While the Boston Herald’s Mike Felger concludes the 15-0 Patriots “beat up on a weak league”, the ever-excitable Steve Serby of the New York Post would have you believe the Giants are sold on the questionable import of tomorrow night’s clash with New England.

The Yankees are hated for a lot of reasons, but mostly because they have won 26 championships. Everyone wanted to knock off John Wooden’s UCLA teams, especially the ones with Lew Alcindor sky-hooking opponents into submission. Oh, how they hated Red Auerbach for lighting up those victory cigars during his Celtics reign of terror. Wilt Chamberlain once bemoaned the fact that nobody likes Goliath.

Now, here come the Hatetriots, the 15-0 Hatetriots, marching into Giants Stadium, and only the Giants are standing between them and the first 16-0 regular season.

The last thing the Giant players want, even with a wild-card playoff game in Tampa the following week, is to wave a white flag and surrender to the perfect team so close to becoming Greatriots.

They would much prefer to stop the Hatetriots.

Even as they fully understand it is Tom Coughlin’s decision as to who plays and how much and who rests, an umistakeable œnot against us” mentality has gripped them and won’t let go.

It is as if they feel compelled in some way to defend the honor of the rest of the league.

On the road, where they are 7-1, it is œus against the world” for the Giants.

Tomorrow night, it is Hatetriots against the world, and the world outside New England is with the Giants.

Good job, then, to Big Blue’s Osi Umenyiora (“I’m what you’d commonly refer to as a hater”), who hypnotized Serby with promises of not-lying-down (“we are a brotherhood and nobody really wants to see a team just looks that much better than everybody else”), thus ignoring the most obvious scenario of all : Col. Coughlin’s job is on the line, and if a starter were injured tomorrow evening in pursuit of a meaningless win while the club still has a shot (however remote) at winning a Super Bowl, he’s almost certainly headed back to college football.

The only outcome I’m rooting for would be Jared Lorenzen putting up crazy numbers against N.E. backups, thus leading to a public outcry for Eli’s benching against the Buccaneers. Sure, it’ll never happen, but neither will New York’s first-stringers be allowed to risk injury late in the game, not if Coughlin has an ounce of smarts remaining. Umenyiora knows this, and chance are, so does Steve Serby.