Strahan said he was so anxious to play the game when the Giants made their last trip to this event -- they lost to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV -- that the entire week blew by him. Once he finally settled down, it was too late. Confetti was falling from the sky, the Ravens were hoisting the Lombardi Trophy and Strahan's Giants were devastated.
The Giants have tried to pay close attention to the insights of Strahan and wide receiver Amani Toomer, the only other Giants player left over from that 2000 Super Bowl team.
They also have continually alluded to the philosophy that Coughlin has drilled into them since this season began: Talk is Cheap/Play the Game. It's a motto that evolved out of all the divisive, in-house comments that played out in the New York media last season. The Giants believe that mantra has made all the difference in this year's chemistry.
In fact, the slogan has been so vital that Coughlin had it printed on T-shirts that he handed out to his players Wednesday. It was a subtle reminder of how simple an approach they need to have in this game.
After all, the Patriots didn't reach 18-0 by producing reams of juicy material for the press. They did it by focusing on two things that will decide Sunday's game: execution and attitude. As Coughlin said, "We want to do our talking on the field."
Well, the Giants will have their chance Sunday inside the University of Phoenix Stadium. And what they clearly understand is that this opportunity isn't about facing one of the best teams ever. It's about playing one of their best games ever.
"I thought we had a great shot to win this game seven years ago, and I feel like we have a great shot now," Strahan said. "I believe in this team. The Patriots are 18-0, and everybody talks about them being the team of destiny.
"But I also think we have our own destiny. And history can be made for us, too."