|At last: Giants arrive in Phoenix for Super Bowl|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 28 January 2008 16:51|
Rookie starting cornerback Aaron Ross threw up on the plane just before it left Newark-Liberty International Airport, the sixth player to be hit with the bug in the past four days.
Starting fullback Madison Hedgecock, backup defensive tackle Manny Wright and rookie safety Michael Johnson all missed practice on Friday after running temperatures.
``I hope that's the end of it,'' coach Tom Coughlin said after the team arrived at its hotel. ``We had three guys missing last week, and some who were not quite as sick. But it didn't drain those players like the three that stayed home'' on Friday.
Seven-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Strahan fared better than some of this teammates. He sat out just one day with a cold from the NFC title game on Jan. 20, when the Giants beat the Packers in frigid Green Bay, where the wind chill factor made it feel like minus 24.
``You know what, Green Bay, everyone got sick after that,'' Strahan said. ``I'm still, you can tell by my voice, I'm still not right since that. The flu bug, by Sunday, if you have it, it's gone because we need you. A lot of times when you are sick you play better because you concentrate.''
And maybe dress better, too.
From Coughlin to Strahan and every player who appeared at the media session, the order of the day was dress blacks.
Five of the six players in the media session were all dressed alike: black suits, black shirts, black ties. Punter Jeff Feagles and Coughlin wore white shirts with their black suits and reddish ties.
``It's a business trip, we didn't come here for anything else,'' receiver Plaxico Burress said. ``We're playing to win.''
Asked whether it was a business trip or funeral, Burress smiled and said:
``It's a business trip. It could be both.''
Antonio Pierce, who engineered the all-black wardrobe look, was emphatic that the Giants (13-6) were neither satisfied just to be at the Super Bowl nor fodder for the Patriots' final step to a perfect season.
The Patriots are 12-point favorites after opening up at 13 1/2 points.
``It's never been enough for us just winning one game, or being 0-2 and winning one game,'' Pierce said. ``We're not here to hand the trophy over to nobody. Hopefully, we'll take that trophy back to New York and put up a good fight and good game for all the NFL and everybody to see. It, hopefully, makes believers out of the nonbelievers.''
The Giants pushed the Patriots to the limit in the final game of the regular season, opening up a 28-16 second-half lead before losing 38-35.
``This is the biggest challenge, 18-0, that you can have in the Super Bowl,'' Strahan said. ``We have to go against the only 18-0 team ever. It's like Mike Tyson and Buster Douglas. You wake up and you expect that Tyson knocked him out in the first round and you find out Douglas won. That's what we hope we are. If we win, this would be the biggest upset in a lot of ways.''