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Men in black, focused Giants begin quest for title

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- At a remote location surrounded only by cacti, dry earth and a casino, the Giants arrived to their hotel ready to face the press and discuss their goal of winning a championship.

They came dressed in black, claiming to be completely focused on the task at hand. The wardrobe idea, courtesy of linebacker Antonio Pierce, was meant to symbolize the team's business-trip mentality and dismiss any thoughts that this was a celebratory vacation following the NFC championship.

As wide receiver Plaxico Burress commented, "It's a business trip, we didn't come here for anything else."

The location certainly echoes that sentiment.

While the resort is beautiful, with illustrious landscaping and an accompanying golf course, the surrounding area lacks any of the nightlife or attractions so common during Super Bowl week.

The only "hot spots" anywhere near the resort are the aforementioned casino and a sign for a saloon that appears to direct you to a cluster of aging trailers in the middle of the desert.

The scene seemed to fit coach Tom Coughlin perfectly. The reputed disciplinarian came out to his press conference with a pep in his step and an eagerness to get to business.

As Coughlin approached the podium, the previous chaos in the room came to a halt. The broadcast media stood at attention and focused their cameras after a lengthy period of scurrying around with microphones and equipment. The print media's furious typing, that had moments earlier combined with a loud chatter to provide the typical cacophony present prior to all large news conferences, ceased immediately, and the festivities began.

Sporting a crisply pressed black suit, Coughlin used his opening remarks to express his desire to start practicing Wednesday and prepare for Sunday's game.

"We have work to do and we look forward very much to Wednesday when we do have an opportunity to begin our formal practice week," said Coughlin.

Coughlin continued the theme of focusing on the task at hand throughout his session and mocked a reporter's question about how all the media attention could distract his team, saying with a smirk, "This is like a normal day in New York."

The energy in the room picked up greatly as it was announced that there were only two more questions left for Coughlin. That announcement signaled the arrival of Manning and the rest of the players. As Coughlin finished his remarks, reporters young and old trampled over each other, racing to try and get their spot among the masses in front of each player.

Manning attracted the most attention. The camera operators fought for their place in front so they could get the perfect shot of the suddenly popular quarterback, while the print reporters battled for position so they could get their questions heard.

The situation was similar in front of stars Burress and Michael Strahan, while a slighly smaller crowd gathered around punter Jeff Feagles and wide receiver Amani Toomer.

With the action so fast-paced, it felt as though it had only been a matter of minutes before the 30-minute sessions came to an end and the Giants were able to breathe, knowing Tuesday brings an even crazier scene at Media Day.

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