New York kicker Lawrence Tynes didn’t quite follow his dream’s script. The kick he made last night in overtime had the same impact, though, sending the Giants to the Super Bowl on a rainy San Francisco evening.
The night before, Tynes was awakened in his hotel room by a dream that he had won the game with a 42-yard field goal.
“It was just a dream, a typical kicker dream,” he said in the Giants’ jubilant locker room. “I was a little more full of anxiety today, I’m usually not that nervous before a game. I think a lot of it had to do with conditions. Who knows why I dreamed last night that I would kick a game winner?”
Last night, Tynes, 33, got his chance when Kyle Williams of the 49ers fumbled on a punt return and the Giants recovered at the San Francisco 24-yard line. Three runs by Ahmad Bradshaw got the ball closer to the goal line, setting up the kick that put the Giants in the Feb. 5 Super Bowl against the New England Patriots.
Before the field goal, Tynes spent about 15 minutes behind the Giants’ bench, kicking over and over into a net. He’d stop at points to watch the game on a huge stadium screen, but stayed off the Giants’ sideline.
He quickly retied the laces on his right shoe after the 49ers’ fumble. The right-footed kicker, a nine-year veteran who has been with the Giants since 2007, walked slowly toward the sideline as New York ran four plays, and checked his cleats for mud before trotting on for the kick.
“The weather was terrible, the balls were wet, the balls were full of grass,” he said. “It was tough sledding out there. The moisture, the footing was tough, the balls were really slick.”
Sticking to Routine
Tynes kept it simple after reaching the huddle.
“I just have a routine, man, three steps back, two steps over, keep my head down,” he said. “It’s the same thing everywhere. I could do it in the parking lot, I do it in my room all night, it’s just a little different with the people in the stands.”
After sending the winner through the uprights, Tynes was engulfed by teammates as he ran around the field screaming for his wife, Amanda. He found her for a brief celebration, then returned to his buddies.
“That’s the best part, man, to celebrate with these guys that are out there busting their butts for 60 minutes,” Tynes said. “Listen, we play a small fraction of the game, these guys are out there getting their teeth busted in for 60 minutes, and the joy I feel I share with them.”
Teammate Victor Cruz, who had 10 catches for 142 yards, said he felt like a fan while watching Tynes prepare for the winning kick.
“All those years, you see it on TV and you wish you could be there,” Cruz told reporters. “I was looking at it the whole way. As soon as he kicked it, I ran on the field and it was just crazy.”
Tynes said he didn’t expect any more game-winner dreams on the flight back to New York. He knew it would be a short night, anyway.
“I’ve got to take the kids to school at 7 a.m., I’m not sure if I will sleep tonight,” he said.
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