George RR Martin is best known for his work on the Game of Thrones series of books, but he is also a diehard sports fan. Originally from New Jersey, Martin grew up as a fan of the New York Jets and New York Giants, which brought about both great joy and utter pain. 2019's NFL season has been particularly rough on the author given the way in which these teams have lost.
As Martin explained during an interview with former NFL pass rusher Chris Long, the defensive collapse in New York has been absolutely heartbreaking. The Giants have always been known for defensive dominance, whether it was in the early years of the franchise or during the two Super Bowl victories over the New England Patriots.
Martin remembers eras of Giants football when players such as Lawrence Taylor, Michael Strahan, and Osi Umenyiora held opposing offenses in check. Now, however, the 2-10 Giants have been giving up lead after lead to teams that they would have previously beaten.
As a fan of the New York Giants, Martin was on hand for two victories over the New England Patriots in the biggest game of the season. The 2007 team was undefeated heading into Super Bowl XLII and were expected to decisively defeat the Giants and quarterback Eli Manning.
The actual game did not pan out as expected, however, as Strahan and the Giants kept Brady and this powerful offense in check. Big Blue's defense sacked Brady five separate times and set the stage for a massive upset. The Giants were viewed as underdogs throughout the playoff run and into the Super Bowl, and yet this defense took care of business.
"The Giants' two Super Bowl wins, you know, in recent memory. They were both amazing," Martin said. "We were huge underdogs in both of those games, which made the win that much sweeter. The first time, in Super Bowl XLII, the Giants were a Wild Card team. They were on the road, and the talking heads on television picked against them every game."
Martin's favorite team in the Giants kept surprising analysts and fans alike during this playoff run, ultimately achieving victory on the biggest stage possible. This was an amazing experience for the author, but that run took place back in 2007.
The Giants have found far less success in recent years. The defense, in particular, has been struggling against division foes such as the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. Quarterback Daniel Jones has provided a sense of optimism for the future, but there is a considerable number of moves that must take place before the Giants are a contender once again. Until that happens, Martin will be stuck watching a heartbreaking team.
(Photo Credit: Rich Polk/Getty for IMDB)