Super Thoughts

1) Giants coach Tom Coughlin should be getting far more credit than he is — for bucking the NFL trend and playing his best players in the last week of the regular season. With nothing more than pride on the line, Coughlin took on history and allowed his team to give the Patriots all they could handle. For the Giants, it was the beginning of a historic ride. For the Patriots, the game might have caused the extra exhaustion that left them vulnerable in a Super Bowl rematch.

2)The University of Phoenix might have pulled off the best stadium-naming deal in all of sports. How many Americans realize the “University of Phoenix Stadium” name — home of the Arizona Cardinals — carries no more significance than M&T Bank Stadium, AT&T Park or Coors Field? University of Phoenix is a private-equity owned for-profit education company. The company has no athletic teams, let alone its own 75,000-seat stadium. Thanks to Super Bowl 42 and its stadium sponsorship, the virtual educator has created the most real of impressions.

3) 2008 is looking good for the Washington Redskins. Two other times the Giants have won the Super Bowl (’86 and ’90 seasons). Two times the Redskins defeated the same AFC team a year later (Broncos and Bills). Looks like the Patriots are facing two straight Super Bowl defeats. Hail to the Redskins…

4) Bill Belichick has now solidified a reputation as a petulant child. His mumbling “concession speech” to Fox was embarrassing. Walking off the field before the game had officially ended is fine-worthy. At 18-0, the genius coach’s antics were quirky. As the Super Bowl loser, he looks immature and maniacal.

5) Please let this be the end to the media’s obsession with so-called locker-room material. Giants receiver Plaxico Burress predicted a victory last week. Apparently, it did nothing to motivate the Patriots. If some mouthy opposing player means more than completing a perfect season, than the Patriots had no right to win. Why don’t we get that?

6) Despite a Super Bowl that became an instant classic, the game’s ending was a reminder of the elegance that is baseball. With the game decided and a single tick on the clock, officials had to clear the field of coaches, players and media for Eli’s final kneel down. A walk-off, World Series-winning home run would never require such an artificial, scripted conclusion.

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