GLENDALE, Ariz. - One hour after the Patriots players addressed the almost 5,000 "media" members at University of Phoenix Stadium, the Giants took center stage. Eli Manning, Plaxico Burress, Amani Toomer, Brandon Jacobs, Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora and Jeff Feagles were the main attractions but there were Giants swarmed by media members as far as the eye could see.
As the questions started pouring in, word surfaced about a book being written by The Boston Globe recapping a possible 19-0 season that can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com. Of course, there's a book about New York winning the Super Bowl that's available for pre-order as well but in true Patriots-like fashion, Giants players overlooked that fact and used news of the book as motivation.
"I plan on getting the 19-0 book," linebacker Reggie Torbor said. "I'm going to buy the sequel too. The one where they go 18-1."
Jacobs become fiery when a reporter pointed out to him that a book was available about the Patriots going undefeated.
"If people go out and buy that book before this game, they're going to be pissed off," Jacobs said. "There will be a lot of disappointed people after the game."
Long snapper and backup linebacker Zak DeOssie – whose father Steve played for New England – also got word about the book. DeOssie attended Brown University and was a Patriots ball boy growing up. However, DeOssie admitted that he doesn't want Bill Belichick to go undefeated, nor does he expect many people from New England to be rooting for him on Sunday.
"Well, my dad is rooting for me and for the Giants to win," DeOssie said. "Other than that, I don't think too many people want to see us win. I admire Coach Belichick but I'm hoping he doesn't get to 19-0. I do plan on getting a copy of that book though and having all my friends back home sign it after we win."
A lot of the Giants players were surprised when reporters questioned whether or not they could actually win the game, as if they were just going to lie down for the Patriots on their way to perfection.
"Someone asked me if we think we can win. Can you believe that?" Torbor asked. "If we didn't think we could win, we wouldn't have showed up. We would just forfeit. Why beat our bodies up? Why get hit if we don't think we can win? We're doing this for one reason and one reason only: to bring the Super Bowl trophy back to New York with us."
"We know the Patriots are a good football team but we damn sure didn't come down here from New York to give them the football game," Jacobs said. "If they want to go 19-0, they'll have to earn it. We're not going to give it to them."
Overall, the Giants players seemed relaxed and loose. As many of them pointed out, a big media frenzy is nothing new to them coming from New York. But not even playing in the Big Apple can prepare a player for the chaos and craziness that is Super Bowl media day.
Strahan said it best when at one point he yelled out, "Man they will give anybody microphones around here."
--Injured tight end Jeremy Shockey wasn't present at media day. Shockey is down at his home in Florida and wasn't at the event because he didn't want to be a distraction to the team.
Some have suggested that Eli Manning has been a better quarterback without the sometimes-demanding Shockey in the lineup but linebacker Antonio Pierce strongly disagreed with that theory.
"Not true. Not true," Pierce said. "If anything, we'd be a more dangerous team if Shockey was here with the way Eli's playing right now, and I think if you ask him the same question, he'll tell you the same thing. Trust me, if you ask any guy on this team, they'll say they want Shockey here."
Wide receiver Plaxico Burress agreed that not having Shockey isn't a good thing for the Giants offense.
"I talked to Jeremy three or four days ago and I'd rather him be here than me," Burress added. "I've always said when he goes out and plays well, he's the emotion of our offense. We feed off his energy. When he gets up and spikes the ball, we love that...It gets the whole team going."
--Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora said last week that Patriots left tackle Matt Light was a dirty player. On Tuesday, Umenyiora stood by those comments.
"I'm not blaming the media for what I said," Umenyiora said. "The words came out of my mouth. This never would have happened if I shut my mouth but I said what I said and that's it. I didn't say he sucked. He's actually a tremendous player. He just does some things after the whistle that I don't think are necessary."
--Michael Strahan was the biggest draw on the Giants side. Always a charismatic person, Strahan was a quote a minute at media day. The veteran defensive end was asked about this offseason when he and Patriots linebacker Junior Seau worked out together.
"Working out? Junior picking up a beverage was about it if you call that working out," Strahan said. "Junior isn't a very serious man off the field and I'm a pretty laid back guy myself, so there really wasn't a lot of working out going on between the two of us."
Earlier in the day Tom Brady was very complimentary of Strahan but the Giants all-time leader in sacks wasn't falling for the ruse.
"Tom thinks he's slick. He's trying to butter me up," Strahan joked. "It's not going to work. I'm going to knock him out. I'm just kidding. We like Tom. I'm actually jealous that I'm not Tom Brady."
Strahan closed out media day by belting out a few notes of his favorite Alicia Keys song, much to the dismay of some of his teammates.
--Apparently, Giants punter Jeff Feagles is a big media attraction in New York. It's not often that a punter gets his own podium on media day but that was the case for Feagles
"When they told me I had my own podium, I just thought they had a lot more of them than usual," Feagles said. "I guess you just have to be over 20 years in the league and over 40 years old to get your own podium."