It was 20 years ago this season…

The Giants were steamrolling, and 8-0 at this point in the season that culminated with their second Super Bowl victory. They were playing the Colts in Indianapolis on Monday Night Football, and I had tickets. A check of the schedule had revealed that the Browns were home that Sunday, playing the team that the Giants would eventually face for the title. And just like that, I went on my first football road trip.

Starting with Cleveland, I sat with my feet on the dugout of the old Municipal Stadium, which might have been nice for a baseball game, but it hampered my view in the football configuration. The Bills absolutely trounced the Browns, winning 42-0. Punts were blocked by the fistful, as the home team played a dismal game all the way around.

After making the drive to Indy the next day (that's my Beretta in front of the Hoosier Dome), I watched warm-ups, and then moved to my seat, which was in a section made up of Giants fans and adjacent to that of the players’ families. This made the game more enjoyable, as we all really got into a game the Giants won easily. It seemed I found a new passion: seeing my team win on the road.

In the 1991 season, after attending a Red Sox home game and seeing the Yankees win in Baltimore, I made another pair of football road games in September. I first saw the visiting Houston Oilers—led by Warren Moon—clobber the Cincinnati Bengals. Then, after baseball games in four different Midwest ballparks, I saw another Giants road game, this time at Soldier Field the following Sunday. This game was exciting, and different from the other three I had seen in that the lead changed hands a number of times. Unfortunately, though, the Giants lost.

Still, that eagerness to see the Giants play in Indy gave me the initial impetus to embark on a slow but steady quest to “touch them all”. Yes, if you’re a loyal reader of this blog, you’ll know its title is drawn from a book whose author wrote another that gave me the desire to drive westward, but the excitement of seeing the Giants (and Yankees) play on the road really got me road-tripping.

As for the game this evening, well, wait-wait-wait a sec…I realize that I never gave myself a good pat on the back for my post last Sunday, wherein I predicted a number of things that happened—good and bad—for the boys in blue.

Anyway, I’m puzzled about the game tonight. It’s hard to pick against the Colts, especially at home, but their Achilles heal (run defense) was exposed last week, and I expect the Giants to exploit it. Further, what will the Giants’ pass defense do against Peyton and company? I’ll go on a limb and say Kenny Phillips can neutralize Dallas Clark, but I think the Colts have too many receivers for the corners to handle. Conversely, how will Eli and his band of receivers fair against the Colts secondary?

I’m not touching this game with a ten-foot pole.

Finally, I'll note that I am in an informal "suicide pool". I survived week 1 by picking Tennessee, and have the Panthers for week 2. Let's see how long I last.


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