Yesterday was a rather dull day so I listened to a bit of "Mike and the Mad Dog" on WFAN. (I still love the nickname Don Imus once hung on them: "Fatso and Fruit Loops.") A big topic of discussion was the Giants upcoming games against Buffalo and New England. The Giants are still in a very good position to make the playoffs despite the loss to Washington last Sunday night.
Francesa took the absolutely bizarre position that it might be better for the Giants if they actually lose to Buffalo this Sunday. He feels that a win against the Bills, which would clinch a Giants postseason berth, would make the final game against New England almost worthless, as the Giants might want to rest a number of their star players against the Patriots if there's very little to play for.
But if the Giants fall to Buffalo, they will have to "play hard" against the Pats in order to make the playoffs. Francesa, who seems to want the Patriots NOT to go 16-0 more than anything else (I guess the Giants NOT getting to the postseason would make him happier), is really afraid of a "bad game" if the Giants wrap everything up this Sunday.
Where do I start with this asinine nonsense? The Giants don't give a rat's ass if the Patriots go undefeated. (Sure, they'd like to beat them in Week 17, but if they have the playoff wrapped up, it's not the end of the world.) I'm certain that Tom Coughlin and the Giants staff want this wrapped up as quick as possible, and really hope that the final game against New England will not mean much. Should the Giants lose Sunday, they might almost HAVE to beat the Pats in order to make it. If they wind up tied with the Vikings and Redskins at 9-7, they will be eliminated.
However, A Giants win on Sunday and a Vikings win against Washington will still leave the Giants with something to play for against New England. The fifth seed in the NFC would still be open, and a win over the Pats would give that to them. However, if they end up tied with the Vikings at 10-6, the Vikes would get the fifth seed.
If the Giants wrap everything up against Buffalo, I would bet you'd see most of the Giants stars for one half, and rest them for the second half. I wouldn't risk my best players in a "nothing" game when there is a playoff game to be played the following weekend. If I am a member of the Giants, all I want to do is get the playoff berth done as quickly as possible. I really don't care if the Patriots go 16-0, as the playoff game the next week means so much more than whether the Patriots make history on December 29. (Fatso also feels that the Giants beating the Pats would mean so much more to history than anything else. It would if the Giants were already eliminated from a postseason berth.)
If the Pats are 15-0 going into the final game (and they should be), they will be going all out to beat the Giants. But if the Giants aren't going all out to stop them if they have their playoff berth locked up, so be it. Francesa and Russo should relax. It reminds me a little of when the Red Sox struggled a bit in September when a playoff berth was just about to happen and so many people were losing their minds that they weren't going to win the AL East. The final game for the Giants could be like the last game of the baseball season for a team that has already clinched an October berth. If it don't mean much, send in the second-string guys, even if it means far more to the other club.
Coughlin, like Terry Francona, is probably looking at the bigger picture, and isn't concerned with what his critics think.
I have to get away from listening to sports talk radio. I feel like I lose a couple of IQ points every time I hear some birdbrain losing his mind over stupid nonsense.