The joy I got from watching the Patriots beat Gang Green twice this season was moderate at best, mostly because I think so little of the Jets as a team.
Mark Sanchez isn’t the yardstick by which I measure the progress of the Patriots. How a quarterback who can barely complete a pass managed to become our Magic Johnson is mystifying. It lights my insides on fire.
And it all traces back to the guy who once said, “This is about Bill Belichick versus Rex Ryan. There’s no question, it’s personal...As much as I respect and admire Bill Belichick, I came here to kick his ass.” Who said that? You guessed it. Rex Ryan.
“As much as I respect and admire Bill Belichick...”
Respect? Rex Ryan doesn’t respect anybody except Rex Ryan.
Respect is the mutual admiration between great icons like Russell and Chamberlain, Federer and Nadal, Brady and Peyton, the Celtics and Lakers. To qualify for a rivalry with one of the best, you have to be one of the best.
Did I sleep through the part where Rex Ryan became a great coach? Did I miss the wildly long string of achievements that placed him on Belichick’s level? When exactly did this become “personal?”
Without the press building them up as New England’s archenemy, the Jets would just be another squad of scrubs making people groan and change the channel on Sunday nights.
I’m offended that the Jets became a “somebody” in this league by attaching themselves to the Patriots like a virus.
And the Giants did the exact same thing in Super Bowl XLII.
And lo and behold, we enter Week 16, and the battle for New York supremacy is underway. Another needlessly “personal” game. I can’t wait. The more brutal this game is, the better. Both teams deserve to get beaten up. Let them do it to each other.
I’m not saying I want the Jets to win, but I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing Big Blue get a black eye.
What infuriates me about the G-Men is how exceptionally they play against the Patriots, and how poorly they play against just about every other team in the league.
The Giants just got annihilated by Rex Grossman and the Redskins. Pathetic.
Had the Giants played against the Patriots last weekend, they probably would’ve won. The Giants beat teams they hate. But there aren’t enough of those teams to cover the entire season, which is why they’re grasping at straws for a playoff spot.
Think about this. The Jets went to the last two AFC championship games, and the Giants gave a spectacular Super Bowl performance that kept the Patriots from becoming the greatest team in the history of sports. Impressive accomplishments.
And now, here we are: The Patriots have clinched their division, and neither the Giants or the Jets have made the playoffs yet. Both teams are on the outside looking in.
Explain why teams of this illustrious nature don’t have home field advantage and first round byes by now. Explain why it’s Week 16 and they haven’t clinched playoff berths yet, but the Texans and the 49ers have.
Could the Giants have beaten any other team in Super Bowl XLII? Probably not. They probably wouldn’t have won if the Patriots were 15-1 that season. There was something about the perfection of the 2007 Patriots that made the G-Men perform at a higher level. A level, by the way, which they haven’t played at since.
And that’s why the Giants, supreme champions of Super Bowl XLII, can barely make the playoffs. And it’s even more ridiculous when you consider that Eli Manning is having the best season of his career. Jason Pierre-Paul is a monster. Nicks, Ballard, Cruz and Tuck are all having a solid season. The Giants have the pieces in place to be successful.
But they’re not successful.
Well, it’s because they don’t play against the Patriots 16 times a season. If they did, they’d have clinched a berth by now. The sad truth is, if it’s not an important game against an undefeated team or a team they loathe, they don’t prepare. They don’t play hard. They don’t care.
And that’s who the Giants really are.
And that’s who the Jets are.
And that’s why I can’t wait to see them punch each others’ lights out on Saturday.
I’m sick and tired of these two teams putting everything but football first. It’s all about petty grudges, ridiculous rivalries concocted out of thin air, winning for “personal” reasons and losing because they just don’t give a damn.
And that’s why this game will be great.
The Giants and the Jets will be exactly where they should be; fighting each other for the remaining scraps of respect that New York has left for their football teams.