As far as professional sports go, the NFL offseason tends to be the most active and unpredictable of any.
This year has proven to be no exception. With a potential lockout looming, and the temporary banishment of a salary cap, various teams exercised some new freedoms to lure in top-notch free agents.
It has been a fascinating time of year for the NFL, and Brett Favre hasn't even announced whether or not he will retire. But as in any sport, there are time periods lacking any drama, hence the obsession over stories that should blow over more quickly than they actually have (Dez Bryant and Brian Cushing, anyone?).
The local media has to write about something, too. And in a town that hosts both a model franchise that has compiled an impressive three Super Bowl titles, as well as one that has been desperately searching for their first since 1969, it is easy to spend a considerable amount of time comparing the two teams.
Now that the team that's been on the wrong side of the totem poll for 40 years finally is making headlines for the right reasons, and the one that's accustomed to success may be in the midst of a transition, there is even more juice to this "rivalry."
Couple that with the contrasting philosophies—one team boasts a rambunctious head coach with equally chatty players, the other prides itself on taking the high road—and comparing the two New York/New Jersey-based teams becomes even more fascinating.
Not even 24 hours after the Jets' magic carpet ride came to a close in Indianapolis, the same place where it started, coach Rex Ryan dropped a surprising nugget, even for his standards. Up to that point, he had gone after virtually everyone but the team closest in proximity to his.
But now that his team had been converted from so-so 9-7 team into a team that talked big and won bigger in the playoffs, he felt that he finally had earned the right to declare his superiority over the Giants, despite the fact that the defense he bragged about all year got lit up for 500 yards with a Super Bowl berth on the line.
In a recording left for Jets season ticket holders, Ryan triumphantly told his legion of fans:
"I can’t wait. We get our own stadium and we are not visitors in our stadium. This is our stadium. We are the biggest show in town, and that’s what it’s going to be."
To an extent, Ryan is correct. There will never be a Giants team that is as interesting and unique as the one in green is right now. Therefore, he is right. They are the biggest show in town.
However, what both Giants and Jets fans argue about is who is the biggest team, not the biggest show. Wins and losses are the only measurable statistic to settle this argument.
So are PSL (personal seat license) sales. And right now, the Giants are thoroughly dominating this category.
The PSL issue has been a bizarre one since both owners announced the system, but it became even more confusing when Woody Johnson declared that all upper-deck PSLs would be free, as opposed to the Giants strategy, which demanded that any Giants fan sitting in a section starting with the number three had to cough up $1,000 per seat.
Those in the upper deck may applaud the move, but the $28 million lost from not marking the seats in the highest part of the stadium with a PSL has to be made up somewhere.
It appears that the Jets intend to do so by raising the already ridiculous prices in the premier seats in the stadium. And so far, this strategy has completely backfired.
Now, the best show in town is placed in quite a predicament. After hiding the information for months, Johnson finally conceded that there remain more than 10,000 PSLs unsold. One source says that number is as high as 17,000. This startling range of numbers opens up the possibility for a blackout.
However, it will be shocking if a blackout will actually occur. Contrary to Johnson’s confidence, the Jets will probably be at least 5,000 PSLs short of selling out the new stadium, no matter how many times Ryan says the Jets are the best team in the league on Hard Knocks.
But on game day, the Jets will sell these tickets at the door with relative ease. Yet, imagine how the guy who actually paid $30,000 of his hard-earned cash to merely acquire the right to pay another $400 feels. He essentially dumped $30,400 into that game, while the guy sitting next to him simply strutted to the door two hours before game time and put down four one hundred dollar bills.
It’s an unfair system, and it's a complete paradox as to what everyone involved with the Jets is saying.
These Jets are not the biggest show in town. The ticket sales reflect that. No matter how many egos they acquire, New York will not be colored green until the Jets actually do something. And by doing something, that means winning a Super Bowl outright.