Editor’s Note: As part of WFAN’s 30th anniversary celebration, from May 29-June 9, we asked you to vote on the best local sports moments overthe past 30 years. Over the course of two weeks, we are revealing the top-10 vote getters.
NEW YORK (WFAN) — If we’ve learned one thing while conducting three polls for WFAN’s 30th anniversary, it’s that New Yorkers have a giant place in their hearts (pun fully intended) for the Giants’ Super Bowl XLII upset of the previously unbeaten New England Patriots.
In a poll on their favorite local teams over the past 30 years, WFAN.com readers voted the 2007 Giants No. 1. And in our latest survey — on the best local sports moments since WFAN launched in 1987 — the top two are related to the Giants’ dramatic Super Bowl XLII victory. David Tyree’s “Helmet Catch” came in at No. 2, and the overall moment of winning the world championship is No. 1.
By just about all measures heading into the postseason, the 2007 Giants were slightly better than ordinary. They were a 10-6 wild-card team that was not expected to last long in the playoffs.
But they got hot at just the right time, winning road playoff games against Tampa Bay, Dallas and Green Bay — the last of which was a below-0-degrees, overtime classic.
That set up a showdown with the New England Patriots, who at 18-0 were on the verge of making history. While they were 12½-point underdogs, the Giants entered the Super Bowl with plenty of confidence after going toe-to-toe with the mighty Pats in the regular season finale, a game New England squeaked out 38-35.
The rematch was a defensive affair for the first three quarters, with the Patriots leading 7-3. But the final few minutes were some of the most suspenseful in Super Bowl history.
After the Patriots regained the lead at 14-10 on a 6-yard pass from Tom Brady to Randy Moss with 2:42 to play, Eli Manning led the Giants on an 83-yard, game-winning drive, highlighted by Tyree’s now-iconic catch. Big Blue sealed the 17-14 victory when Manning found Plaxico Burress in the end zone for a 13-yard score with 39 seconds left.
Manning was 19-of-34 passing for 255 yards with two touchdowns, earning him the first of his two Super Bowl MVP awards.
The ’07 Giants are today considered one of the greatest Cinderella stories in NFL history.