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At about 4:37 PM, Eastern Standard Time, New York football was officially declared dead for 2011. The Giants and Jets were both lost in a terrible murder-suicide pact, just a few miles away from each other on I-95. Police will not press charges against the Redskins and Eagles, who claimed the two New York teams were “asking for it.” The Jets and Giants leave behind millions of disappointed fans, a brand new stadium that will be empty for all of January, and several broken flat screen TVs across the Tri-State area.
Don’t believe the playoff math. Don’t obsessively check the standings, or scour the out-of-town results, or pull out the graph paper and TI-89 and try to figure out how the Jets can still sneak in, or the Giants can still steal the division. It’s over.
The Giants controlled their own playoff destiny – they had it in their hands, and Hakeem Nicks dropped it. The Jets laid an egg so big that Rex Ryan was tempted to fry it and eat it on a roll with cheese.
Now, one team will be sitting home come January 7, and that’s a near guarantee. Whoever wins this weekend’s probable slopfest will have a fighting chance, but a tie would be the most poetic and just finish for two teams that have squandered their seasons thanks to too many missed opportunities and too many meltdowns.
The Giants would actually complete the meltdown by beating the Jets this weekend, which would all but eliminate Gang Green from contention. Technically, the Jets are the sixth seed in the AFC right now, but it is a precarious spot given that they hold an edge over Cincinnati that is based on strength-of-schedule and is liable to change at the end of the season. The Giants have no shot at the Wild Card and would have to beat Dallas again and hope Dallas loses to Philadelphia this week. But if the Eagles do win out and the Giants finish 8-8, the Eagles would somehow win the division. Huh?
It’s confusing, and weird, and yes the two teams are still “technically” alive, but they’re alive in the way Santa Claus is alive. We see him on TV this time of year, but we just don’t want to tell our kids the truth.
Oddly enough, what looked like a potential battle for New York supremacy a few weeks ago, or maybe the crowning achievement for one of two teams both looking for division crowns, is now a struggle to not crap the bed on national TV. Both teams play down to their opponents, both teams look for every possible way to lose, and both teams have quarterbacks that often look like double agents playing for the opposition. If mirror image teams play each other, do they reflect each other? Is there a paradox? Does the universe rend itself asunder, sucking all terrible football into a black hole filled with regret and dropped passes and floated interceptions, all ruled by Vinny Testeverde?
Wow. Ok sorry. Let’s get back on track here. Can’t let the NFL ruin my whole holiday. The NBA starts on Sunday, and pitchers and catchers report pretty soon, and hockey is still a thing, right? The premiere league is on pretty early but I can DVR it. Sometimes ESPN2 plays billiards, and that’s kinda fun to watch. What is snooker? I always forget…
Oh, where were we? Football, right. Football still has to happen this weekend. My prediction: under the combined weight of such immense suckitude, East Rutherford sinks back into the swamp. Half the players from both teams climb out, and the Giants and Jets are merged into one team, the New York Disappoint. Their color is the color of sadness. Eli Manning and Mark Sanchez play a wishbone, two-QB set and set an unbreakable record by throwing dual interceptions on the same play. Rex Ryan absorbs Tom Coughlin like a fetus in the womb and becomes a cranky, cocksure fat guy, AKA Bill Belichick. The Disappoint go undefeated and lose in the Super Bowl every year until the apocalypse.
I turn off the TV and convince myself that Baron Davis will make the All Star team this year.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE.