Archive for January, 2008
I’ve heard Allen share this story many times in his “Growing Through Mistreatment” message, but I wanted to write it down here nonetheless, so that I can remember it better when I steal it for my own messages.
The story goes like this:
St. Francis of Assisi is walking down the road with a fellow monk when he asks, “Father Leo, would you like to know what true joy is?”
“I’m in,” I imagine Father Leo saying excitedly.
“Did you know that you could receive all the revelation and knowledge there is to receive, and you would not have true joy?” St. Francis asked.
“No,” Father Leo responded, “then what is true joy?”
“Did you know that you could have the greatest evangelism gift on the earth, with the ability to lead thousands of men to God, and you would still not know true joy?”
“No,” Father Leo responded again. “Tell me then, what is true joy?”
“Or that you could have the most incredible gift of prophecy, with the ability to hear mysteries that no one else can hear, and you would still not know true joy?”
This continued for quite some time, as St. Francis explored all of the options and possibilities, leaving Father Leo exasperated and longing to know the definition of true joy. Thus St. Francis shared this example:
“Imagine then, Father Leo, that we arrive at the monastery and the men refuse to let us in. In fact, they mistake us for thieves that have been troubling them and, after a long and fruitless attempt on our part to convince them otherwise, they angrily send us away. Thus, in the cold and rain we go to the entire village trying to find shelter for the night; yet none show us any kindness or give us a place to stay. So, desperate, we return to the monastery and try again. This time, the men there, in their frustration to drive us away for good, come out and beat us.
“Then there, lying on the ground, cold and wet, we find that there is no anger in our hearts towards those who have wronged us.
“That, Father Leo, would be true joy.”
January 27th, 2008
Did something happen on Friday that I don’t know about?
I’m not a big “stats” guy, because it always seems like more people read this thing than what the “stats” engine tracks. Every conference, everywhere I go I meet folks that read this space. I enjoy looking at the “stats” thing because I enjoy seeing who is peeking in - but there are many of you out there (especially if you use “Google Reader”) that the stats tracker misses. There are better codes and sites out there to figure out who is reading where, but I’m not tech-savvy enough to figure all of that out. It’s a miracle that I even have this website - it took me a year and a half to launch it.
The reason I ask the question, however, is because there was a “record-low” number of readers logged on the stat engine on Friday. I’m used to a certain number per day, and it’s held pretty steady even as new readers have jumped in (because, I’m guessing, old readers jump out as they break their daily reading habit). Friday, however, was so unusually low that I’m wondering if there was a random monster attack in downtown Tokyo that I missed. There was some other time where the stats thing was on the fritz and it was obvious - I went from the normal number one day to, well, zero readers the next day.
Am I numbers-obsessed? Nope. I would do this if there were zero of you reading this space. I wouldn’t write a post like this one if there were none of you out there, and would stick to the other “non-conversational” posts that frequent this site, but I would crank away nonetheless. As I said to Shawn Blanc a while back, zero readers times zero dollars is the same amount of money as a million readers times zero dollars. The impact of a space like this is more difficult to measure in the natural realm. It doesn’t transfer in tangible, immediately notable ways - much like prayer, fasting, and preaching. My life is about producing words to an invisible God and teaching materials and resources to invisible people. I could never measure the impact of my life on this side of eternity. I do what I do because of the invisible, unmeasurable impact that only God knows and cares about.
As I said, however, the numbers do help me get a feel for who, what, where, and why. I write about things that I care about - but I also like knowing who you are because I can throw stuff out there that you care about as well. So - thanks for reading; I do treasure the connection in the spirit. Just not on Friday, January 25th, 2008.
January 27th, 2008
We’re on day three of the IHOP-Atlanta House of Prayer Leadership Summit, but it feels like day ten. Billy Humphrey spoke on Friday night on Zechariah 4 and the subject of “grace, grace!” for those leading houses of prayer. I went on Saturday morning for two hours on “Strategic Leadership for the End-Time Prayer Movement”. Kirk Bennett took the afternoon and talked about the tabernacle of David in the afternoon and played a twelve-minute oracle by Misty Edwards at the end that had us all weeping. Then Allen Hood spoke last night on the necessity of Christology related to the great falling away. As you can imagine, every session felt like a full day.
Allen is speaking this morning, right now in fact, one of his key messages, “Growing Through Mistreatment”. So, while I’m listening to him urge us all to relinquish our personal rights and use mistreatment as a gift to grow in love, I thought I would express my gratitude for his friendship. Allen and Rachel, beyond their generous and fun friendship, have been a key spiritual brother and sister for my wife and I. I am so tender when I think about the hours Allen has spent helping me navigate difficult situations, talk through spiritual matters, initiate strategic think-tanks, and work through general “life at IHOP-KC” stuff. His patience and tenderness has been a true gift from God.
Beyond our friendship, however, Allen really is one of my heroes. I am continually provoked and challenged in watching Allen privately as he lives his life before the Lord as a husband, father, and servant leader unlike anyone I have ever met. The way he lives his life serves as a helpful “target” for me to shoot for in contending for the fullness of God. Watching bible verses get lived out in a practical way fills my heart with vision and ideas for how I want to live my own life before God as a husband, father, and servant leaders.
I’m already gripped to get back in the prayer room and carve out more time there - with a little more fasting mixed in as well. I leave times with Allen wanting to pray more, fast more, and consecrate myself more for the Lord. That’s the kind of friendship that one should fiercely guard. I’ve had too many social times where I leave weary and spent - where no lines were crossed by my inner man was a bit dissipated in the exchange. I’m not a fan of wasted time.
So, this post is mostly for me n’ God - but it’s also a neat opportunity to highlight one of my true heroes in the body of Christ. One of the key prayers of my life is that my secret reality in God would exceed my public reputation. Watching Allen Hood I find a worthy target to follow as he follows Christ.
January 27th, 2008
In Atlanta this weekend, teaching and preaching for the third year in a row at the IHOP-ATL Leadership Summit for those who have a heart to lead a house of prayer. You may remember last year’s post, “So You Want to Lead a House of Prayer” that I wrote before last year’s conference. This year I’m speaking about practical leadership strategies before connecting with IHOP-ATL as a whole on Sunday night. I’ll make sure to post the notes early next week.
For now, I’m with Billy Humphrey, Kirk Bennett, and Allen Hood (who flew down with us). We’re having a blast together.
January 26th, 2008
The Sliker family is heading to a memorial service this morning with the rest of the IHOP-KC family. The sudden loss of David Maas while on a missions trip with his family in Chennai, India, stunned many on this side of the world. In particular, those who have connected over the years with the family in our Children’s Equipping Center were shocked by the news. Thus it’s been a learning process for my wife and I related to walking our kids through death and loss. It hasn’t seemed real to them - they’ve talked about it freely and soberly yet slightly detached, as could be expected. I’m wondering how they will respond to the memorial.
I have been stunned, however, with how amazing the spiritual family is here. I’ve never seen anything like it. The way that people mobilize to serve in difficult situations is inspiring to me. It also encourages me. I have seen this group of believers rally time and time again in ways that always seem to catch me off guard. In the early days, someone’s daughter had a series of nightmares…thus the leadership went on an extended fast. Sickness strikes our community…thus the people rally to serve and pray like nothing I have ever seen. In this case, I was in awe of what people did to care for the Maas family in their time of need.
These are godly people - but to me, the way that this community responds to crisis strikes me as a testimony to the power of corporate prayer and fasting to knit people together in ways that are beyond social or conversational. I am thankful to be a part of a community like this that moves with swift and precise tenderness and passion when needed. None of the things that the IHOP-KC spiritual family did over the past few days can help soothe a devastating, sudden, and unexpected loss. There are many things needed that only the Comforter can provide the Maas family over the next few years. The worst part about loss is what strikes you weeks and months after the event - everyone that rallied around you in the first few weeks has moved on. You struggle with feelings of frustration and isolation, which in part comes from the awkwardness of how people feel around you - uncertain and unsure about whether or not you are okay to talk about things that you yourself are uncertain and unsure about how to talk about.
Those factors and a dozen others combine into a complicated mosaic that forms a long timeline to recover from a loss such as this. It’s why it is important to continue to remember to pray - and why prayer is the most critical component of a time like this. Many who have watched people endure loss are often shocked in the early phases by the resolve and bravery of the ones who are walking through it. Often, however, we are just witnessing shock - the God-given mechanism to cope with emotions and pain often too intense to bear immediately. The God who established our constitution and frame has a means of “spreading the pain” over time. Thus, it is important for friends to have an available ear long after the days have passed, the shock has worn off, and waves of grief wash over the wounded heart at seemingly random, unexpected times.
All of the IHOP family are learning, therefore, to deal with loss. The lessons learned will be applied again and again in the days to come. While the outpouring of affection and help in the early days is inspiring, the weeks ahead will test our ability to navigate sensitive and tender issues such as this. We don’t always do as well as we would like - and we can’t; as I said, some things can only be healed in time by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit, who is an expert at dealing with loss.
January 23rd, 2008
We’re in the process of trying a few of the suggestions - we’re particularly intrigued by Anita Hensley’s Heinz-in-a-can suggestion. If that works out, it’s dinner for the Hensley’s on me! I know a particularly good Heinz-in-a-can recipe that I could whip up for the occasion…
January 23rd, 2008
Back in the prayer room, returning from the once a year insanity of playoff football…
There are about three to four sporting events per year that capture my attention to varying degrees, though the number is dwindling. Playoff football is one of those things that still gets me. The biggest sporting event for years for me was the NCAA Basketball tournament - I would come home from school early in high school to catch some of the afternoon games. I still appreciate the first weekend of the tourney, but don’t pay much attention anymore after that. The one that I probably pay the most attention to when it’s happening is the NBA Finals. As I said elsewhere, I’m still a little bit of a baseball guy, so the World Series holds my attention when I have time. Every once in a while, randomly, I’ll watch a little bit of Wimbledon for old times sake.
So, I’m an unabashed sports guy, because I’m an avid fan of effective leadership (hence my man-crush on Bill Bilicheck), discipline, paying the price to reach a goal, team, strategy, etc. I could go on and on. Sports and the military are the two places where you still see continual sacrifices made for the greater good, where you see (when things work right) egos sublimated as everyone plays their role, and a “concert” of coordinated movement that has both free flowing spontaneity and rigorous structure through set plays that keep everyone of one mind, one accord. It’s why Paul so often to Timothy used sports analogies to make his point.
The two key analogies Paul made were about competing according to the rules (2 Tim. 2:5) and our need to be provoked by the sacrifice top athletes make (1 Cor. 9:25). Paul noted to the Corinthians (culturally not the most motivated, focused, or restrained of peoples) to watch the Greek athletes that competed with focus and hard labor for a perishable crown. These athletes, Paul noted, had to be “temperate in all things” to position themselves to win the prize. The vision of victory naturally leads to a life of self-restraint, or a level of self-government that dictates much of an athletes schedule, diet, and (as they gain a bit of wisdom) social life.
Contrary to the current stereotypes of the modern athlete, most are among some of the most disciplined, focused, and restrained you can find anywhere. In a relatively godless world, this fact is the reason that many of the best are idealized and idolized as worthy targets for the less focused to emulate. The ancient Greeks, who had a deep love for the human body, couldn’t help but elevate their top athletes and their physiques to the top of their social food chain. Of course, like any other group of wealthy, powerful, and influential men and women, without (and, often with) the motivation of a perishable crown the immoral quickly descend into depths of darkness and sin during down times of life that would be best not to examine.
The point, for Paul, was a bit of provocation. These corrupt, immoral athletes are able to restrain themselves to a measure, focus themselves with rigorous self-discipline, and sublimate their egos for the good of the team in a manner that most in the church are unable to emulate. These athletes give themselves to long hours, incredibly hard work, and pressure for the purpose of winning a crown no one will care about a billion years from now. Believers have forgotten that there is a crown reserved for them if they live a temperate, peaceable, restrained life before God - one that will be remembered and celebrated a billion years from now. Many who do not understand the God who rewards are so eager to cast their crowns before Him that they have lost their vision - and thus live unfocused.
The “prize” or the crown set before us is glorious, and worthy of our wholehearted pursuit. We need a revelation again today of what has been set before us to motivate us to play according to the rules, restrain our time, harness our strength, and demand the best of our resources to pursue the only goal that matters. This is my prayer today - that God would capture me again with the vision of a prize worth going beyond the labors of even the most disciplined athlete.
January 22nd, 2008
Just a couple of side notes for the folks reading this - a “behind the scenes” addendum as it were:
These asides were little two-minute notations related to things I was thinking while watching the game. It was an experiment in writing and analysis that I did for fun while hanging out with my kids. They like football.
I’m writing this aside because someone asked my wife after last week about me writing about a playoff game while being home on our day off. It’s totally doable (once a year) to watch a game, type a few thoughts randomly, and hang out with the kids on a cold day. It’s not part of our normal family routine. It’s not even part of our abnormal family routine. This is a one-off writing exercise that blows off steam for my active mind. So there you have it - a quick, behind the scenes look at how I pulled this off.
This aside only took one minute, forty seven seconds to do, for the curious.
See you this week, it’s been fun.
January 20th, 2008
One of the interesting things about this little experiment is noticing that some of you magically know when I post as I post. Watching the hour-by-hour stats spike a bit after these little articles went online made me shake my head - modern communication is really impressive, even for a relative neanderthal like me. There are guys out there that are really sophisticated and thus have a pretty impressive following. It’s quite different than my “write about whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like it” strategy that, all things considered, seems to have the same payoff as the sophisticated, time-consuming, labor-intensive strategy. But as I said, I’m kind of a neanderthal when it comes to these things. There are late adopters, and then there is me - long after everyone has moved on (hence the slew of “is blogging dead?” articles that came out last summer), I’m just getting started.
Back to the game.
So much for what I said earlier about the Packers being the better disciplined team. Two killer penalties (albiet controversial ones) on third down gave the Giants new life on offense twice. And everyone in football knows that you don’t give an assassin like Eli Manning two second-chances. I’m just kidding, of course - anyone who follows football read that last sentence and wondered privately if I’m indulging a bit too much of Emiril’s Vodka Cream Pasta sauce. But Manning is making my earlier comment about his skills versus Favre’s more of a non-issue than I expressed.
His passing after those two penalties led to a huge play by the “Boss” (offensive lineman Bruce Springsteen, apparently. Or “Kevin Boss,” as he’s known by these days) to pick up a Brandon Jacob’s fumble just past the first down marker for the Giants. This key moment was then followed by, of course, a few more Packers penalties. They are determined to make me look like a neophyte relating to my earlier assessment about discipline, coaching, and patience. Showing their superior patience, the Packers jump off-sides before the snap to help the Giants score a go-ahead touchdown.
I told you Manning was a cold-blooded assassin. Of course, I could have been talking about Peyton Manning and his award-winning performances in the “Priceless Pep Talks” commercials for some company whose ad agency made semi-clever spots that semi-entertained me all season long. They worked so well that I couldn’t even tell you what company is sponsoring the ads. Oh well, another day, another multi-million dollar ad-campaign down the drain. Much more effective are Michael Jordan’s final attempts at cultural relevance before fading away altogether.
I greatly appreciate character studies - and if you do too, I strongly recommend David Halberstam’s Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made as well as Michael Leahy’s When Nothing Else Matters: Michael Jordan’s Last Comeback. While Jordan and his will to win are an interesting subject, the flip side of that ego is an interesting examination on human nature and how badly we need the inward transformation of the Holy Spirit - regardless of personal success. No matter how successful you are in life, it all has to end someday. No one beats the system - and Jordan is no exception.
Back to the game, again.
Penalties, penalties, penalties. Of course, the key here is that these penalties are the kind that often follow the aggressive, hard hitting play of the first half. Even the off-sides earlier by the Packers is the kind of mistake that follows the “overly eager to hit somebody” mentality that both sides are employing. Both teams need to reign it in a bit - and the sideline reporter for FOX Sports just reported that the coaches are saying the same thing as I am typing this. The players are jumpy, angry, and hyped-up. In some ways we’re approaching the phase of the game where the cooler heads tend to prevail - the Tom Brady types.
The two candidates for “coolest heads” (again, forgive the pun) happen to be the quarterbacks in this game. Favre looked like a guy that has been here before on his great touchdown pass to the Packers tight end, Donald Lee. Lee has been a key outlet guy for Favre all season, and his development is the least-talked about reason for the emergence of the Packers offense. Yes, Ryan Grant, their running back, is important to their success, but they were on the rise well before they settled on Grant at the position at mid-season. The reason is simple: Lee and Greg Jennings, their young wide receiver, both gave Favre dependable targets that he has been lacking over the past five years. Is Favre a better quarterback than he has been over the last decade, or have the Packers draft picks finally developed? I think the answer is simple, but you don’t hear many people talk about it for some reason.
Eli Manning, cold-blooded assassin that he is, has grown tired of me talking about “Favre, Favre, Favre”. The Lambeau crowd seems nervous - and deathly silent - as he throws a nice touchdown pass to their rookie running back, Ahmad Bradshaw. The Giants skill at drafting running backs (Green Bay’s young star, Ryan Grant, was a fifth-stringer with the Giants earlier this summer) has to impress anyone that cares about that kind of thing. In fact, I’m impressed in general with how many of the Giants picks hit more than they miss. As a Chief’s fan, I’m slightly envious of their ability to find solid, cheap young running backs while fielding a punishing offensive line. Football isn’t rocket science in that sense - the teams with the more powerful offensive and defensive lines tend to win championships. Yet the Chiefs can’t seem to draft a helpful offensive lineman - nor have the inclination to.
That’s probably going to change this offseason, thankfully. It already has changed when it comes to defensive lineman - since the Chiefs hired their new coach, Herm Edwards, they have turned things around slightly related to drafting defensive lineman. Mysteriously, the defense improved markedly this year - despite the horrid record. Why so bad? I defy Tom Brady to complete a single pass behind that Chiefs offensive line - it’s one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Ugh. Somebody forgot to tell the Chiefs that there are three phases to this game. Being terrible at two (I don’t even want to talk about the Special Teams unit) is, well, less than helpful.
No really, let’s get back to this game.
Play of the Game Award Nominee: Ryan Grant and Mark Taucher, Green Bay Packers. They could have possibly saved the season for Favre after his awful interception (the kind that he has generally avoided this year). Grant caused the fumble that Taucher jumped on, keeping the Packers moving forward rather than getting on their heels after a possibly game-turning turnover. Of course, the much hyped-by-me-Donald Lee may have swung momentum back the other way by throwing the worst block on a screen in the playoffs, letting a cornerback (!) blow him out of the water for a seven-yard loss, ending the drive.
We’re tied, late in the fourth quarter. This is a great, great game.
Before we do, however, I want to point out that the normally clever “I’m a Mac” commercials have run their course. The last few have been beyond bland toast and have entered the realm of the Taco Bell commercial. Now that I have found a forum to register that, we can move on.
Boy, Manning is looking surprisingly sharp. The secondary reason for writing that last line was a lame attempt at juxtaposing “boy” and “Manning” to be clever and witty. Instead, I think I achieved “Taco Bell” commercial status. Meanwhile, continuing the discussion on “aggression penalties” versus “sloppy penalties”, we’ve seen both in rapid-fire succession here in the fourth quarter. The Giants’ wide receiver, Amani Toomer, had a sloppy offensive pass interference penalty followed by, on a gutsy “go-for-it on fourth down” call by the Giants, an aggression penalty (an iffy, so-so call) by Charles Woodson of the Packers.
Thus the sloppy penalty ends up being negated by the aggression penalty. Go figure.
So, after the Packers defense recovers and holds, the Giants are forced to…MISS A 43-YARD FIELD GOAL. Manning is playing the game of his life, and his kicker just handed control of the game back to one of the most clutch, big-game quarterbacks of the last 25 years.
Why was the last throw by Favre off? Because Osi Umenyiora, one of those great defensive lineman I was talking about earlier, made a Pro-Bowl caliber tackle look slow and dumb. Umenyiora went around Chad Clifton like he was standing still, and Clifton is one of the better tackles you’ll see in pro football. Back to Manning as the clock winds down to see who can get the winning score.
The Packers have an answer to Osi Umenyiora: their own “difficult name to pronounce super fast defensive end”, Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. I never want to type that name again - which is why some have come up with the not so clever “KGB” nickname that therefore portrays him as a shady, corrupt, covert murderer versus the “difficult name to pronounce super fast defensive end” identity that seems to be a better fit. Maybe it’s just me. Nevertheless, he beat the entire Giants offensive line off the ball after the snap to get to Eli (The Assassin) Manning and stop the Giants scoring drive. I mean, he went as the ball was snapped before the rest of the Giants had even begun to move. Um, nice play.
A few minutes later, the Packers forgot everything they learned in training camp about falling on a loose ball.
9:05 (and 9:15) PM
Twice the Giants put their fate in the hands of ex-Chief kicker Lawrence Tynes. Remember what I said earlier about the Chiefs? Yet, inexplicably, after missing twice earlier (critically at the end of regulation), Tynes connects on a 47-yard field goal to send the Giants to the Super Bowl.
It’s been fun - but no more typing side points for me. I’m retiring as a wanna-be sports writer for quite a while. For now, I’m off to snuggle our kids.
January 20th, 2008
It’s now 6:30 and the second quarter is underway at a very cold Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconson. If you’re a sports fan, the fact that it is cold in Green Bay in January is not particularly surprising to you, since you could choose this morning from one of 731 articles nationally and 54,000 pages on the internet devoted to the subject. Can you imagine being the journalist who had to take on that plum assignment? “Hey, Jimmy, give me 2500 words on the cold weather in Green Bay Sunday night - and make it interesting!” Next up, a few stories about the sunrise.
Every football game has a few key moments that shape the outcome. I’m going to try to pick a few out as I watch the game and see how I do.
After three (three!) consecutive references to the cold weather by the game announcers, Brett Favre shows why he is one of the greatest, grittiest quarterbacks of his generation. The Giants had spent a quarter proving me right related to my earlier assessment - that their defense was playing a bit better than the Packers defense over the past few weeks and seemed better equipped to take on the Patriots offense. Both teams played a pretty physical, heated (forgive the slight pun) quarter with talking, shoving, pushing, and hard hitting. The Giants are, to utilize a well-worn sports cliche, a physical football team. They feature big, strong, wear-you-down type players on offense and defense.
The first quarter featured some stereotypical cold weather, grind-it out, back and forth, move it up the field slowly offense by the Giants that produced two field goals and generally shut down the Packers offense (especially the running game which has been so key to elevating the Packers from a “could they?” team to a “hey! They could!” team over the past 10 weeks). Then, at 6:37 PM, somebody on the Giants coaching staff made the kind of decision that gets coaches fired at some point down the road - they played the Packers man-to-man. Donald Driver, an older, reliable receiver for Favre, shoved his defender aside and streaked down the field for a long touchdown. It’s the kind of touchdown that can blow a game like this wide open. Farve’s pass was perfect - Driver didn’t have to slow down or adjust after he freed himself up. As solid as the Giants are as a unit - offense and defense - I don’t see how Manning outplays Favre the rest of the way with the home crowd gutting out this (dare I point it out?) astonishing cold.
It’s one of those little plays that everyone forgets later, but the Giants clearly have what they feel is their answer to Brett Favre and the big play: pound that Packers defensive line with their big running back Brandon Jacobs and that beefy offensive line. They are working the cold a bit better than the Packers - it seems as if their goal is a tired Packers defensive line in the fourth quarter. So they are hammering away - and here Jacobs lowers his shoulder and hammers his way to a first down.
The problem, of course, is a holding call that negates the play and moves the Giants back ten yards. Pounding away with a big running back and a powerful offensive line is, in many ways, tougher than it looks - and it looks tough to the viewer. It requires patience and extraordinary discipline to play this way because you are, essentially, playing for position on the field, looking to limit the number of times your opponent has the ball, and, as I mentioned, looking to wear down the other team for the endgame. Holding calls by your offensive lineman in essence negate your entire game plan by costing you the opportunity to do all three.
Sure enough, the Giants don’t recover from the holding call and are forced to punt the ball. I have a feeling that the holding call will matter in a bit, as it means that the Giants defense now has to spend more time on the field and the Packers have another shot at what is essentially the same strategy - but with a better passing game. What I’m saying is that the Giants seems to have the better team, physically, but the Packers right now are the better-coached team. They didn’t let that frustrating first quarter derail them and they are patiently (with more discipline than the Giants, taking their shots when they can get them) moving down the field again.
I appreciate the “Plaxico Burress vs. Al Harris” montage of plays that FOX Sports is showing. It was a nice segue to a huge catch by Burress of the Giants down the field to give his team another scoring opportunity before halftime. Of course, if he hadn’t dropped a bomb by Eli Manning on the very next play, the Giants could have possibly taken control of this game again. That field looks (to say it yet again) cold, but more importantly, frozen. What would have been a catch in different conditions is, today, a critical drop. Thus the half ends with a sack and no score by the Giants instead of the road team going into halftime with, possibly, the lead and an opportunity to patiently smack the Packers around some more in the second half. Instead, they’ll have to pass more when the game resumes than I’m sure they wanted to.
Better lucky than good for the Packers at this stage.
January 20th, 2008