The Jets-Giants “rivalry” has always been difficult to quantify. For decades, they have shared the same stadium and market. One would think that this would inevitably lead to an intense rivalry, but the reality is, these teams just don’t play each other enough in meaningful games for any kind of rivalry to materialize.
Even through years of forgetful matchups and forced business partnerships, these two franchises do not have much affection for one another.
The Giants boast three championships to the Jets one, which came over 40 years ago. Compounded by a history of lackluster and disappointing play on the field, the Jets have long suffered from a sever case of “little brother” syndrome. They even played in “Giants Stadium” for the better part of 30 years.
The “B” team. The team you used to go see if you couldn’t get Giants tickets. The “Same Old Jets.”
The Jets, since hiring Rex Ryan, have quickly become one of the most progressive franchises in American sports. Since the regime change, the Jets have enjoyed two straight AFC Championship appearances, while the Giants have been left with disappointing, playoff-less seasons.
Rex has changed the culture of the Jets with his bravado and willingness to speak his mind. He has made no secret of wanting to be the top dog in the world’s biggest city.
The Giants, meanwhile, tend stick to Tom Coughlin’s message of discipline and humility. At least until Jets week. The Giants have not made it a secret that they have no intention of giving up the top spot in the public’s eyes. According to ESPN New York ,
When asked if Revis is the best cornerback in the league, Hakeem Nicks paused before saying, “He’s a decent corner. He’s decent.”
Decent? Look, I think Hakeem Nicks is a top-5 receiver in this league, but so are Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, and Rhoddy White – and Revis has managed to shut all of those players down. Certainly a bold strategy on Nick’s part, getting on Revis’ bad side.
The Jets take a lot of heat for their boastful speech, and rightfully so. But that is all it is – boastful. They may talk a lot about Super Bowls and how good they are, but they are never disrespectful about the opponent. In this case, the Giants are talking out of character. If the Jets were 2-12, would they be downplaying Revis’ greatness? No. They know that should the Jets win this game, they will, at least for the short term, be anointed the top team on New York, especially since a loss would probably end the Giants’ season.
Either way, for once, the Jets and Giants can finally face-off in a meaningful game, in a stadium that is named on a neutral basis. Can the Jets rid themselves of the inferiority complex they have suffered for so long? Or will the Giants hold their ground? We just have to wait for Saturday to find out.