Under normal circumstances, a New York City sports fan would have to work even harder to gain satisfaction these days. The Yankees have just scored in the minimum time allowed, the Mets’ elimination still lingers in the air like a freshly put out chemical fire, basketball and hockey seasons have just begun and the necessary and inevitable bitterness and anxiety have yet to be born. football? Excuse me.
And yet we’re here. The Giants and Jets, which refer to the NFL’s wind cave bottom glows, have the second- and fifth-best records in the league as we stealth mid-season. (Not only that, Gino Smith, Gotham’s most-connected quarterback in recent times, has not failed consistently in Seattle.) Say what you will about their quality schedules (the Jets have the fourth easiest schedule in seven weeks and the Giants are 21st), and go on Speaking of small sample sizes and “wait for the weather to change – if it ever happened.” Giants and jets sharing the same rarefied air is unusual for their fans, and their inherent rivalry based on nothing but geography and minimal differences between green and blue in retinal receptors – and I can hear them willing to argue about which is better, rods or cones – means that For now they can enjoy football together, relieved to know that other cities have the worst owners and middlemen for a change.
It’s the part of the shared space that temporarily makes this private. The Giants and the Jets have existed side by side for 63 years, with the Giants being the aristocrats who played at Yankee Stadium, the Titans, then the Jets at the rickety polo field and then the ill-fitting Shea football field. They didn’t make the playoffs that same season until 1985 and were lost by two Super Bowl finalists, and the following year the Giants won it all so the Jets couldn’t enjoy their playoff games. They didn’t converge again until 2002 and then 2006 but they didn’t last long, and even in 2011, when the Giants won the Super Bowl, Gates fans couldn’t find solace in knowing that they at least beat New England.
No, those were two fleeting garbage operations at night, and the planes were far worse by all accounts. Their mutual lack of history makes them relevant to neighborhoods such as Jacksonville and Detroit. Their fans hate each other just out of cultural obligation, because “You saucy!” / “So are you!” Not a really satisfying pub argument.
And now, with the dawning of each team’s fan base that their teams might be good, they can allow themselves the next level of acknowledgment that the other person’s team is potentially good, too. A bar’s argument could turn out to be “eagles suck!” / “So did Bills!” Football in New York could become Disneyland.
Of course you won’t. Both the Giants and the Jets are commanded by their defenses, which is the least fancy way to win games, and in modern NFL it’s usually not enough, and until we’re done with the farewell weeks and into December, each week is an earth mine with props-tied party decorations. The Giants and Jets have been bad more often this century than others, and the season finale usually makes that clear. But generally weak teams are easier to fix by defending them until the never-deserving centre-back arrives by accident. Right now, though, New Yorkers aren’t specific about their teams’ combined way of not sucking. They just enjoy not soaking up everything.
Besides, they can address their frustration with the crash and burns that their baseball teams have just completed. New Yorkers have soccer, and it’s…well, it’s not necessarily good, but at least it’s not foul on sight. And what about Jenno Smith?
#York #City #Football #dissident