Two weeks later, the Giants rocked the Denver Broncos, 39-20, in Super Bowl XXI in Pasadena to win the team's first of four Super Bowl championships.
I was in attendance for both of those games. Grown men, who had not seen the Giants win anything for 30 years, broke down and cried. Others drank and cheered. Me, personally? I was stunned. Both settings were surreal. It's as if it wasn't happening. But it did. And how.
After three decades of what amounted to embarrassing futility, the Giants were the kings of football. All those Sundays I spent watching and listening hoping for some glimmer of hope, all came home to roost.
We romped over San Francisco in the Divisional Round, 49-3, in a game that the 49ers and Jerry Rice fumbled away from the start. The signature play came when Giants' DT Jim Burt barreled into Joe Montana as he was throwing a pass. The ball floated into the hands of one Lawrence Taylor, who took the INT to the house, nearly bringing the place to the ground.
Montana? He had to leave the game. Head coach Bill Walsh told reporters afterward that his team was "shattered." It would be the second of three playoff victories the Giants would score over the "team of the 80's."
Washington, who finished 12-4 in the NFC East, came into the NFC Championship Game fresh off a 27-13 win over the defending Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. They had Jay Schroeder at QB rather than Joe Theismann (whose career ended the year before with the infamous leg injury at the hands of the Giants) and were as high-powered as ever under head coach Joe Gibbs.
They were no match for the surging Giants. Parcells won the toss and took the wind, which was well over 30 MPH and swirling. He wanted to set the tone with his defense, and he did.
That glorious wind whipped the Redskins almost as thorough as the Giants did. It seemed like every single piece of loose paper, food wrapper and beer cup went swirling through the air. No one cared. Christmas morning was finally here for Giant fans. It may be the most cathartic moment in NY sports history (sorry Ranger fans).
As the game wound down, Harry Carson was readying the Gatorade bath for Parcells. Schroeder was seen sitting on the sidelines, eyes glazed over, comb-over flapping in the wind. He didn't know it, but 30 years of pent-up emotions had just reigned down on the Redskins.
In a way, I felt sorry for them. I, like most Giant fans, wished it was the Bears, who embarrassed the Giants the season before, at the other end of this beating. But this was too good a feeling to let greed ruin it. I had California on my mind.
If any of you were there that day, please leave your thoughts and memories with us below