The New York Week That Was (Sept. 25, 2009)

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The New York Week That Was (Sept. 25, 2009)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The Giants and Jets both beat division archrivals this past week, and both are 2-0 and sitting atop their respective divisions.

The Giants went down to Texas and paid the Cowboys back for beating them in the first-ever game at the Meadowlands in 1976 (Dallas won, 24-14).

Of course, Giants Stadium didn’t receive quite the same amount of hoopla as Cowboys Stadium has gotten this week. Here are some reviews from 33 years ago when the Giants' home first opened:

“It just looks like a regular football stadium. Where is the 60-yard JumboTron? Where are the go-go dancers? What do they plan to do here, just play football?”

“Where do you put 78,000 angry New Jersey residents to watch Doug Kotar gain 500 yards a season? The new Giants Stadium, that’s where.”

“The new stadium is a modern marvel, but can they do something about that swampy smell?”

“It just goes to show you the power of the Mob that they got this stadium built all the way out in the middle of nowhere in Jersey just to cover up Jimmy Hoffa’s body.”

“It’s only been open for a week, but I think it’s sinking.”

“The House That Craig Morton Built.”

As for the Jets, they backed up all their trash talk about the Patriots and gave them a whuppin’. Rex Ryan famously said he didn’t come to New York to kiss Bill Belichick’s rings, and on Sunday he proved it.

Here are some other things Ryan didn’t come here to kiss: Suzy Kolber, Leon Washington, Ashley Dupre, Fredo Corleone, Donald Trump’s hair, KISS, and Belichick’s ratty old sweatshirt. (Why doesn’t he wear that thing anymore? Maybe that’s why the Pats aren’t invincible these days—it was all in the hoody.)

The beauty of living and/or working in New York is that you never know what celebrity or personality you’re going to see on the street. When I left my office on my lunch break on Monday, who did I spot standing out on the sidewalk? The one and only Mr. Met (and no, he wasn’t panhandling).

I can be angry at the Mets for being fundamentally challenged, for their lack of effort, for mismanagement of the team, for their boneheaded decision-making, for re-signing Oliver Perez, for counting on Carlos Delgado, and for now going through the motions as they finish out the season, but I can never, ever be mad at Mr. Met.

The Yankees beat their nemesis, the Angels, two out of three this week and clinched a playoff berth on Tuesday night. They celebrated by forcing Kate Hudson to reenact all her scenes from Almost Famous in the locker room after the game. The role of Russell Hammond went to Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada played Jeff Bebe, CC Sabathia was young William Miller, and Joe Girardi portrayed the mother.

Lastly, the Nets were bought by Russian billionaire playboy Mikhail Prokhorov, which should ensure that the franchise will finally move to Brooklyn, probably in 2011— unless the team has a bad season, in which case they’ll all be sent to Siberia.

 

Player of the Week

Mario Manningham

The Giants' second-year receiver had 10 catches for 150 yards and added a TD reception to the mix. It’s only been two good games, but the Giants may have found a star receiver. His ability to elude tacklers after a catch is impressing everyone, except Flozell Adams, that is, who said: “Big deal; he wouldn’t be able to do that if I were on the field. I’d just trip and kick him every time he touched the ball.”

 

Runners-Up

Darrelle Revis

The Jet corner shut down Randy Moss (but, like everybody else in the world, is incapable of shutting him up) and intercepted a pass. He led the Jets D in a dominating performance, as they made Tom Brady look like a regular normal struggling quarterback. The Jets' swarming defense still hasn’t given up a TD this year.

 

Eli Manning

Mr. Cool did it again. He drove the Giants downfield for the game-winning score as calmly and efficiently as the Mets lose games. He also threw for 330 yards with two TDs and no picks.

 

Steve Smith

He also hauled in 10 passes (for 134 yards), which made it the first time in Giants history that two receivers had 10 catches or more in the same game. You mean Don Herrmann and Bob Grim never did that?

 

Mark Sanchez

He overcame a slow start to get his second NFL victory in two starts. He outplayed certain Hall of Famer Brady. Not bad for a rookie.

 

Kenny Phillips

The good news: The Giants safety had two INTs and helped to make Tony Romo’s day miserable. The bad news: He’s out for the season. That’s a big blow for the Jints.

 

CC Sabathia/A.J. Burnett/Mark Teixeira

Sabathia threw seven innings without giving up an earned run in the Yankees' win on Saturday, Burnett struck out 11 and let in two runs in the team’s win on Wednesday, and Teixeira batted .435 for the week with two long balls and six RBI.

 

Luis Castillo/John Maine/Tim Redding

It’s slim pickings for the Mets these days as the only team they can beat is the Washington Nationals. Castillo hit .454, Maine pitched five scoreless innings on Sunday, and Redding threw seven strong innings on Saturday, only allowing one earned run.

 

Schmuck of the Week

Joba Chamberlain

Are the Yankees ruining Joba, or is he doing it all on his own? He’s 0-2 with a 7.88 ERA since the latest Joba Rules have been imposed. He gave up seven runs, six hits, and three walks in three innings on Sunday against the Mariners.

“I take a positive out of everything,” he said after the game, as he swiped a TV and a couple of ashtrays from the visitors' locker room.

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