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Jeremy Lin is the surprise of the year in the NBA. Who could have possibly seen the undrafted Knicks point guard becoming a star?

Well, one person did. And his name is Ed Weiland.

Two years ago, Weiland wrote the following for the website Hoops Analyst: "Jeremy Lin might be the #2 PG available in this draft. If he can get the passing thing down and handle the point, Jeremy Lin is a good enough player to start in the NBA and possibly star."

Weiland is not exactly Mel Kiper, Jr. He's not even Jay Bilas. He's closer to Jonah Hill's character in Moneyball -- a little-known numbers expert who sees talent way beyond dimensions and demographics. You'll never hear Ed Weiland touting a player simply because he's "long" or has a huge wingspan.

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Once upon a time, the New York Football Giants were ground-bound. They were run-first, pass-later -- or never. Remember "Thunder and Lightning"?

But with Eli Manning and the young crew of wideouts who led the team to its second Super Bowl title in four years on Sunday, those days may be gone for good.

It started with Hakeem Nicks, age 24, whose 335 postseason receiving yards and four touchdowns were already franchise records heading into Sunday's game against the New England Patriots. His Hail Mary touchdown catch against defending champion Green Bay may not have only been a defining moment against the Packers, but also for an entire playoff run. So when it came time for the Giants to set the tone Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium, it was appropriate that Nicks got things going.

Nicks made 10 catches Sunday, averaging 10.9 yards per grab. Eight of his catches were good for first downs. As he had been throughout the playoffs, Hicks established himself as the Giants’ bona fide go-to receiver from the get-go.

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Every dynasty has that glue guy.

The Yankees had Jorge Posada, the Lakers have Derek Fisher, the Mystery Machine had Velma. The Patriots have Kevin Faulk.

In his 13th season in New England, Faulk is the longest-tenured Patriot. When Faulk was a rookie in the NFL, Tom Brady was fighting for his starting job at Michigan and Bill Belichick was on Bill Parcells' Jets coaching staff.

Faulk has never been to a Pro Bowl. In fact, he has only started 47 career games.

But he is going to play in fifth Super Bowl and has been a factor on all five AFC championship teams. He has also loved every second being a Patriot.

"I appreciate this. I understand the consistency level of being at this place," Faulk says. "No disrespect to any other place in the NFL because I'm pretty sure every other place is wonderful, but to be consistent on this team, knowing what it takes to be a New England Patriot and how much hard work you do to be here this long, that's one of my top three accomplishments about being in the NFL."

At the end of last season, the prospects of playing another year in Foxborough looked grim for Faulk. The versatile back tore his ACL in Week 2 and was placed on injured reserve, ending his season. Faulk watched the Patriots' season and the final year of his contract play out from the sidelines.

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Everyone remembers the Super Bowl XLII clip of Jeremy Shockey enjoying some adult beverages in a University of Phoenix Stadium luxury box. Shockey had a broken fibula and was probably celebrating the end of his career in New York rather than the Giants' victory.

He was not the only Giant out with a fibula injury that day. Mathias Kiwanuka fractured his left fibula in Week 11 of the 2007 season and watched the Super Bowl from the sidelines. Kiwanuka was in his second season with Giants out of Boston College and had 47 tackles, 4.5 sacks and one forced fumble in ten starts before the injury.

But the memories he has from that season are bittersweet.

"It was tough being injured for the game," Kiwanuka says. "You don't come down with the team. You come down a little later in the week. You participate in the game day stuff, but you're not at Media Day. You're not doing a lot of the things that everybody else gets to do, so it's not same."

Shockey moved on to the Saints and won a Super Bowl title in his second year with New Orleans to experience that special moment as an active participant. Kiwanuka hasn't.

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