This off season has reaffirmed something: I’m so glad I’m a New York Giants fan rather than a New York Jets fan. Obviously history has been kinder to the Giants. They’ve won three Superbowls and been to four, including the 2007 victory over the-then undefeated Patriots, the most satisfying Superbowl win ever. I know the Jets will be remembered for Joe Namath’s famous guarantee before Superbowl III, but that was 41 years ago. Think about the NY Giant names: Simms, Banks, Carson, Meggett, Gifford, Huff, Eli, Strahan, Barber, and of course the greatest football player ever: #56. LT! Since the mid 70’s big blue has shared their stadium, Giants Stadium, with the Jets, who have so aptly played the role of little brother. Now the two teams are moving across the parking lot to a brand new state-of-the-art facility. No matter what it’s named, everyone knows it’s the new Giants Stadium. But above all, it’s the way that my organization operates that makes me so happy to be a true-blue Giant vs. a gang-green Jet.
This entire off season, after their amazing run to the AFC Championship game, the Jets have done nothing but brought unneeded attention to their team and organization. From Rex Ryan flipping off fans in Miami to his fat-guy surgery, it's been one ridiculous headline after the next. Last week, Jets owner Woody Johnson made a stink about some stupid coin flip to determine which NY team would open the new stadium in September. Did he have a point? Maybe. But my God, talk about a cry-athon. Now the Jets have agreed to be featured in HBO’s annual attention fest “Hard Knocks.” About “Hard Knocks,” owner Woody Johnson said, "We're going to let the fans in on something that they've never seen up close and personal. This is going to be kind of the king's new clothes. I think you can argue that there's no other team in the league right now that's kind of more interesting than the New York Jets."
Yeah right. Interesting? A loud-mouth coach who’s gotten PR because he’s not disciplined enough to lose weight the right way? That’s your coach? Your leader of men? Your symbol of discipline? A guy who can’t put down the potato chips and hop on a treadmill? As a football fan, the last place I want to see my team is on TV during training camp. That kind of thing is for Jerry Jones and the silly circus he runs in Dallas. Jones signed his squad up twice. Enough said. All this look-at-me crap never results in NFL wins. Never. And although I was happy to see the Jets go so far last year, they haven’t actually won a thing. There’s no victory parade for losing the AFC Championship game. Sorry, guys.
"This might have motivated me earlier," said a smiling Ryan, noticeably slimmer after undergoing lap-band surgery a few weeks ago. "I probably should've had the surgery maybe a year earlier. I'd be down to about 220 [pounds], and maybe I would get that opportunity to have that romantic scene with Heather Locklear one day."
Umm . . . OK.
Compare that crap to the NY Giants way. Right off the bat, our head coach Tom Coughlin is not only a brilliant football mind, he’s a symbol of sound discipline and physical fitness. Tom’s 63 years old and looks great. I guarantee he runs 5 miles a day and does 100 bare-knuckle push ups. That’s a leader of men. That’s who I want. Not some fat clown who’s making a fool of himself in the press. The only time you ever see or hear about Tom Coughlin is at the press podium or on the sidelines. When HBO asked the NY Giants to star in “Hard Knocks” after their ’07 Superbowl win, Coughlin told them to take a hike. Win, lose, or draw, Coughlin’s all business, and that’s the way I want it. His players are the same way. I’ll be the first to admit: The Giants had a down season in 2009, no doubt about it. Bad seasons happen. But before that, Coughlin took us to the playoffs 4 straight years. In fact, Coughlin's one of only 5 active coaches with a Superbowl ring. That's elite.
Sure, we had to clean house and wash away the distractions of Plaxico Burress. But I promise the Giants will be back. In fact, I think the Giants are going to win the Superbowl this upcoming season. And if you don’t think Coughlin is an elite coach, and if you don’t think the Giants have a capable squad led by Eli Manning, you don’t know anything about football. Oh by the way, don't let Osi's 2009 fool you. He's going to be a monster this year. Knee injuries always take a few years to come back from. Ask Tom Brady about that.
"I have to tell you that in all of the years that we've done this, this is the right team at the right time with the right coach, the right transparency, philosophy ... this is going to be a big hit," said HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg, who acknowledged being a longtime Jets fan. "We have our Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg in Rex Ryan."
I rest my case.
Right now the spotlight may be on Gang Green, but it’s for all the wrong reasons. The NY Giants are hard at work, waiting in the weeds. The Jets may've had a better '09. OK. But don't get carried away with that. The truth? Ryan is not a good X's and O's guy. He's a bad clock manager. And these pros are only going to beat the drum for that rah-rah stuff so long. Coughlin's a football genius and the Giants are in the picture almost every year. Don't believe me? What coach leads the league in challenges won (percentage wise)? That's right: Coughlin (48%). What's that mean? It means, in part, he knows the game inside and out. The Jets have to do it more than once in a blue moon to be in this conversation. And when the interest returns to what’s happening on the field, the headlines will be with the Giants once again. Because fat-guy surgeries and crybaby owners are never as interesting as racking up wins. Not for real football fans at least.