Every year as the National Football League season approaches the same conversation happens in my family – why do television networks feel the need to label Big Blue the New York Giants.
The Giants have been playing in the Garden State since 1976 when they moved their training and home field from that pesky, hanger on Empire State. Just eight years later, Gang Green also moved to New Jersey; sharing what was then Giants Stadium. The teams built MetLife Stadium together and are fighting the American Dream Meadowlands project as New Jersey-based businesses.
I didn’t need Dallas Cowboy-loving Jersey Boy Gov. Chris Christie to voice his two-cents about being bothered by the constant reference to both teams as from New York. But I am glad he did; saying what I have been saying for years only so much more eloquently and cleaned up than I could muster.
“They train in New Jersey, both of their facilities are in New Jersey on New Jersey property,” Christie said as guest co-host on WFANS’s Boomer and Carton show this week. “They play in New Jersey every Sunday. There is nothing about New York with either one of these football teams. When a baseball team moves, should they still be called the old city’s name?”
Good point, governor; when the Rams moved from California to Missouri the team changed its name from L.A. Rams to St. Louis Rams. The Baltimore Colts are now the Indianapolis Colts.
Do I really need to point out players on both teams have chosen to make New Jersey their home; living in several upscale communities within commuting distances from the East Rutherford stadium?
While the NFL is advertising Super Bowl 48th as NY/NJ, the truth is the Super Bowl will be played in the Garden State. Unless, East Rutherford is somehow magically moved to New York and then returned when the game is over, the Super Bowl should be advertised as New Jersey – period end of sentence.
As I am writing this, the irony hits me. I am making a case for the Giants, the same team that lost in overtime to a worse team Saturday, to be acknowledged as the New Jersey Giants. Maybe, that’s the reason they are still called the New York Giants; us true blue New Jerseyans would never show worse than our second-string cousins. Just saying.
Here’s to the start of another NFL season and the Super Bowl in Jersey.