Today, my beloved NY Giants will either play their last game of the season (win or lose) in Washington against the hated Washington Redskins (all teams in our Division are hated, but none more so than the Dallas Cowboys; ask any Eagles, Skins, or Giants fan). If the Chicago Bears beat the Green Bay Packers, we somehow become the sixth seed, and back our way into the playoffs with absolutely no chance to host a game at the New Meadowlands Stadium. Good! The last time that happened, we were Super Bowl Champs; the “Road Warriors” as they were known…the ones who went out and beat every single team on the road in the playoffs in hostile stadiums and finally defeated the only undefeated team in NFL History (except for the 1972 Miami Dolphins) by beating the arrogant New England (I still call them “Boston” from the old AFL days) Patriots. We played them tough in their last game of the regular season at the old Stadium, and we played them tougher and won on “the catch” by Tyree from a pass by Eli Manning who somehow managed to elude an army of shifting ninjas with shoulder pads on to throw a beautiful ball toward immortality. It was the performance of the team of a lifetime.
But these are not those Giants; at least some of that team remain, but these guys are not. Their coaching staff has been tuned out by the players. The players need leadership from within to step it up, because without that we will face annihilation like we did in Green Bay last week, where all we had to do was “win and in” te playoffs we were. Could have even been a 5 seed. Instead, we get seed 6 if we play. The other team that plays in the frozen swamps of the Meadowlands, the NY Jets (former NY Titans, for you AFL affectionados like me) will have the 5 see locked up and have at the outset a CHANCE to play a playoff game in the new stadium. Imagine that; the team that moved from the Polo Grounds horror which begat the Shea Stadium horror, to the relative comfort of the old Giants Stadium to the comfy confines of the New Meadowlands (they gotta get a better name than that) might actually be the FIRST of the two teams to get a playoff spot. How embarrassing for us Giants fans…that in what was supposed to be OUR house, the Jets may get to host a playoff game…and the AFC Championship Game if the number 6 seed survives! Unreal.
So, it’s either my last Sunday for NY Giants Football, and I don my old NY Titans gear to root for the Jets in the playoffs (I refuse to wear green…I’ll take their old AFL name and colors, thank you) until they lose…or I continue to figue out which combination of NY Giants jackets and hats I have that might bring them luck today against the skins. And may the football gods smile kindly upon Da Bears in their own quest for a win today to lock things up for them.
It may be the first Sunday of the year, but it may be my last Sunday as a NY Giants Fan for yet another year. Let’s hope by next week, I’m writing more about the red, white, blue and gray of the Giants than the green and white of the Jets, because while I’ll root for the Jets and their long suffering die-hard fans who deserve a shot at the whole thing, my heart lies (and always will) with Big Blue.
GO GIANTS! GO BEARS! GO JETS! GO get some soda a chips…gotta do that now…
“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.” – Vince Lombardi