Alec Baldwin to Narrate NFL Network's AMERICA'S GAME: 2011 NY GIANTS, 9/4
Which moment does head coach Tom Coughlin believe was the defining moment of the year? What did quarterback Eli Manning do with wide receiver Victor Cruz during the offseason that carried over to the regular season? Find out the answers to these questions and re-live the 2011 season through the words of Coughlin, Manning, Cruz and defensive end Justin Tuck in the latest installment of the NFL Films-produced, Emmy Award-winning series, America's Game: 2011 New York Giants exclusively on NFL Network.
America's Game: 2011 New York Giants debuts on Tuesday, September 4 at 10:00 PM ET, one night before the Giants kick off the 2012 regular season at home against the division rival Dallas Cowboys. Featuring exclusive video and sound of the Giants during team meetings, games and inside the locker room, including footage from Coughlin's speech to the team the night before Super Bowl XLVI, America's Game offers an all-access look at the Super Bowl champions.
Emmy Award-winning actor of NBC's 30 Rock, Alec Baldwin lends his voice to this year's edition.
In the hour-long special, Manning, Coughlin, Tuck and Cruz recount the 2011 season in their own words. In 2009, the Giants lost eight of their last 11 games and failed to make it to the playoffs. In 2010, the Giants allowed 28 unanswered points in the final 7:18 at home against Philadelphia, losing the game and allowing the Eagles to claim possession of first place in the NFC East. Prior to the 2011 season, Coughlin delivered a simple message: "Finish, finish, finish." After losing four consecutive games, the Giants won three of their final four games to win the NFC East and entered the postseason with a 9-7 record. Four victories later, the Giants finished the season as Super Bowl XLVI champions.
America's Game, an Emmy Award-winning series, delves deep into the story behind the making of Super Bowl champions. Each episode is a 60-minute documentary in high definition, featuring key members of the winning team telling behind-the-scenes accounts from their championship season. With the signature NFL Films footage, combined with news clips and photos, highlights from team radio broadcasts, inside looks from team meeting rooms, sideline audio and other exclusive features, America's Game provides an epic and intimate portrait of championship teams.
Below is a sampling of what's notable and quotable from America's Game: 2011 New York Giants:
Tom Coughlin delivers preseason motivation...
Following a disappointing 2010 season in which the New York Giants failed to make the playoffs for the second consecutive year, head coach Tom Coughlin showed his team a video of a high school cross-country runner for motivation.
- "One particular girl who really was their best runner, coming down the stretch she began to struggle. She collapsed within feet of the finish line. She said to herself, 'You have to finish, that's the point.' She literally crawled across the finish line and her team won the state championship. When the movie ended, you could have heard a pin drop in the room." - Coughlin on the video he showed to his team
- "Normally when coach shows us videos, we kind of look at him and go, 'OK, I got his point.' But seeing someone not getting paid give that much effort, guys really, really took that to heart and it really set the tone for this season." - Tuck
- "You're going to hear me say this a thousand times: finish, finish, finish." - Coughlin to the team during a team meeting<
The emergence of Victor Cruz...
Prior to the Giants' Week 3 game against the Philadelphia Eagles, wide receiver Victor Cruz had two career catches. After a breakout 110-yard, two touchdown game, Cruz would go on to set the franchise single-season receiving yard record, proving to be a more than capable replacement for the departed Steve Smith.
- "I was worried about that slot position [and] who was going to fill that role. I knew we had a couple of guys who were going to compete for it, but I didn't know if anyone would be as good as what Steve Smith was able to produce for us the last couple of years." - Manning on Steve Smith signing with the Philadelphia Eagles prior to the 2011 season
- "There was a little voice in the back of my mind that was telling me in this league, chances come few and far between, and if you don't take advantage of them they can slip away just as fast as they came. Thank God I got another opportunity." - Cruz on the first two games of the 2011 season prior to the Week 3 game against Philadelphia
- "I [said], 'We found our guy.' There are some things that other guys might do better, but when you get the ball in his hands, he makes special things happen." - Manning on Cruz's performance against the Eagles
- "I never dreamed of doing anything like that. It was just awesome. No words can even describe the journey each and every week." - Cruz on setting the Giants' single-season record for receiving yards
The Giants were 7-7 and needed to win their final two games to make the playoffs. Starting with a win over the in-stadium rival Jets, the Giants never looked back until they hoisted the franchise's fourth Lombardi Trophy.
- "Rex [Ryan], him saying all of those things [before the game], I didn't necessarily care about. But covering up our Super Bowls? That's different." - Tuck on Jets covering up the Giants' Super Bowl murals at MetLife Stadium the day of the game
- "If you wanted to define the defining moment in the season when things really came together and took off, that was it right there. From that point on, we started to combine confidence with cohesiveness, with intelligence, with masterful play." - Coughlin on Victor Cruz's 99-yard touchdown against the Jets
- "The idea of everybody telling you that you can't do something, I like that. That's a good thing. These guys took this to the extreme." - Coughlin on entering the playoffs with a 9-7 record
- "We thrive in people not giving us a shot. We went through the most adversity this year of any team. That made us that much stronger. We were all-in and we were going to lay it on the line for what it was worth. When the dust cleared and the last man was standing, we expected it to be us." - Tuck
- "It probably changes the way I'm viewed. I don't think it changes the way I view myself. It doesn't change the way I'm going to improve as a player to make sure I give my teammates and the new guys that will come be a part of this team an opportunity to have those same experiences." - Manning on winning his second Super Bowl
- "It's the best throw of Eli's career." - Tuck on Eli Manning's 38-yard pass to Mario Manningham during the game-winning drive in Super Bowl XLVI
- "I literally sat in the dark for the whole evening. I didn't talk to anybody; I sat in a room with no lights on and I just reflected." - Coughlin on the Giants' 38-31 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 15 of the 2010 season
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.