At some point, the NFL will admit this Tommy DeVito character this was the toughest sell of their script.
Good luck inventing a better story. DeVito was just another no-name quarterback at the end of the New York Giants roster a few weeks ago. He had to be happy just to be on a roster, and especially with the Giants considering he grew up in New Jersey. The story went that he still lived with his parents and his mom still did his laundry. Then he got the chance to start at quarterback due to injuries ahead of him.
And on Monday night, “Tommy Cutlets” had all of MetLife Stadium doing an Italian hands celebration.
From nobody to cult hero, DeVito has injected some joy into a Giants season that had none through the first couple of months. DeVito took the Giants on a game-winning drive in the final two minutes, setting up a game-winning field goal as time expired for a 24-22 win over the Green Bay Packers. DeVito became a folk hero for Giants fans while a Monday night audience watched.
Whoever at the NFL that cast DeVito for this role deserves a raise, because he’s playing the part perfectly.
Tommy DeVito takes center stage
Early on, it felt like one of those memorable Monday night games in which a fun story becomes a phenomenon.
On the ABC broadcast, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman told stories of DeVito, his “Tommy Cutlets” nickname and how he still lived with his parents. The shots of his father and agent — who looked exactly like you’d if you were casting someone in the role of DeVito’s agent — celebrating in the stands were infectious.
Tommy DeVito’s agent is absolutely perfect pic.twitter.com/LimaGUKJeo
— CJ Fogler account may or may not be notable (@cjzero) December 12, 2023
Tommy DeVito’s dad and agent 🤣pic.twitter.com/1PNdbpGqCF
— Wu Tang is for the Children (@WUTangKids) December 12, 2023
DeVito made plays and it brought the stadium to life every time he did. The Giants came in at 4-8 with practically no shot to make the playoffs, but Monday night games are still special for the players and the fans too. It felt like a lot more than a bad team playing out the string, thanks to the wholly enjoyable DeVito story.
DeVito made plays on the ground and throwing the ball while the crowd soaked it up. His scramble set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Barkley in the third quarter. A nice pass and catch resulted in an 8-yard touchdown to Isaiah Hodgins and a 21-13 lead.
And out came the Italian hands, the goofy celebration that has become endearing part of the entire crazy DeVito story.
— New York Giants (@Giants) December 12, 2023
The Giants still had to win the game to make it a truly special night. And they were up to the challenge, even after falling behind in the final two minutes.
Packers take a late lead
The Giants had to hold on for the fourth quarter. They seemed to have a drive that was about to seal the win when Saquon Barkley broke a long run deep into Packers territory. But there was a weird fumble at the end of the run. Barkley stumbled forward and the ground knocked the ball loose, but because he wasn’t touched by anyone and didn’t give himself up, it was a fumble. The Packers returned it 50 yards into Giants territory during the confusion.
After that, the Packers were in the red zone at the two-minute warning. Love hit Reed for a big third-down conversion to set up first-and-goal. On second-and-goal, Malik Heath caught a pass in the end zone and it looked like a touchdown but officials ruled it incomplete after safety Jason Pinnock knocked it loose. That call held up after a review. On the next play Heath caught a 6-yard touchdown near the sideline, barely breaking the plane to get in. The Giants trailed 22-21 after stopping the two-point conversion with 1:33 to go.
DeVito was calm to start the Giants’ final drive. He hit a few short passes. Then he hit Wan’Dale Robinson for 32 yards to get the GIants into field-goal range. The Giants ran it a few times and settled for a 37-yard field-goal attempt by Randy Bullock.
Bullock’s kick was good, and it officially went into Giants history as The Tommy DeVito Game. You can’t even make up a story this fun.