The fact that the New York Giants could possibly, just possibly, eke out a win this Sunday against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII is a fact the Big Blue faithful are embracing. Many Secaucus residents were excited last week about today's game (Sunday, Feb. 3).
"I'm going to go with Giants, 'cause I'm a fan," said Secaucus Town Clerk Mike Marra. "I feel they have a good team. But if they they're going to win, they're going to have to be 'on' for 64 minutes. If they let up, even a little bit, the Patriots are going to win."
"I think the Giants can do it," said Hoboken resident Mike Testoni, sipping a beer on Monday at Chili's on Plaza Drive in Secaucus. "They have a little less pressure on them than the Patriots. They might be more relaxed."
Fellow patron Jennifer Michael of North Bergen agreed.
"All eyes are on the Patriots and their perfect record this season," she said. "They're going to want to keep that. But it puts more pressure on them to win. I can see them making mistakes 'cause of that. And what about Brady's foot?"
Ah, yes, what about Pats' quarterback Tom Brady and his sprained ankle? Much has been made of the injury over the past week and Giants fans wonder if it will bring this dynastic team to its knees on the University of Arizona field in Glendale.
Marc Williams, who works in Secaucus, parted from his Blackberry long enough to weigh in on Anklegate.
"I don't know. Brady's been hobbling around. It don't look too good," said Williams, who identified himself as a lifelong Buffalo Bills fan. "If I was the Giants, I'd try to put pressure on Brady, get him out the pocket, make him run around a lot. I think the Patriots will win, but it's going to be a close game, not a blowout. And, you know, there's always a chance the Giants could win. They almost did it before."
The road warrior Giants came as close as anyone to upending the Patriots' perfect record in week 17 of the regular season when they narrowly lost to them, 35-38, at home. There is a palatable sense that the Giants have the right stuff to get the job done the second time around.
"I think they can win. I'm not so sure they will do it," said Craig Ng, who works in Secaucus. Ng will be pulling for the home team, even though he has no particular animosity towards the Patriots.
"Gotta root for the underdog," he said.
The odds of the Giants winning are so long, of course, because the opposing team is so good. Bill Belichick and his Patriots have already won the Vince Lombardi trophy three times. Brady has a career pass completion rate of 63 percent. And the team has an offense that is as revered and feared as its offense.
If the Giants can overcome all that, fans know the David-fought-Goliath-and-won storyline will bestow on the team the same legendary status of the 1986 Giants, the 1969 Jets, and the Joe Torre-era New York Yankees.
Still, fans can almost taste the delicious prospect of victory.
In New Jersey, local kids will even benefit from the Giants' prowess. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey's "Touchdowns for Families" program will donate $2,500 to Children's Aid and Family Services (CAFS) in New Jersey each time the Giants score a touchdown on Sunday.
During the season, Horizon BCBSNJ donated $500 per touchdown and $1,000 for each touchdown in the playoffs.