The Giants lost yet another close game to end their season 5-11. As upsetting as this is, there are still some positive things to remember. I strongly believe that those who have gone through adversity together grow stronger together. Seven of the Giants' 11 losses this season were by one score or less; so if any team knows adversity, it's this 2018 Giants team.
As usual, Eli is bearing the brunt of criticism, so I think he deserves a few words of encouragement. If I had the chance I would tell him:
You may not look at it this way, but you have been there for us Giants fans quite a bit. You were there for a bunch of us in 2007 when the Great Recession made it tough to find jobs. I was among the many bewildered college graduates who didn’t know where to turn to find work. When the Giants defeated the odds and won the Super Bowl, something told me that there is always hope, even when all the analysts forecast a depressingly slim chance for success. As the Giants made their run through the playoffs that 07-08 season, I found a job with a local newspaper and have been pursuing a career in writing ever since. It may sound silly that a mere football team can set someone on the right track like that. Of course, there were a number of factors that helped me look on the bright side of my situation, but the way the Giants helped me in 07-08 meant a great deal to the young college graduate I was.
You were also there for my family in 2011-12. When my father and grandmother both died in December 2011, the following months were the toughest of our lives. As the Giants entered the playoffs in stride and then won the Super Bowl, they shocked the nation—and in the process they gave my family something to smile about, and helped bring my family together during that tragic time. We said Dad and Grandma must have been pulling some strings in heaven for the Giants to beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl a second time. Again, it may sound silly to some when I say this, but I'm not ashamed to say that the Giants helped me through some of the most trying years of my life.
I am sure many Giants fans can tell you similar stories about how, despite how insignificant it may seem in the big picture, you gave them something to cheer for during tough times. You proved that a person’s resolve could lead to perseverance against even the greatest odds. The character and soul of an athlete does not change as the years go by. You are still that same quarterback that helped bring together a great team and a great city---and you are helping bring together this Giants team.
So now that the Giants are going through hard times themselves, as Giants fans the least we can do is be there for you guys. I just want you to know that, despite what all the critics say, there are still a good number of fans that believe in you all.
Eli, you are a John-Elway/Brett-Favre caliber quarterback. Despite all of the adversity they experienced throughout their careers, Elway and Favre never gave in, and they ended their careers with proof that solidified the Hall-of-Fame quality of their sportsmanship. I believe the coming years of your career will show everyone the great quality of your character as well. You may not know that much about what the fans have to say, so I believe now is as good a time as any to speak for true Giants fans, the ones who are there when times get tough; because you and the Giants were there for them when they were going through hard times.
Critics may say the game has changed too much for signal callers like you, and may laugh at those who still say “You can’t spell elite without Eli”. You are in a prime position to show them all that integrity and sportsmanship still matter in this league. Stay strong. We believe in you, Eli. We believe in the Giants. Like Saquon said, we’re going to look back at these rough years and see how they made the Giants stronger.'
Some Extra Positives
Heading into the off-season now, we at least have a pretty high draft pick to look forward to, which certainly served us well this year. An NFL team shouldn't play for a high draft pick---they should play to win, always---but when the season is officially over a high draft pick is a positive that could provide a much-needed boost to the team. The Giants always look for the best athlete available in the draft. They don't look to fill a position whereat they feel they're weakest. They will pick the best athlete available when they're on the clock in the 2019 draft. Football is a team sport, and in a team sport you build toward success. You don't rebuild. Every true coach and athlete knows that.
Also, Giants fans should not lose sight of the fact that we did win two more games than last season. I know 5-11 is far from a successful campaign, but it is an improvement from 3-13.
Progress takes time, and sometimes the slow path to success that tests our patience is the best path. I believe the players, coaches and managers know how close this team is. As I alluded to in the beginning of this post, the main thing the Giants should focus on in the off-season is learning how to finish strong. This is a lesson that is valuable in all areas and all walks of life. I know I can benefit from that lesson, and actually finish at least one of the many projects I've started---like my novel, or even this blog. For this blog it wouldn't be so much finishing strong as simply following though and staying true to a commitment. Either way, the same resilience is required.
This post has been all about coping. Writing is therapeutic for me. Even when I experience some small adversity like a bad season for the Giants, I have to find some purpose in it all. I just have to painstakingly search for the point in even the most minor forms of suffering. That's just the way I am. Maybe that's just the Catholic in me.