Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Paul Pierce hearts (G)Men?

There was a tangible buzz in the crowd yesterday leftover from the Giants victory over the Wrangled One and the Packers in Sunday's NFC championship game. Blue and Red sweat pants abounded and the previous day's wing-sauce stained shirts were being worn with pride. At several points I thought I saw Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The first time was at the Nathan's across the street where I enjoyed the usual pre-game #2 meal with lemonade and the second was on line for the men's room at halftime.

Regardless, the running subplot, at least in the hearts and minds, was the fortuitousness of the New York versus Boston matchup the day after the same had been set for the Super Bowl. It didn't take much mental energy for folks to reach this realization but it was a day off work and pretty early so it's the best we could do, collectively. And, the parallel does work, to a point. In each case the Boston team is a juggernaut and seemingly destined for success. The similarities shrink like Favre did in the cold when you try to compare the NY teams.

As I mentioned earlier the most electric moments of the afternoon where when the Giants who were in attendance were introduced to the crowd and shown on the big screen. Plax, in particular, received the loudest ovation. While being shown on Gardenvision he held up his big mitts and proceeded to make squeezing motions. I'm going to guess that he was bragging, deservedly, about his good hands during the game on Sunday but if I were less kind and more of a muckraker I could easily say that it looked like he was miming something else altogether. Either way, it was Plaxico's next move that really drew the most attention. He held out his hand and dramatically pointed to his ring finger, right around the spot where a Super Bowl ring might go.

Alright, to the point, as the Garden was booming with a feel-good, Giants vibe, Paul Pierce made his way over to Plaxico and his teammates to shake hands and congratulate them. At first it just seemed weird because he was doing this while the game was happening. It wasn't during a timeout or at the end of the quarter. The ball was stopped but it was just an inbounds or something brief. Moreover, you didn't see any other players going out of their way to make a scene. Just Pierce.

And, since Pierce is a NBA-lifelong Celtic it is really even stranger. Shouldn't he be pulling for the Pats in two weeks rather than going out of his way to suck up to the Giants the day after the championship games?

Oh, well, I'm sure the rational sports fan across New England won't take any offense at something as innocuous as this. Right?

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