INDIANAPOLIS -- Lots of talk around here about talk -- specifically all of the very confident talking the New York Giants have been doing about their belief that they will beat the New England Patriots on Sunday night in the Super Bowl. A theory has emerged that the Giants are making a mistake by giving the Patriots potential bulletin board material. It reached the point at which Giants coach Tom Coughlin was asked about it in his Friday morning news conference, but Coughlin seemed surprised that it was even an issue worth discussing.
"I'm not sure what you're referencing," Coughlin said. "I know that there are one or two quotes out there, but to be honest with you, I don't know that either one of them is any different than Tom Brady's quotes. Our team has played good football against great football teams. We always focus our team on 'humble enough to prepare, confident enough to perform.' That's the way we look at it."
Coughlin's reaction seemed genuine, and it speaks to the sincerity at the source of all of the Giants' predictions of victory and parades. They aren't out there pounding their chests and talking about how great they are. They aren't out there ripping the players on the other team. They aren't saying all of this stuff for the purpose of sending any kind of message. They just really don't feel they can be beaten right now. That feeling is born, as Coughlin points out, from a string of victories over the very best teams in the league, the last couple on the road, and the accurate sense that they're playing their best football of the year at the right time.
The Giants have, for weeks, been expressing supreme confidence without, in my opinion, arrogance. They just really believe in themselves and think they're good. And as they were in each of their first three playoff games, they're sure they'll win. It remains to be seen whether they're right. But they're not acting out or making any of this up. They're saying what they really believe.