The New York Jets controlled the big apple during the post season over the last two years. In fact, Jets fans like myself anticipated that the team would finally be the Kings of New York instead of the Giants. After all, since 2008 the Giants hadn’t come close to returning to the Super Bowl, while their former weak sisters nearly went there twice. The Jets had control for once in New York.
But a whole new season can make a really big difference, considering where New York’s two teams are right now. Not only have the Jets free fallen into the murky abyss, they may have lost their chance to seize control of New York permanently at this rate while the Giants approach another Super Bowl. Both teams were in control of their destiny this season. The Giants took control while the Jets let control slide from their hands.
The beginning of the end can be traced back to the Jets-Giants showdown on Christmas Eve, when both teams were battling for the playoff fate. A win for the Jets would have put them back on track for a postseason berth and another road run towards the AFC championship – while the Giants would have been doomed with a loss and probably cost Tom Tom Coughlin his job.
But the second that the Giants wrapped up a 29-14 victory, the two haven’t stopped going in the opposite direction. The NFC’s New York team won the NFC Championship & a win away from another Super Bowl victory that would give the Giants control of New York. Meanwhile, the AFC’s New York squad has been revealed as the most dysfunctional in the NFL and is staying home during its utter collapse.
While the Giants prepared to face the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC championship on Jan. 22, the Jets were dealing with yet another headline on their horrific chemistry in less than two weeks time. This time LaDainian Tomlinson, who already is halfway out the door, told Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” that the Jets had as bad a locker room as he’d ever seen and put the fault on both Rex Ryan and GM Mike Tannenbaum. It seems Rex is not the only one who wants to let their voice be heard.
Now, Giants fans proudly wear their NFC Championship merchandise. One more win and they have their Super Bowl merchandise as well. Giants fans proudly support their NFC Champs while Jets fans have been waiting too long to be able to wear any form of championship merchandise. Promises have been made but no delivery date has been set for Jets fans. Somewhere in Kenya people are wearing Jets AFC Championship merchandise from 2010 and 2011.
Fortunately for them, New York is getting numb to all these ramblings about how bad the Jets were behind the scenes and it has the Giants to focus on. Right now, the Jets are the weak sibling and virtually irrelevant as anything but gossip fodder and a punch line – just like they have been for most of the last few decades. Ryan looked ready to finally turn it all around in the last two years, but now he is imploding right as Tom Coughlin and the Giants have rescued themselves from the brink. Something the Jets have tried to do but never accomplished.
The Giants had no rally before their first post season game, which was a home game. Something the Jets have done the past two seasons. The media hype for the Giants was not as prolific as it has been for the Jets the past few seasons. The Giants know their mission and what they need to accomplish on the field. Big Blue didn’t need as much media hype or public events like the Jets have had in order to rally fan support.
The Jets made a nice run at New York supremacy, but it is a Giants town because it actually delivers championships and doesn’t fall to pieces quite like their cross-town rivals do. Right now, the only thing that can turn it around for the other New York team is if they actually land Peyton Manning (Vegas odds have it astronomical), or if the Giants get blown out by the Patriots. Other than that, it seems like the natural order is right back into place in the Big Apple.