Feb 6, 2012, 7:06 PM EDT
The post-game celebration on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium after the Giants won Super Bowl XLVI was just as one would expect. Euphoric. Joyful. All the things Madonna wanted her halftime to be.
The jubilation surrounding the trophy presentation was expressed not only by the players but by their families as well.
Wives, children, parents, brothers and sisters all got in on the act.
Proud papa Archie Manning was ecstatic. Sure, he’d seen this scene before.
After the game, Archie was clearly elated. He and Eli’s brother, Cooper, were on the field with some of Eli’s nieces and nephews absorbing the moment.
Peyton Manning did not make an appearance. He had not wanted to be a distraction all week as Eli tried to win a second Super Bowl Championship in the “House that Peyton Built.”
The Mannings weren’t the only notable family on the field. Many Mara’s — including a bevy of Mara grandchildren — dotted the scene.
There were scores of babies and toddlers drinking in the scene as well. Small faces everywhere were beaming in the shower of confetti, watching on as their dads partied like children themselves, everyone wearing a Giant smile.
As I watched Tom Brady on the sideline in the second half, it was clear the quarterback was desperate to be on the field as much as possible.
After a drive-ending sack that sent Brady to the sideline with a left shoulder concern, the three-time Super Bowl champ was visibly frustrated.
It looked as though that next opportunity was eminent with the Giants facing a third-and-seven from their own 11-yard line. Brady got off the bench and started throwing some warm-up passes.
But Pats LB Rob Ninkovich was called for a 5-yard penalty, giving the Giants a third-and-two instead of a third-and-seven. Brady shook his head in disgust.
Manning converted the third-and-two with a 12-yard pass to Hakeem Nicks, and Brady got steamed. You could see — and hear — the anger as Brady trudged back to his seat on the bench.
It was a single moment that was only a precursor to the greater anguish that was yet to come.
HERZLICH HELPS THE HURTING
When Giants TE Jake Ballard sprained his knee in the fourth quarter, the team called his return questionable.
“Questionable” turned into “No Chance” after Ballard fell to the ground in pain when testing his knee on the sidelines.
The Giants called for a cart. It was like a replay of the first half when TE Travis Beckham left the game with a torn ACL.
In Ballard’s case, he was helped into the cart by LB Mark Herzlich, who was inactive.
Herzlich, no stranger to pain himself, was there to support the suffering Ballard.
This was not the kind of contribution Herzlich had hoped to make in Super Bowl XLVI.
“I just want to get in there for anything,” he told me at media day. “Just one play.”
When Herzlich deplaned in Indianapolis a week prior, he sent out a Tweet that went viral:
“2 yrs ago I was told I’d never walk again, Just WALKED off plane to #Indy to play in #SuperBowl #TakeThatCancer”.
Herzlich’s story has been well documented. Three years ago he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, in his left leg.
Two years ago, the Boston College star concluded his chemo.
“It’s not often that I think back to the cancer,” the 24-year-old rookie told me. “But on the plane (to Indianapolis), one of the movies offered was “50/50.” It made me think back. This (moment) is more than a movie.”
“I always thought in a perfect world I’d get better enough to play one more year at BC,” he continued. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be in the Super Bowl in two years.”
Herzlich’s comeback story culminated Sunday night with a Super Bowl championship, though the tale would have been far more triumphant had he actually played in the game.
The undrafted free agent suffered an ankle injury in the week twelve game against the Saints. He was inactive for the last eight games, including the playoffs, but had hoped to make the active roster in Indy.
Herzlich was medically cleared to play, but he knew being activated would depend on need and space.
Regardless, Herzlich’s Indianapolis experience was worlds away from another Super Bowl he has etched in his memory.
“I remember watching the Super Bowl (XLIV) on the couch with my family in Philly. I was bald and sick. It was hard to watch any football at all.”
The Saints beat the Colts in Miami that night in February of 2010.
And Herzlich has since beat cancer. He’s in remission and in two short years expects to be declared cancer free.
DID YOU NOTICE BJGE?
Though Ben-Jarvis Green Ellis was on the losing end Sunday Night, he scored a small victory for concussion awareness.
Green-Ellis became the first player in Super Bowl history to wear a chinstrap that could revolutionize the way head injuries are treated in the NFL.
You may have noticed that the Patriot runningback was wearing the Impact Indicator, which is a chinstrap with a computer chip embedded in it. That chip measures the force and duration of any hit taken by the helmet.
If the measurement reaches a pre-determined threshold, a green light on the front of the chinstrap changes to a flashing red light — which indicates that the player may have sustained a head injury and should come off the field and be examined.
The NFL plans to evaluate the product, which is manufactured by Battle Sports Science in Omaha, NE, and will look for scientific data supporting its validity as a tool in concussion management.
Sunday Night Football TwitterView all »
Source: Contract isn't signed yet, but there's an agreement in place between the Chargers and Dwight Freeney.
Saturday morning one-liners, including Jaguars legend Tony Boselli's views on Tim Tebow http://t.co/ziXw4BZubc
Freeney, Chargers deal "should be done today" http://t.co/7MOObYtN5J
Report: Bruce Irvin's suspension comes from Adderall use http://t.co/uv7p1FP7pk
Vince Young gets his degree from Texas http://t.co/MzKKwxjBFm
Former teammate says Titus Young opened up to him about mental condition http://t.co/blTcqQYLBD
Manti Te'o gets in on the joke, which will only make it go away faster http://t.co/6K2MGm4fMH
Jason Campbell's ready to make a run at Brandon Weeden http://t.co/g1WScCy6BB
Gronk is getting in one more Vegas run before surgery, and you can fly there with him http://t.co/qSVTwsSE8p
Bills' Mt. Rushmore could get crowded quickly http://t.co/wOg6g1PNFJ
Mario Williams, former fiancée at impasse over $785,000 engagement ring http://t.co/U3OYkJL8pO
Bears strike a deal with first-round pick Kyle Long http://t.co/pyq1cFr6LJ
Report: Titans LB Moise Fokou faces DUI charge http://t.co/Vspjs4bwf4
Bruce Irvin apologizes again, indicates he knows suspension could affect how he's perceived http://t.co/5dY5iF64Wz
Report: Packers gave OL Lane Taylor biggest signing bonus among their undrafted rookies http://t.co/zToP7HE6E4
Bengals LT Andrew Whitworth pays for funeral of 17-year-old who died as a result of offseason Oklahoma drills http://t.co/XfcUj9VoUx
RGII says everything "on cue" with RGIII's rehab http://t.co/LcNyss4wIp
Falcons get three more draft picks in the fold http://t.co/KqwCp7RNUX
Source: Gronkowski "probably" will need back surgery http://t.co/SjmAHXw5ae
Bruce Irvin suspended four games for violating performance enhancing substance policy http://t.co/81RgiPY8pS
Redskins sign second-rounder David Amerson http://t.co/3tcFqVg283
Former agent indicted for allegedly taking life insurance proceeds meant for Saints DL Frank Warren's family http://t.co/votxNwZUz1
Dion Sims is fourth Dolphins draft pick to sign http://t.co/OFJoOnLnmX
Report: Rob Gronkowski dealing with a back problem too http://t.co/eSDeyEYHFG
Josh Chapman healthy again, ready to start for Colts http://t.co/3jtbXaSA1g
Smokers will help pay for Vikings stadium funding gap http://t.co/Lno0VTHPyp
Sean Payton's return energizing the Saints http://t.co/CgLnNXN0Wd
Five total charges for Mike Goodson, who was arrested in car parked in middle of highway http://t.co/O76gBLJflI
Kendall Wright drops 14 pounds after cutting out junk food http://t.co/o4rCoEys84
Mike Glennon doesn't plan to take a "back seat" with the Bucs http://t.co/YyAFdLdapD
In a wonderfully timed interview, Chris Ivory said yesterday he was looking to do more for the Jets http://t.co/DiNFKaOvNE
Redskins sign fourth-round pick Phillip Thomas http://t.co/7EgyNWSy4y
Insurance policy on Peyton pays out $10 million for non-neck injury in 2013 that keeps him from playing in 2014 http://t.co/WzFqOCf5Tc
Patriots sign Jamie Collins, Steve Beauharnais http://t.co/Wlg73Rbti4
New Jet Mike Goodson taken in on drug, gun charges http://t.co/UxyWtmhBOY
Ravens suspected Reed had hip problem, Texans apparently didn't http://t.co/G7iYpXWzdG
WR Donte Stallworth has received clearance to return to football after injuries suffered in hot-air balloon accident, per league source.
Change in scheme nothing new for Brandon Carr http://t.co/uFLCYuiAsW
Family's attempts to get money left Tyron Smith feeling "betrayed" http://t.co/yjVaduT20J
Lions offense reminds Reggie Bush of Saints http://t.co/iG1s94249o
Former Dolphins assistant says Nick Saban is "the devil," and Saban doesn't like that very much http://t.co/AwToE2QQrb
C.J. Spiller thinks added speed's only going to help Bills http://t.co/HmSVE5GNts
Woodson expected to visit Raiders on Tuesday http://t.co/Hdt4A9Pr17
Peyton Manning makes another big donation http://t.co/lpFlPSJTLM
It's Texans Mt. Rushmore nomination time http://t.co/CJByVr11hW
Quinton Coples got the message Rex Ryan was sending http://t.co/8nMbGyhdvx
Friday morning one-liners http://t.co/9nxj1vIkkA
Peyton Manning's new deal doesn't change his compensation ($20M this year, $20M next year) or cap numbers http://t.co/5ikGcU0baj
Peyton Manning's new contract has insurance clause, which allows Broncos to get cap credit in the event of injury http://t.co/5ikGcU0baj
Peyton Manning signs new contract, but deal doesn't change. Story coming at PFT.
Sunday Night Football Headlines
- Source: Agreement in place between Freeney and Chargers
- Saturday morning one-liners
- Freeney, Chargers deal “should be done today”
- Report: Irvin’s suspension comes from Adderall use
- Vince Young gets his degree from Texas
- Teammate says Titus Young opened up about issues
- Te’o shows up at Maxim party honoring fake girlfriend
- Campbell’s ready to make a run at Weeden
- Gronk’s getting in one more Vegas run before surgery
- Bills’ Mt. Rushmore could get crowded
- Pro Bowl
- Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
- Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans
- Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
- San Fransisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
- San Fransisco 49ers at New England Patriots
- Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
- Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
- Green Bay Packers at New York Giants
- New England Patriots at New York Jets
- Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
- Houston Texans at Chicago Bears
- Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons
- New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos
- Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
- Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans
- San Diego Chargers as New Orleans Saints
- New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
- New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens
- Detroit Lions at San Fransisco 49ers
- Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos
- Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
- Super Bowl