On Sunday, New York sports fans will watch one of the sorriest chapters in the city's long athletic history. The 2-7 New York Giants, losers of five consecutive games, will play the 1-7 New York Jets, which will be acting as the home team in this debacle.
Think about it. To put this ineptitude in perspective, the New York Islanders, the hockey team, won 10 games in a row this season – meaning that the Isles won more games in a given week than our two football squads boasted during the entire 2019 NFL season so far.
How could things slide so far for these two teams? The answer lies in the senior management. The teams have drafted poorly, failed to form powerful offensive and defensive lines and have not had much stability in their coaching ranks.
Basics Still Matter
While pro football is exciting because of the sophistication of the offensive and defensive units, the sport is as basic as it was when Vince Lombardi coached the Green Bay Packers to five titles in the 1960s. The key is to develop an offensive line that can protect the quarterback. The other factor is drafting players who can rush the passer and create interceptions and fumbles – what are known as "turnovers."
If you've watched the Jets and the Giants play this season, you've seen Jets quarterback Sam Darnold and his Giants' counterpart, Daniel Jones, virtually running for their lives on play after play.
Yet, you can be sure that Met Life Stadium will be jam-packed on Sunday, featuring fans of both teams. The fans will do their tailgating before the game and turn out wearing the uniforms of their favorite Jets and Giants players.
I have a one-word question for such behavior: WHY?
Specifically, why do people continue to cheer for teams whose ownership is clueless and whose management keeps making crucial personnel errors?
Chris Moore, an incisive radio host on the all-sports network WFAN, has raised this point on many occasions. His view is that fans wouldn't support other business enterprises that let them down – they'd shop around and find alternatives. So, why don't sports fans similarly vote with this feet? If the Giants and the Jets invariably field shoddy teams, why don't their "fans" abandon the losers and find greener pastures? Loyalty, in another word.
They contend, as if it was a badge of honor, I have rooted for my team since I was a little boy or girl because my Mom and Dad did, before me.
That's admirable – but misguided. If your favorite bodega constantly sold you sour milk, would you continue to reward the substandard offering? Of course not. You'd sensibly go across the street.
Unfortunately, when Giants and Jets fans decide to go across the street, they encounter one another's crummy teams. We have to go to another area code to find solace in a winning team.
Things have gotten so comic-tragic that one WFAN listener dubbed the venue of Sunday's race to the bottom, Met Life-Support Stadium.
It's a good line.
Sadly, it pretty much captures the horrendous state of New York football.
Don't be smirking, you Knicks and Rangers fans.