I just got back to New Jersey from New England behind six miserable hours of traffic. But I did get to see one of the greatest football games of all time from the radio telecast booth. Sunday Night Football as the Patriots took on the Broncos. It does not get any better than Brady vs. Manning.
I was dressed in the New York Giants colored jacket and hat, which just happens to be the same colors of the 80’s/90’s Patriots, prior to their new navy look as I was “embedded” in Foxboro for 24 hours, and this is my report:
Patriots fans HATE the Giants, possibly more than any other team in the NFL. The Patriots won Super Bowls in 2001, 2003 and 2004, and as far as they are concerned, they should have won two more. They hate the Giants with the same intensity that Giants fans hate the Cowboys.
This hatred is unique, in that it transcends the natural disdain for their actual divisional rivals or even conference rivals like the Ravens and Colts. This may not be the craziest, non-divisional rivalry in the NFL and it’s completely one-sided, as Giants fans could care less about the Patriots!
The Giants ruined what was possibly the greatest single season of any NFL team in 2007, turning the Patriots 16-0 regular season into an 18-1 Super Bowl loss. It turned the often mediocre Eli Manning into a Super Bowl MVP, with the pinnacle moment being a desperate, should-have-been sacked helmet catch from David Tyree, a career special teams player who would never play another second in the NFL.
In 2011, the Giants did it again, with another seemingly inferior team.
Boston, like Philly, suffers from significant “second city” mentality, that New Yorker’s will always view them as inferior, and thus magnify anything and everything that involves the New York Giants. They share the small-town “us against the world” vibe that gets pretty intense.
While I wasn’t at the Giants/Cowboys game this past weekend, I’ve been to a few in East Rutherford, and I’m always amazed and disappointed by the amount of Cowboys fans in Met Life Stadium. Would Philly or New England fans give up their season tickets for New York Giants fans to cheer their team on? Hell no. Or at least not in the numbers that takes place in the Meadowlands.
When down 24-0 at halftime on Sunday night, these die-hard fans didn’t give up hope. They drank more alcohol, and got louder and angrier. From a Giants fan’s perspective, I can respect that.
Andy Pritikin | Featured Columnist