Sunday is a weird day for fans of the New York Giants.
It is the final day of the 2012 NFL regular season, and unless an amazing series of events converge in just the right way this will be the last day you can refer to the Giants as 'defending Super Bowl champs.'
Yet, there is still that small glimmer of hope. That teeny, tiny possibility that the Giants can beat the Philadelphia Eagles today and that the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears can all lose. In that case you get to hold onto your dreams of the first repeat championships in franchise history just a little bit longer.
No matter what happens today, and into the playoffs if the Giants are fortunate enough to get there, remember this -- things could certainly be a lot worse.
All you have to do is look around the New York sports scene to see that for yourself.
Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks are riding high, leading the Atlantic Division of the NBA and giving their fans real hope for the first time in a decade or more. Look around the rest of New York's teams, though, and it's a messy, mostly broken wasteland.
The New York Jets? A complete joke. Does Rex Ryan want to coach them or not? Gang Green Nation is already lining up replacements. They have three quarterbacks, none better than ... David Carr. Which means they really don't have any quarterbacks who can play. They have no clue what to do with Tim Tebow, except trot him out for reporters to talk to. They have nothing to build around.
The Brooklyn Nets? Moved to a fancy new building, generated a lot of buzz and started fast. Then they remembered their roots, started playing like the New Jersey version of themselves and got Avery Johnson fired.
The New York Yankees? The paupers in the Bronx apparently have no money to spend. If you see GM Brian Cashman on the street corner throw a couple of nickels in his coffee mug. The Yankees seem to need them.
The New York Mets? They just traded away Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey. Spin that any way you want, good teams don't have to do that.
The New York Red Bulls? The 2012 season was another one that ended short of where their talent said they should go, and the team is in the process of being gutted.
The New York Rangers, Islanders and New Jersey Devils? Yes, we remember that their used to be a league called the NHL. Fans of those teams, though, don't even have games to get upset about.
So, Giants' fans, things aren't that bad -- no matter what today's outcome is. The Giants haven't had a losing season since 2004. They have a quality general manager and head coach who understand the headlines you WANT to make have to do with winning, and have proven they know how to build teams that can do that. The Giants have a franchise quarterback in Eli Manning and a franchise defensive player in Jason Pierre-Paul.
The Giants still have a lot going for them -- a whole lot more than most of the other teams around these parts.