What Will Jets Fans Do This Weekend?

I have seen plenty of articles this week expressing the sentiment that this is the worst possible Super Bowl matchup for Jets fans.  Call me naive, but I just don’t see it.  Ok, well I see the part about the Patriots.  They have become the Jets bitter rivals and their success is not something Jets fans will celebrate.  But, what rivalry exists with the Giants?

We have plenty of intra-city rivalries in this town.  If I had to rank them, I would probably list them like this:

1- Rangers-Devils

2- Rangers-Islanders

3-Knicks-Nets

4-Yankees-Mets

5-Devils-Islanders

6-Giants-Jets

Yup, Rangers-Devils is first and foremost in this town.  It didn’t use to be that way, but the 1994 playoffs were a fight to the death and the Devils won three cups since then.  Think about a few years ago with the creation of the “Avery Rule” and all the bad blood between him and Brodeur.  These teams are not fond of each other.

The Devils-Rangers rivalry supplanted the Islanders-Rangers one.  This was vicious back in the 1980’s.  I remember going to a Rangers-Islanders game on my 13th birthday at the Garden.  The Isles were in the midst of their dynasty and they jumped out to a 4-0 lead.  The Rangers tied it up and won the game in overtime on a Reijo Ruotsalainen backhander past Billy Smith.  The place went bonkers and someone got a hold of a Smith jersey and what he claimed was his stick.  He proceeded to burn them on Seventh Avenue in front of the Garden.  (Not so many cops on the streets back in those days.)

I put Knicks-Nets ahead of Yankees Mets because they are in the same division and this rivalry has heated up a bit since the Nets decided to move to Brooklyn.  I suspect it will become a lot more intense in the coming years.

Before the Red Sox pulled off that awful comeback in 2004 there was a great line about the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.  I have no idea who originally said it, but the quote was “It is a rivalry as much as the rivalry between the hammer and the nail.”  Good line and an appropriate one for the Yankees-Mets.  The Mets definitely had the attention of New York in 1986, but they didn’t play the Yankees regularly back then.  The Yankees launched a dynasty after that and beat them in the Subway Series of 2000.  It will take at least another World Series trip for the Mets to make this into something real.

And that brings me to the Jets and Giants.  Sure, Rex Ryan is great at talking, but does anyone really listen to him?  As they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  If the Jets had won the Christmas Eve game a few weeks ago and sent the Giants home for the year while putting themselves into the playoffs, you might have had an argument.  But, since the Jets won their Super Bowl in 1968 the Giants have made five trips to the big game and won three (hopefully four).  The two teams only play each other once every four years, so I can’t really consider this much of a rivalry.  In fact, you could probably say that Giants-Patriots is a bigger rivalry than Giants-Jets at this point.

And that brings me back to my original question, what will Jets fans do this weekend?  Well, I have talked to a few of them and the consensus seems to be that they will root for the Giants.  That makes sense to me, I would root for the Jets if they were in the Super Bowl (unless of course they played the Giants)  In fact, I bet Giants and Jets fans alike would love to see a “Subway Super Bowl” in 2014, when the game is played right in our own backyard.

 

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