NEW YORK, NY – I watched enough of the Giants/Lions game Monday night to know that I was glad that I didn’t watch ALL of the Giants/Lions game on Monday night. To put it bluntly, the New York Football Giants, as constructed by Jerry Reese and coached by Ben McAdoo, suck. We’ll get into those specifics in a minute. But the good news for the team is that so much of the NFL is such crap these days that you might hardly notice just how sub-mediocre the Giants are. Here’s what I mean.
You Gotta Know When to Fold ‘Em. Prior to the start of this football season, I decided I would no longer lay out the $2,000+ I was paying for my pair of Giants tickets each year. These were seats that my Dad had since, jeez, the Yankee Stadium/Yale Bowl days. Anyway, the Giants made the playoffs last year which means they raised their ticket prices this year. I wasn’t buying. They may have gone 11-5, but they never scored 30 points in a game and scored 20 or fewer in 10 of their 16 games. They couldn’t run the ball and couldn’t protect Eli. They STILL can’t run the ball and STILL can’t protect Eli. Their best player, by far, is injured, underpaid, and often irrational. Their “offensive-minded” head coach has all the imagination of a box of Milk Duds. And their stadium is a lifeless sh!thole, devoid of any character or charm—it makes Shawshank look like Club Med. Trying to sell tickets to a Giants night game (that doesn’t involve the Cowboys) is like trying to give away an STD. This year will not end well, but that doesn’t just go for the Giants.
A League in Decline. The NFL still makes a sh!t-ton of money, but the cracks are really starting to show. I know we’re only 2 weeks into the season but there are some things that are impossible to ignore. For starters, the league’s most recognizable star is now 40-years-old and pretty much setting up his post-football, “How to Stay Young and Beautiful Forever, Like Me!” career. There are only a handful of good teams in the league, a whole lot of fair-to-lousy teams, and some franchises that are actually trying to lose. The challengers in the AFC to New England are Oakland, KC and maybe Pittsburgh, but that’s it. Still, it’s better than the NFC where the Falcons (the Falcons???) are still probably the best team. Worse yet, their main competition would be coming from a Green Bay team they have destroyed several times over and a Seahawks squad with an O-line that makes the Giants feel better about theirs. Outside of that, it’s a joke. Injuries, apathy, and early retirement are also adding to the league’s woes. So desperate were Roger Goodell and Co. to remain relevant that they decided to let players celebrate touchdowns again. Too bad names like Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and Odell Beckham Jr. have yet to find the end zone. Attendance is down, TV ratings are down, and prices only go up. You do the math.
And, so? There’s no quick fix to the Giants’ woes or those of the NFL. New York had to know that the clock is winding down on Eli Manning, and did very little to help him. Now they find themselves in the unenviable position of having an aging franchise quarterback, an incapable offensive line in need of a rebuild, and a disgruntled superstar wide receiver who doesn’t want to waste his best years waiting for a new line or breaking in a rookie QB. The NFL has bigger problems. These are not the sort of men who ever plan for a rainy day, let alone a rainy week or month or year. I still enjoy watching the NFL, but I’m not going to lose any sleep over whether the owners can figure out how to overcome their natural greed and keep their cash cow alive.
I’m done. Come back tomorrow for the one and only Buddy Diaz, who lost a bet and now has to write for this site.