Giants rule American sports in 2012

Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:17pm EST
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By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - In a country driven by the mantra 'bigger is always better', it was fitting that Giants dominated America's professional championships in 2012.

Two of the four major leagues were won by teams with the supersized moniker, with the New York Giants capturing the National Football League's Super Bowl and the San Francisco Giants landing Major League Baseball's World Series.

The Los Angeles Kings finally lived up their regal nickname when they won National Hockey League's Stanley Cup for the first time while LeBron James silenced his critics by winning a first National Basketball Association title with the Miami Heat.

The New York Giants set the tone for a year of comebacks when they reclaimed the greatest prize in North American sports with a nail-biting 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Indianapolis.

Inspired by their dynamic quarterback Eli Manning, named the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the second time in four years, the Giants stole victory with a last-minute touchdown from Ahmad Bradshaw.

"The greatest feeling in professional sports is to win the Super Bowl," said 65-year-old Tom Coughlin after becoming the oldest coach to land the prize.

What made their victory remarkable was the Giants had looked to have no hope of even competing for the title after losing four consecutive games late in the regular season, putting them in danger of missing the playoffs.

They needed to win their last two games to make the playoffs and then won four straight to claim the Super Bowl in early February and cap a fairytale run that captivated America's biggest city.   Continued...

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin (L) wishes his starting quarterback Eli Manning (R) good luck prior to their NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Maryland December 3, 2012. REUTERS/Gary Cameron