The 2007 New York Giants will always be remembered for spoiled the New England Patriots’ perfect season. Because of that epic 17-14 win in the desert, however, many people often forget the Giants’ NFC Championship win that year.
Well, that one was just as memorable, albeit for different reasons.
On January 20, 2008, the Giants beat the Green Bay Packers, 23-20, in overtime at Lambeau Field – in minus-23 windchill.
It was so bad that former Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes and former Giants punter and holder Jeff Feagles couldn’t even complete their normal pregame routine.
We typically do about eight kicks on each side, (maybe) nine. After out fourth kick, he couldn’t catch the ball,” Tynes said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “So I just said, ‘Look, let’s just quit. It’s going to stink. It’s going to suck all day. I don’t want you to get bad vibes about not being able to catch the ball.’ So we got four in, and I said, ‘We’re good.’ Same thing when he went to punt. He could only punt five or six balls – because he couldn’t catch the ball – until he had to go get his hands warm again.”
The temperature was just a couple of degrees below zero, but the windchill was unbearable – even for the home team.
“The Packers were the same way,” Tynes said. “I don’t think their holders could really hold as many balls as you normally would, so we just had to embrace it. They were going to play in it, we were going play in it – so we just kind of ran with it.”
While other players could wear extra layers, Tynes couldn’t. He didn’t want to restrict his leg movements. He actually missed a pair of field goals in that game, but was 3-of-5 on the day. He also drilled a 47-yarder in overtime to send the Giants to the Super Bowl.
Interestingly enough, his misses gave him confidence to make the game-winner. He even ran onto the field to attempt the kick before Tom Coughlin even gave him the green light.
“(The miss in the fourth quarter) gave me a lot of confidence for that kick (in overtime),” Tynes said. “You can learn a lot. You learn more from your mistakes than you do your successes, so I hit the ball really well. For me, it was a distance thing. I knew I could get it there. I had all the confidence in the world.”
After he made the kick, Tynes sprinted off the field. He was excited, yes, but he also just wanted to get warm.
“I wanted to get off the field. It was miserable,” he said. “Every time I think about that game, I actually get cold. Some of the guys still got limbs and stuff that they can’t feel. They’re just permanently numb – fingers. I’ve talked to guys that said they still have numbness in certain places from that game.”
Hopefully the ring – not to mention wins over Brett Favre and Tom Brady – make up for it.