Matt Gatward: Giants' steps to glory throw up insight and melodrama
View From The Sofa: America's game: The 2007 Giants/Sky Sports 4
Monday 08 February 2010
Love it or loathe it the Super Bowl is impossible to ignore if you're that side of the pond and pretty tricky to turn a blind eye to if you're this. But last night's season finale, with all the razzamatazz, fireworks, wardrobe malfunctions and an elongated half-time detracting from the on-field activities touched four hours. The whole shebang ran until 3am. That takes some dedication.
So, if you're currently yawning your way through a day's work you shouldn't have bothered. You should have got your requisite eight hours shut-eye and waited for the next in the series of hour-long documentaries that tell the story of the season.
America's Game charted the journey of the 2007 Super Bowl-winning New York Giants and featured three key protagonists, the coach Tom Coughlin, quarterback Eli Manning and defensive end Michael Strahan, talking us through the action. There was also some fascinating behind-the-scenes footage of training drills carried out two days before the Super Bowl. One play was replicated to perfection in the big match to produce a touchdown.
It was great insight as Eli Manning, brother of Peyton who led the Colts last night, talked us through his training ground throw to David Tyree. "The only catch Tyree made all day," said Manning. "The worst practice in the history of practices. But he said he'd come good on the day and he did."
It would be fascinating watching Fabio Capello as he drills the England team (you can probably watch the England players doing their own drilling somewhere on YouTube but that's a different story) two days before the World Cup final. OK, I know it's asking a lot to imagine England in a World Cup final but you get the point.
The match footage is also up close and personal as cameramen mingle with players on the touchline. Strahan is shown urging his team on when they are 17-14 down with two minutes left. "One touchdown," he shouts, "and we are champions. Believe it and it will happen. Touchdown or nothing. Super Bowl champions or Super Bowl losers."
Sure enough, as if it were written in Hollywood, on the final drive Manning wriggles free of the onrushing Patriots and with a long throw down the middle picks out old slippery-hands Tyree, who clings on to a cracking catch to set up the touchdown. Manning talks of how he almost offloaded the ball and you can see in the slow-motion footage that thought going through his mind.
"Eli falls over in practice with no one around him," says Strahan as he relives the moment, "that is a fact. And he's about to get sacked and I'm thinking 'No, you can't get sacked right now.'" Coughlin says: "If the ball is thrown high down the middle field nothing good comes of it." Strahan adds: "Why throw down the middle on a hail Mary? Are you kidding me? But David catches it with one hand and lands on his back and clings on. For something that magical to happen in a season so magical. We could not lose." Manning then completes the job with a touchdown pass to receiver Plaxico Burress.
"The Giants have won the freaking Super Bowl," says Strahan. "We are world champions." Well, American champions but, whatever.
For mawkishness and melodrama look no further than these documentaries, but that's the Super Bowl. The show could have done with one more chapter, though. A "where are they now?" if you like. Strahan is in a relationship with Eddie Murphy's former wife, Nicole, the details of which have kept newspapers busy, and Burress is serving two years for gun possession. Hardly a Hollywood ending, though.
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
The Sistine Chapel is set to be illuminated with thousands of LEDs
Latest in Sport
Arsene Wenger 18th anniversary at Arsenal: His WORST signings XI during his time with the Gunners
18 things Wenger has still never done at Arsenal
Arsene Wenger's worst signings XI
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Nani: On loan Sporting Lisbon winger admits he may not return to Manchester United
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission, 1st yr OTE £30-£40k : SThree:...
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: My client are looking fo...
£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Domino ...