By Eddie Mayrose
Jets Say Farewell To Giants Stadium Demons At Cincinnati’s Expense
It was right out of Meadowlands history. The former defensive coordinator turned head coach brandishing a style of smash-mouth football behind a dominating offensive line and a punishing defense on a cold, windswept December evening. A raucous crowd firing up the home team on its way to a playoff berth and a shot at the Super Bowl. Only, this time, it wasn’t Bill Parcells leading the Giants during their heyday. Instead, the New York Jets; yes, those Jets, turned in the kind of dominating performance their fans hadn’t seen since Klecko and Mehl hung up their cleats all those years ago. Behind first year Head Coach Rex Ryan, who, himself, had given them up for dead just two weeks earlier, Gang Green turned the final game at Giants Stadium into a coming-out party for what many hope to be a new era for the Jets. That it took twenty five years to get here didn’t seem to bother any of the faithful Sunday night.
While many have pointed to the Jets’ good fortune in facing two teams, (Indianapolis and Cincinnati), with no motivation, Big Rexy’s boys will offer no apologies as participants in the Super Bowl tournament. Even though it’s a long shot to think they would have beaten the Colts had Peyton Manning and Company turned in a full day’s work, the Bengals absolutely came to play last week until their spirit was broken by the suffocating Jets’ defense in the first quarter. Carson Palmer was an abysmal 1 for 11 and the former Chad Johnson couldn’t catch a cold. Instead, the Jets dominated every facet of the game behind the tried and true formula for playoff success: Rushing and Defense. Piling up 257 yards on the ground while allowing just 61 bodes well for New York in this week’s rematch. Cincinnati can take heart in that they’ll be welcoming back a number of starters but, unless their names are Unitas and Butkus, it may not be enough.
New York Giants Shame Their Own Tradition
At the beginning of the season, who’d have believed that the unyielding and overpowering shutout to close Giants Stadium would be turned in by the Jets while the Meadowlands’ main tenants went meekly into the off-season?
The type of performance given by the Giants over the last two weeks is one that surfaces every year. At the end of each season, we see teams quit on their teammates, coaches and fans; embarrassing themselves professionally in the process. That, this time, it occurred with a team on the brink of the playoffs and just two years removed from a Super Bowl title is as amazing as it is sad.
Big Blue’s total lack of effort in being outscored 85-16 over its final two games is a sign that a huge overhaul is necessary. The process started Monday with the firing of Defensive Coordinator, Bill Sheridan but should not include, for now, the Head Coach. What Tom Coughlin needs to realize, however, is that, somewhere along the way, he’s picked up a number of whiners and weak links that need to be banished no matter what their previous record of success. Blind loyalty for past achievements is a potent formula for getting yourself fired. He can start with DE Osi Umenyiora, who got into it with Sheridan during training camp, went home for a nap and a ba-ba and was awful, thereafter. The Jints have enough talent to rebound in 2010. However, with two playoff teams already in the division and Mike Shanahan arriving in Washington, they’d better be quick about it.
Magic Johnson Denied Courtside Seats By New York Knicks
The New York Daily News reported that NBA legend Magic Johnson had his request for complimentary tickets denied by Knicks’ brass; reportedly due to critical comments Johnson made about former Knicks’ boss, Isiah Thomas. Based on that, I’m wondering how anyone gets in the building.
NBA Commish Must Ban Arenas For Life
Washington Wizards’ teammates Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittendon are alleged to have drawn guns on each other in the Wizards’ locker room over a gambling debt; something Arenas has confirmed. Apparently, it was Arenas’ idea of some sort of prank. He’s been suspended indefinitely as D.C. police continue to investigate.
There is no gray area here for Commissioner David Stern as to his course of action. This was no courtside melee that spilled into the stands and endangered ticket holders; something for which Ron Artest lost a season. This was a real, live, life-or-death situation created by two idiots with no regard for the value of a dollar, let alone a life. How would you like to be the clubhouse guy for Washington? Young guy, going about your business and all of a sudden you’re in the middle of a shootout. Think I’m exaggerating? Once you’ve actually become unbalanced enough to draw the weapon, how far, actually, is the next step to fire it?
The NBA averted the worst event in its history by an eyelash. Should Arenas or Crittendon be allowed back, the league will be as culpable as the players when, not if, it happens again. Sadly ironic that it happened with the Wizards, a team whose name was changed from the Bullets because its late owner, Abe Pollin, was concerned about the violent image the name projected among D.C. youth.
NFL Playoff Predictions
Green Bay 31 Arizona 23: Bobby Carr, Joe Berg and Lynn Dickey rejoice.
Dallas 27 Philadelphia 13: Tell your father-in-law to kiss your arse, young Flanagan.
Patriots 26 Ravens 21: Is there any way both teams can lose? Won’t even watch this game.
Bengals 17 Jets 9: Condolences to Lou Ricciardi, Jack O’Sullivan and Mike Walsh.