Jets/Giants: Whose Town Is It? Who Cares?

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Rex Ryan calls Met Life stadium the home of the Jets. Justin Tuck says it still be seen as Giants Stadium. Santonio Holmes and other Jets beg to differ with Tuck. The argument goes on and on. The debate as to who owns the town has grown louder in recent years between the Jets, the Giants, and their fans. The reality is, who cares? Both have more important issues and teams to deal with than each other.

With the recent runs to the AFC title game, the New York Jets have not only talked a good game, they have finally set themselves up to win for an extended time. The Jets loud, brash head coach has raised the temperature in this hometown battle but has done so without a Super Bowl title, raising the anger of Giants die hards.

For the Jets and their fans though, Ryan’s attitude, one that has brought with it notable one liners such as “Here we come baby” and “Let’s go eat a goddamn snack,” has been a breath of fresh air for a franchise that once felt sorry for itself. The confidence that Ryan has instilled in his Jets are a far cry from the “Same Old Jets,” lovable losers whose dramatic crash landings often grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory.

The Giants on the other hand, don’t talk. They never really have or feel as though they need to. This classic age old franchise HAS the Super Bowl hardware and old NFL title game resume. Their most recent, the upset of the undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl in 2008, was one of the greatest wins in professional football history.

Their coach Tom Coughlin is NOT Rex Ryan. He’s loud yes…on the field and brash at times on the sidelines too. Coughlin is old school. A decades old coach who allows his team do the talking, without the desire to impart his words as part of the weekday headlines.

From the top on down, these two franchises handle themselves differently. The results ON the field the past two seasons however, might be a reason perhaps for the heightened scrutiny that this Jets/Giants drama has received. The new Jets are loud. They love the limelight and the attention. They also win. The Giants are quiet. Business as usual. They however, have NOT had the January success during the past two seasons that the Jets have.

Jets fans love the new attention surrounding the club nationally. The notoriety. The feeling that THEIR team is now one of the best in the NFL, and the one on top in New York. Giants fans don’t like playing second fiddle to a club that for fifty years played the role of red headed AFL born step child.

To make matters worse, Big Blue supporters now must listen to those Jets fans who won’t keep quiet about who runs the Big Apple. The same Gang Green crazies who, for the longest time, sat back and watched the Giants, not the Jets bring home championships.

The argument of “Who Owns the Town” while in essence is fun, remains non essential. Yes the rivalry HAS grown. It has grown mostly however on paper, in the papers. These clubs, who face each other Saturday, even meet down the stretch in 2011 on Christmas Eve. When the games actually count. In spite of that odd reality in the scheduling this year, both teams have much BIGGER enemies to set their sights on from now until then.

The Jets have the Patriots. The Dolphins. After last January, you can also include the Steelers into the “rivalry” talk, albeit from a distance. The Jets schedule this season is brutal.

The Giants and their fans have atop their hatred list, the Eagles, especially after the DeSean Jackson game, to focus on. With it, the possible hangover that a nightmarish late game and late season collapse may have left for them this year. In fact, divisional and conference foes pose an entirely greater threat to both clubs Super Bowl dreams than any crosstown rival could.

The chatter surrounding who is king of New York makes this August game more exciting than other August games, but the Jets vs Giants “Met Life Bowl” for the Snoopy Trophy is a tune up. Always will be. Teams and fans can claim ownership of the tri state area if they want to, but there is room for both.

For the Jets, Giants and their fans want to REALLY win the argument as to whose town this is, they should focus on landing in Indianapolis next February, not on each other.

TJ Rosenthal runs The Jet Report and can be followed on Twitter. (He also took the picture at the top of the article)

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