NFC Championship Notebook
Presence of former Giants motivates Fassel's team
Updated: Sunday January 14, 2001 5:46 PM
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Eight former players with ties to the New York Giants' Super Bowl victories in 1986 and 1990 were invited by head coach Jim Fassel to watch the team's final workout before the NFC title game against Minnesota.
Attending the practice Saturday were linebackers Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson, center Bart Oates, wide receivers Phil McConkey and Stephen Baker, guard Brad Benson, defensive tackle Jim Burt and defensive end George Martin.
Taylor and Oates played on both championship teams. Baker was on the 1990 team and Benson, Burt, Carson, Martin and McConkey were on the 1986 team.
At the end of the workout, Fassel asked Taylor to speak to the team.
"Most of us played our while career as a Giant, and to be a Giant is very special and very dear to us, and we care what happens to you guys," Taylor said. "We're really proud of you. You've worked hard and you've done the little things to get the job done.
"We're in this with you, your coaches are in it with you, the fans are in it with you, but we're in it with you, also. ... From the bottom of my heart, we're proud of you, and whatever it takes: get it done."
Asked why he invited the former players, Fassel said, "This wasn't about pep talks or rah-rah speeches. It was about understanding the moment, and there is no better way to communicate what this moment means than to have the players who have lived through it explain it."
Appararently, Taylor's words provided inspiration. The Giants beat the Vikings 41-0 Sunday.
Mama said there'd be days like this
In nine years as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, Dennis Green never had a day like this.
"Nothing we tried to do worked," Green said after his team was routed 41-0 by the New York Giants in the NFC Championship Game Sunday. "You play a 16-game schedule and get into the playoffs, you have an idea what you have a chance to do, and nothing worked."
Green was surprised the Giants were able to shut out his offense, which features six Pro Bowl players, and score 41 points, with Kerry Collins passing for 381 yards and five touchdowns.
"There's no way you're going to think we will give up 400 yards passing and that we won't score any points," Green said. "You don't think there's any way that will happen."
Giants take lead in playoff series
The Giants' 41-0 victory against Minnesota on Sunday gave them a 2-1 lead over the Vikings in the NFL playoffs.
The Giants won 17-10 in a wild-card game in 1993, and the Vikings won 23-22 in a 1997 wild-card game with 10 points in the final two minutes. Minnesota scored on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Randall Cunningham to Cris Carter, then recovered an onsides kick that led to Eddie Murray's game-winning 24-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining.
The comforts of home
The Giants are 7-2 in the playoffs at Giants Stadium and have scored first in all nine games, with a 66-3 advantage in the first quarter.
Since the 1979 AFL-NFL merger, the Giants are also the only NFC team to play in more than one conference championship game with a perfect record. They are 3-0, while Atlanta and Philadelphia are the only other unbeaten teams, both at 1-0.
Minnesota is 3-4 in NFC title games.
Randy Moss' streak of consecutive playoff games with at least one touchdown reception was snapped at five in Minnesota's 41-0 loss.
He still ranks first in NFL history with a touchdowns per game ratio of 1.2 with seven touchdowns in six playoff games. Harold Carmichael is ranked second with six touchdowns in seven games.
All in the family
Kate Mara, 17-year-old granddaughter of Giants co-owner Wellington Mara, sang the national anthem before the game.