The New York Giants have always been No. 1 in New Yorkers' hearts when it comes to the NFL. Although the New York Jets are closing the gap, they still have some work to do before they can be the No. 1 team in their own city.
The Giants have a mystique about them. They participated in two of, arguably, the best games in NFL history—the 1958 championship against the Baltimore Colts and the 2008 Super Bowl against the undefeated New England Patriots.
I just want to say from the top that I am a diehard New York Jets fan, and writing this article pains me. Having said that, the reasons I am about to give are true, and Jets fans have to accept that. We are No. 2 in our own city until we win a Super Bowl. Our time is coming, but as of now, the Giants are still No. 1.
So let's look into the 5 reasons why the Giants are still New York's team.
The New York Jets, in comparison, have won one Super Bowl, which occurred in 1969.
Every city wants to be defined by a winner. People want others to think of their city based upon a historic event or feat. For New York, we have the Yankees and Giants, with both teams having a history of winning.
The Jets have been a respectable team for the last decade, but have been unable to secure the ultimate prize. The Giants have, capturing New Yorkers' hearts as winners rather than lovable (now hate-able) losers like the Jets.
The Jets were tenants in the Giants' house for thirty years. After leaving Shea Stadium, the Jets played in Giants stadium, the keyword here being Giants. The Jets were the Giants' little brother.
Now both teams play in the generic New Meadowlands Stadium, with the teams splitting the cost of the state of the art building. However, many fans still refer to it as Giants Stadium, still under the same impression that the Jets are tenants in the Giants' building. While this is untrue, the time spent at Giants Stadium proved to be a curse for the Jets.
The Giants played at historic Yankee Stadium before moving around and ending up at Giants Stadium. They also had the legendary Yankee Stadium PA announcer Bob Sheppard perform the same job for their games.
The next reason goes along with Giants Stadium.
The Giants have a larger fan base than the Jets do. Giants season tickets are hard to come by, even after the personal seat licenses fans had bought when the new stadium opened. Season tickets are often passed down from generation to generation by fans.
The Jets have a newer fan base, because of Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez. The Jets' boastfulness and loudness has caused many people to jump on the bandwagon, something I am not happy with as a long-time Jets fan. I'm sure other loyal Jets fans are not happy about it either.
Giants fans are well-educated and are everywhere in New York. The Giants' history certainly plays a part in this, as well as the passing down of season tickets.
Jets and Giants fans sell out the Meadowlands on a weekly basis, something to be said of New York sports fans (the best in the country).
The Jets have one legendary figure in their history. Although his feat is monumental for the NFL, Joe Namath's finger wag is the one thing people identify with the Jets (until Rex Ryan).
Sure, the Jets have had Joe Klecko, Mark Gastineau, Wayne Chrebet, Vinny Testaverde and others, but they don't match up with the Giants. Also, between the four Jets legends I just mentioned, they have won a whopping zero Super Bowl trophies for the Jets.
The Giants have Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson, Phil Simms, Frank Gifford, and Y.A. Tittle (among others). These are players who have won Super Bowls in a time when most middle aged fans can remember (not Gifford and Tittle).
The Giants also have recent legends with players like Eli Manning, Michael Strahan, and David Tyree (one catch and he's set for life). When the Giants bring back their old-timers, they can boast about greater names than the Jets can when they call back their old-timers.
Tim Mara founded the Giants in 1925. His grandson, John, still has a 50 percent ownership stake in the team. John's father, Wellington, was loved by the fans until his death in 2005. The Giants' stable ownership gives the team a family feel that is enhanced by the long list of season tickets that are passed down in a family.
The Maras sold a part of the team to the Tisch family, who now own 50 percent of the team. Together, they are one of the best, and most respected, owner tandems in the NFL.
In addition, the Giants are a classy organization (except for the PR clown Pat Hanlon, if you haven't already, check out his tweets answering to harmless Giants' fans questions). The Giants know how to honor history and keep the organization away from controversy.
The Jets have been making up ground on the Giants to win over New York. The Jets are loud and obnoxious, but play hard-nosed football that backs up the talk. The Jets may be on the front pages newspapers, but the Giants still own New York.
Although in the past two years the Jets have had more success than the Giants, the Giants have had a more successful franchise history. While New York is a "what have you done for me lately" kind of town, until the Jets lift the Lombardi Trophy, this will be the Giants' town.
I know there will be one or two of you that will tell me that the Buffalo Bills are "the only true New York team," but we all know that's not true.
Thanks for the read and feel free to comment.
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