score on a pick-six on a flat pass).

But McCoy got the Browns up off the mat and led them on a 78-yard drive to make the score 35-21 with about seven minutes left; after a defensive stop, McCoy ended another drive by finding tight end Ben Watson in the end zone to make it 35-28. A bit later the Browns punted with just under four minutes to play, banking on getting one more stop on defense and one more opportunity on offense. They got it, taking over at their own 32 with 1:30 the clock and two time outs. McCoy moved the Browns to the 49 with 45 seconds left, prompting the Giants' coach to remark, "I've got butterflies in my stomach."

Three deep passes to Mohamed Massaquoi came up empty, though, and the Giants got out with the 35-28 win. The Giants' coach was my elder son (the Browns' coach was your correspondent), and the game was Strat-O-Matic Pro Football (2010 season player cards). I've been playing the game off and on since the 1974 season set, when I played with my dad and my brothers.

Football at its best can be a great game.

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