Matt Gatward: Giants' steps to glory throw up insight and melodrama

View From The Sofa: America's game: The 2007 Giants/Sky Sports 4

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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas