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If I had written a recap Sunday night, it would have read: “ASDFALKADFHG.”
Thankfully, I took a few days, let Sunday sink in, and now I’m at “ASDFALK.” Much better.
Sunday was huge for both the Giants and the Jets, let’s not pretend otherwise. The Giants somehow made the memory of Super Bowl 42 a little sweeter, and in the process gave the Jets a shot at sole possession of first place this coming weekend. This was a Giants team without its top two playmakers, and a Jets team that was in third place Sunday morning. Big swing.
If I have done one thing consistently this season, it’s predict doom and gloom for both NY football teams. I am an optimistic person in my regular life, and the biggest sports pessimist around because I root for teams that were seemingly designed to break hearts – the Giants, the Jets, the Mets, the Knicks. Men in expensive suits stay up till all hours of the night to make sure that I have to watch Clarence Weatherspoon for three years, or Armando Benitez, or Jason Bay, or Jeremy Shockey. I have to see the Bad Kurt Warner, the Bad Pedro Martinez, the Bad Jason Taylor, as if my favorite teams exclusively import players who are cursed by gypsies.
But some days, everything lines up. I get a wonderful Sunday where the Giants remind me of the greatest sports day of my life, where the Jets finally look like they are going on a run, and where everything is right in the world.
And then I get to watch it all crash down this week.
There’s no point in talking about the Giants schedule anymore; we all know how bad it is. The gauntlet goes cross country this week as the Super Bowl 42: Part 2 champions take on the pretty-much-for-real 49ers. Speaking of painful memories, a much younger and more naive Evan came home in a rush on January 5, 2003, to watch his Giants take on the 49ers in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. He had a newfangled contraption called a DVR, and caught up as fast as he could with the game action. He began to realize something was wrong, however, when the Giants 38-14 lead began to dwindle, and the time remaining on his recording had been extended. A 14-year-old boy cried that day, and it was ugly.
This game will surely feature some replay of that fiasco, and I will hurl my remote at my new TV with the fury of a crying 14-year-old boy. Also, Candlestick (or whatever they’re calling it) Park is lovely and smells like garlic fries.
The Jets take on the Patriots in a far more important game for control of the AFC East. If the Jets manage to win Sunday night and can beat the Bills again in their rematch, they will be in the drivers seat for the playoffs and will possible vie for a first round bye depending on how the Steelers and Ravens finish out the season. Much of the story this week was that the Jets defense looks like the super D it has been the past few seasons under Rex Ryan. That’s true, but it was also wildly offensive to all Fred Jackson fantasy football owners. We are a proud and dignified group, we who made the wise choice to grab Jackson in the eighth round, and we will not take this offense lightly.
Once again, this season is looking more and more like it will culminate in a huge Giants-Jets game on Christmas Eve Day (is that a thing?). Both teams will have a lot to play for – there is no way the Cowboys don’t make a run for the NFC East, and I will never count out the Eagles no matter how awesome and satisfying it is to watch them lose. The Jets will be trying to fight off a surging Patriots team for the division crown, or up to four other contenders for two Wild Card spots, so that penultimate game of the season will be huge. And New York sports fans will be all the better for it.