Why Big Blue Will Always Be Big Brother: A Comparison of New York Style.
Added by Ken R. on July 22, 2012.
The Giants and Jets continue to battle for supremacy, although on the field it's been a one sided affair.
You wouldn’t think that an NFC East team and an AFC East team would have reason to hate one another. This is the NFL. Really, the teams you need to hate are the ones who reside within your division. This is why I have forever despised the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys. So then, what makes Giants and Jets fan, players, and even owners, feel an intense rivalry and dislike for one another? It’s a simple matter of style, really.
Let’s start with the coaches. I remember when Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said that the media could, and I am paraphrasing, go right ahead and kiss his ass for all of their scrutiny following his teams’ playoff ouster. The fact that Tom Coughlin said a swear word in public caused waves. It was shocking. Coughlin is known for giving tight, informative responses to media questions, and for never allowing for chalkboard material to motivate opposing teams on Sunday.
Let’s take a 360 degree turn to Rex Ryan, a coach famous for his foul mouth, and foul interactions with fans involving middle fingers and F-bombs. Year in and year out, Ryan allows his larger than life personality and larger than life mouth to set his team up as a target. He regularly offers chalkboard motivation for opposing teams, while simultaneously placing Super Bowl expectations on his players every offseason. One would have trouble even imagining Tom Coughlin looking beyond each week’s current opponent. Why? Well, that would be foolish, and Tom Coughlin is not foolish.
Rex Ryan lacks discipline. He needed a lap band to lose weight, as he approached 350 pounds, and cannot keep his mouth from biting off more than his team can chew (pun intended). Then we have Tom Coughlin. A man, as the oldest coach in the league, I can picture being stronger and in better shape than most coaches in the NFL. I can picture him eating the same meal everyday, 365 days a year. Discipline is in his DNA.
From there, we can move to ownership. John Mara is one the most respected owners in the league, evidenced by his involvement in the new collective bargaining negotiations, and his leadership on committees within the NFL. Mara is also smart when it comes to talent. He hired Jerry Reese, Tom Coughlin, and refuses year in and year out to bring in hot name free agent coaches and players. Compare this to the Jets and Woody Johnson. Woody Johnson is the kind of owner who celebrates headlines, even if they hurt his team. He likes the fact that Rex Ryan causes controversy, because it brings the Jets to the front page. He likes to make a splash. This is evidenced by his willingness to bring in Brett Favre, Tim Tebow, Ladainian Tomlinson, and many other free agents who ate up large portions of the team’s cap space. The Santonio Holmes debacle of last season is a perfect example. After all the trouble he caused, he is still on the team, still running his mouth in the media. Why wasn’t he cut? A very poorly designed contract. Could I see the Giants cutting a player that was disruptive to the team chemistry, even if it meant taking a large cap hit? Yes.
Johnson could learn a thing or two from watching John Mara operate. Let’s examine how Mara handled Eli Manning. As a Giants fan, I can admit that there were some tough seasons with Eli at the helm. However, you never heard a peep about him losing his job, or being benched. You never heard that the Giants were going to bring in a young, talented quarterback to “add a new weapon” to the team’s arsenal. This would be irresponsible, and would be transparent as a media headline grab. And John Mara is not in this game for the headlines. He wants the Lombardi Trophy, and he knows what it takes to get one — patience, diligence, trust, and leadership.
And then there is the quarterback position. Baywatch lifeguard photo-shoots, fancy passing camps in California, and celebrity dating are just a few things you will never see Eli Manning involved in. When the lockout occurred, Eli Manning practiced with his practice squad and rookie receivers at a high school field. He drinks Coors’ light in the parking lot with his father and center after big wins (I witnessed this after an impressive drubbing of the Seahawks a few years back). Eli’s main objective is simple. Win. Win a lot. Win titles.
The Giants are the kings of New York. They have been to five, and won four Super Bowls since the Jets last went to a Super Bowl. Two of those wins were against Brady and Belichek, the two-man hump the Jets cannot seem to get over. Shouldn’t the Jets have to win at least four Super Bowl titles to even be in the discussion about who “Big Brother” is? Yet the Jets talk as if bringing in a few splashy free agents, and losing two recent AFC championship games, places them in the upper echelon with the New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers. The truth is, they are not in that exclusive group. In fact, they aren’t even on the level of the Patriots, Redskins or Broncos. And when the day comes that the Jets organization sits down to reflect on who they truly are as an organization, they will realize they have made one less Super Bowl appearance then the Cincinnati Bengals, and as many as the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals.
The answer is simple, and everyone seems to know it but the Jets.
Big Blue will always be Big Brother. They win far more often, and do things the right way, top to bottom. And the reason? It’s a simple matter of style.