Jane McManus, of the brand new ESPN: New York (how NY was only the 5th city to get it's own ESPN page is beyond me, but that's another story) raised that question recently. She summarizes the popular talking points for why the Jets are now the big dog in town: a brash, outgoing, news-making coach; a young, charismatic, good-looking QB; an AFC Championship Game appearance in their first season together; flashy free agent signings (and the ensuing "LT" controversy); and the upcoming appearance on HBO's Hard Knocks. It seems hard to argue, right? I mean, the Giants didn't even make the playoffs last year, they might as well be the Lions.
To splash a little bit of cold water on the Jets (a team I really don't dislike, unlike many of you out there), New York (and the rest of the tri-state area) is still Giants country. It's amazing to me that McManus fails to mention that before last year, the Giants had been to 4 straight postseasons, a period that saw the Jets have two 4 win seasons. It also fails to mention that the Jets have been having a tougher time selling their PSL's, despite the fact that they have less of them to sell (the upper deck is PSL-free for the Jets).
Perhaps most importantly, despite briefly mentioning the Giants having more Super Bowl wins than the Jets, she completely neglects the fact that the Giants won a Super Bowl just over TWO YEARS AGO! This isn't ancient history - we're not gloating over 1986 and 1991 anymore. The current Giants coach, QB, running backs, offensive line, defensive line, and other role players are all exactly the same as the guys who won Super Bowl XLII. There's been some turnover, and there will continue to be more this year, but the core of the team is mostly unchanged. Without key injuries in the secondary last year, the Giants probably would be working on 5 consecutive playoff appearances.
Again, I don't begrudge the Jets their media coverage. I generally like them, and I'm glad that there are now two well-run football teams in New York, for the first time in a long time. I think it's good for the city and for football when both teams are good at the same time, and I hope they get to play each other in a Super Bowl someday. But until the Jets get to that point, New York City belongs to the New York Giants. Sorry, Jets fans.
- I debated posting this, b/c I don't want to turn BBV into TMZ, but it is about a very prominent recent Giant and it's a slow news period for the team: Tiki Barber is leaving his 8 months pregnant wife for an NBC intern. Classy guy, that Tiki. Everytime I hear about him I'm left to wonder: has any New York athlete seen their stock fall so far so fast? Plaxico Burress is in jail and he's still way more liked in NY than Tiki is.
- Lawrence Tynes has been honored by his native Scotland. Good for him. He may give me a heart attack every time he kicks, but I do enjoy having a native Scotlander on the team.