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Sent: 01-25-21

E-GIANTS
Dave Klein was the Giants' beat writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books and he was one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls up until last year. Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.

MAYBE THE GIANTS CAN MAKE IMPROVEMENTS THROUGH FREE AGENCY

By Dave Klein
So what if the Giants try a different way of making the team better and more capable of earning a post-season position?
What if they used their 11th spot in the first round of the draft for that world-famous "best available athlete" and instead focused on veteran free agents?
Need a wide receiver? Need a pass rusher? Need another piece for the secondary?
Well, it might make sense to try a veteran rather than make a colossal blunder on a rookie drafted too high, you know? There are many wide receiver mistakes in the history books, including some the Giants chose to anoint, such as Thomas Lewis (1994). And Ike Hilliard (1997) and Hakeem Nicks (2009) weren't exactly Pro Bowl products, either.
Current reports indicate that such wide receivers as Allen Robinson (Bears), JuJu Smith-Schuster (Steelers), Will Fuller (Texans) and Corey Davis (Titans), among others, are available for the right amount of cash.

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So we've got the two newest Super Bowl teams, and it might be a surprisingly exciting match. Of course, the Kansas City Chiefs are back for the second year in a row, while the Tampa Bay Bucs will be making their second appearance overall, having beaten Oakland in SB 37 in San Diego.
Of statistical interest, this will be the first Super Bowl in which one of the teams will be playing in its home stadium since the game is in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
Previously, there were two games in which one of the competing teams didn't have to travel far San Francisco played SB 19 in Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, Cal., and the Los Angeles Rams met the Steelers in Pasadena's Rose Bowl in SB 14.

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One of the lasting memories from the first-ever Super was Packers' coach Vince Lombardi in the post-game victory interview. He had been cautioned all that week by then NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle not to say anything demeaning about the Kansas City Chiefs, since a merger was in the works and feathers didn't have to be ruffled.
So Vince kept his mouth buttoned all week, but he was unable to restrain himself when it was all over, a 35-10 spanking of the Chiefs.
Inevitably, someone asked Vince what he thought of the Kansas City effort. "That's a nice little team," he said, the sarcasm spilling out. "I think they might get close to a .500 record in our league."

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Not only has the COVID-19 situation made a shambles out of fan attendance all during the season and now at the Super Bowl, but it has also extended a valued advantage to the "home team" Bucs. The Chiefs won't make the trip to Tampa until the Friday before the game, unlike every other year when the two teams gathered a week prior to kickoff.
This means the thousands of pre-week interviews will have to be done virtually.
Hey, to be really safe, why don't they play the game virtually, too?

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SPEAKING OF BOOKS -- On a personal note, I would like to thank all of you who ordered my new book "A Memoir and Reflections on 60 Years of Covering the New York Giants."
Those of you who responded did so in such glowing terms I was more than just flattered. Those of you who read it and didn't send a note, you're forgiven. At least I didn't get any negative comments.
And for those of you who haven't yet ordered the book, which takes you from 1961 through present with personal observations on all the old heroes, you can do so by signing on to Amazon.com, click on Books or Store, then type in my name. You'll find the new book listed among others from recent years.
And thanks.

You can subscribe Dave's newsletters which run much more frequently than what is available here. - Team Giants

NOW - Send a request to davesklein@aol.com for a free week's worth of news!

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