Debating William & Mary, sports and culture since 2011. Updated every Wednesday.

New York State of Whine

In Football on February 2, 2012 at 9:07 am

Crim Del Harris presents the first in a three-part series, “Scary Monsters and Super Bowl Picks.” Hopefully, that will be the first and last Skrillex reference on the site…

People in New York are going crazy about the Giants, and who can blame them? On Christmas Eve, this was a .500 team coming off an ugly loss to the Washington Redskins. ESPN had them at the 16th spot in the power rankings, and Eli Manning was still being ridiculed for classifying himself as an elite quarterback.

Fast-forward one month. Eli has a chance to show up Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Again. In Peyton’s house, no less.

The gods have conspired to tap into New York’s easily provoked inferiority complex. It’s emotional jujitsu. As an innocent bystander, you’re subjected to screaming New York Post reports and aimless ramblings from Giants fans about how Eli just isn’t quite lucky/smart/talented/enough of a leader to take this team all the way to the Super Bowl. Then something like the Green Bay game happens and all of a sudden he’s totally redeemed himself (temporarily).

This is how New York sports fans treat Eli. Is the hyperbole in the case of his screw-ups/accomplishments ever justified? No. Never. Do I hate it at this point, even though for a while, I thought it was pretty funny? Yes.

The fact is the Giants got hot at the right time in the season. They beat Dallas, ran roughshod over Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons and stood tough against the blistering defense of my beloved San Francisco Harbaughs. How can New York fans not be falling all over themselves? There were like eight classic sports clichés in the first sentence of this paragraph. Having the chance to beat the Patriots again in the Super Bowl is a storybook ending for a team that few thought had a shot at the beginning of the season (there’s another one).

Typically, even though I remain a loyal Bay Area sports fan, I’ve managed to develop a certain affinity for teams in the regions where I’ve lived. New Jersey Nets? Sure, I’ll root for them because I like Deron Williams and I can buy tickets to Prudential Center games for like $10. Spend a summer in D.C.? The San Francisco Giants aren’t making the playoffs with their roster anyway. I can support a woefully under-appreciated Ryan Zimmerman.

This has not been the case with the New York Giants, and it has nothing to do with them beating the 49ers. New York fans, as they have throughout history, love to attach unreasonable expectations to mediocre teams. Whenever those teams do anything to fuel these expectations, as the Giants are doing right now, it fosters a sports environment that’s nearly inhospitable because you feel like you’re surrounded by a bunch of idiots with short tempers and shorter memories (I chose that clip for a reason). As a sports fan, I don’t want to be associated with that.

Don’t get me wrong. Boston fans suck too. But the fact is, I’m not in Boston — so I don’t have to put up with that nonsense.

As much as it pains me to say this, I’m pulling for the Pats on this one. I just can’t stand the thought of Eli Manning giving New Yorkers another chance to gloat.

Also, Brady managed to eke out a win against a much stronger defense against the Ravens. And I’m not positive, but I think Gronkowski might Big Chief from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Can’t beat that.

Patriots 31, Giants 24

  1. […] II 1/2 of our Crim Del Harris Super Bowl Extravaganza. Check out Part I here, and then read Part II here. We have top men working on Part III. Top. […]

  2. […] between man and Manning vanish and football civilization recedes with every chop block. Read part I here, part II here and part II 1/2 […]

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