Those who know me know that my general philosophy on life is that anything can happen to anyone once.
We've all been there - car accident, lost wallet, etc. But when something happens twice, it is usually not a coincidence which is why I cannot stand it when fans of other teams try to paint Eli Manning, Tom Coughlin and the New York Giants as getting lucky in both of their Super Bowl winning seasons of 2007 and 2011.
The argument is that outside of those seasons, the Giants, unlike Tom Brady's Patriots or Peyton Manning's Colts in the previous decade have not been a threat to win the title.
I usually have three responses to these naysayers. No. 1: the Giants play in a tougher division than the Patriots and Colts did. No. 2: I refuse to believe that the Giants could get that lucky twice. And No. 3: the Giants did win their division in 2005 and 2008.
But when I take my fan hat off and look at things objectively, I can see why people think that about the Giants, specifically when you look at what has happened over the past four years. For those of you who don't remember, here is a recap:
The Giants were 7-5 and hosted the Eagles. With a win, the Giants would put themselves right in the mix with the Eagles and Cowboys for the division title but the Giants' defense didn't show up to play and they lost 45-38.
The Giants would win at Washington the next week and then return home to face the Carolina Panthers the following week. Now at 8-6, Big Blue still has a chance to make the playoffs, only this time the whole team decides not to show up and they get humiliated in their final game at Giants Stadium, 41-9, thus ending their postseason chances.
Once again, the Giants host the Eagles with both teams at 9-4. I don't want to, or need to, write more about this game, but we all know that this turned out to be the "Miracle at the Meadowlands II." Despite the tough loss, the Giants were still in the playoff picture at 9-5 as they headed to Lambeau Field to play the Packers.
Since the Packers were 8-6, this was essentially a playoff game. Clearly though, the Giants could not shake off what happened the week before and got blown out 45-17. The Giants won their last game of the season in Washington to finish 10-6, but 10 wins was not enough for Big Blue to make the playoffs in 2010.
Although we all know that things worked out for the Giants in 2011, the regular season was anything but smooth sailing. The Giants won a close game in Dallas to tie the Cowboys with a record of 7-6 and then headed home to face the Washington Redskins.
Once again, the Giants "laid an egg" and lost 23-10 to a Redskins team that really had nothing to play for. The Giants were able to rebound with wins over the Jets and Cowboys, making them 9-7 and NFC East champs.
But, just as unlikely as it was in 2010, that 10-6 wasn't good enough to make the playoffs, the Giants were fortunate that 9-7 was all it took to win the division in 2011.
At 8-5 and coming off a blowout victory at home over the Saints, the Giants head to Atlanta to face a very good Falcons team. With the Redskins coming on strong, the Giants needed to continue winning to stay in first place in the NFC East only, once again, they are embarrassed 34-0.
Now at 8-6 and tied for first with the Redskins, the pressure was really on Big Blue. However, if they won their last two games, like in 2011, they would be in the playoffs. They headed to Baltimore to face a Ravens team that had not been playing good football in recent weeks.
Again, the Giants are embarrassed 33-14 in a game that wasn't even that close. The Giants returned home to face the Eagles in the season finale and won 42-7, but it is a case of "too little, too late" as the Giants finish second in the division to the Redskins.
To me, football is the ultimate "what if" game which is why it is so easy to have a debate. If Matt Dodge punts the ball out of bounds in the Miracle at the Meadowlands II, do the Giants beat the Eagles in overtime and win the division in 2010?
If the Rams decide to keep the 2nd pick in the 2012 draft and select Robert Griffin, III, do the Giants win the division in 2012, again at 9-7?
You can play that game all day long, which is why I still reject the idea that the Giants got lucky twice. If it was all about luck, wouldn't Tony Romo and the Cowboys eventually get some luck to go their way?
Also, the Giants have finished with a winning record in three straight years, no small feat in today's NFL. But, as an objective fan of football and seeing the losses that the Giants have suffered in big games over the past four years, many of which were in embarrassing fashion, I can certainly see why fans of other teams label the Giants as being lucky. Twice.