Giants Relishing Underdog Role in Patriots’ Rematch, Tisch Says

Steve Tisch
Chairman of the New York Giants Steve Tisch looks on from the field prior to the Giants playing against the San Francisco 49ers during the NFC Championship Game at Candlestick Park on Jan. 22, 2012 in San Francisco. Photographer: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The New York Giants are Super Bowl underdogs against the New England Patriots again and loving it, according to team co-owner Steve Tisch.

The Giants have extra motivation as long-shots, reminiscent of a similar National Football League run four years ago that ended in an upset against the same opponent for the championship, Tisch, 62, said today in a radio interview on “Bloomberg Surveillance” with Ken Prewitt and Tom Keene.

New York is a 2 1/2-point underdog heading into the Feb. 5 game in Indianapolis against two-time Most Valuable Player Tom Brady and the Patriots, after defying the sports books’ odds in road victories against the National Football Conference’s top two teams, the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers.

“It unites the players much more in the locker room and when they’re on the field,” Tisch said. “It gives them just a little extra push to play for each other, to play for the fans.”

The last time these two teams met in a Super Bowl, following the 2007 season, the Giants stunned the undefeated Patriots 17-14 on an Eli Manning touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds remaining. During those playoffs, New York won three road games and entered the Super Bowl as a 12-point underdog.

Tisch, the team’s chairman since 2005, is the only person to win a Super Bowl ring and an Academy Award, which he received in 1995 as producer of the film “Forrest Gump.” He said if he could keep one, it would be the Super Bowl title, because New York’s upset over the Patriots in February 2008 had all the qualities of a great movie -- drama, heroes, underdogs, suspense and an unpredictable ending.

“It’s everything a great movie is, but it was unscripted, unrehearsed,” he said. “Nobody knew how it was going to end.”

This year’s game, a showdown between coaches and quarterbacks that have won previous Super Bowl titles, may be just as exciting, he said.

“It could be another really classic, great Giants-Patriots Super Bowl,” Tisch said. “What could be better for the fans of NFL football and Giants fans?”

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