The Jets And Giants Leave Fans Upset This Season

Oct 22, 2020
Originally published on October 22, 2020 7:06 pm
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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

If pro football misery has a hot spot this season, it's New York. The Jets and the Giants have a total of one NFL win and 11 losses. It's their worst collective start since the Gerald Ford administration. Jim O'Grady from member station WNYC reports the sound that you're hearing from New York fans is the nonstop gnashing of teeth.

JIM O'GRADY, BYLINE: Look - I know you have no sympathy if you root for other teams, so I'm just going to go for pity. Over six games, the Giants have scored 49 fewer points than their opponents. The Jets are down by an astounding 110 points, putting them on track for the worst statistical season in NFL history.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #1: Here goes Darnold out - picked off on the play.

O'GRADY: That's Jets quarterback Sam Darnold throwing one of many interceptions.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #1: A pick-six thrown by Darnold.

O'GRADY: The Jets defense is no better. It tackles like it's social distancing.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #1: Look at him spin free and get down to the 3.

O'GRADY: The Giants are less bad. They have the sole victory this year. But their offensive line blocks like it's trying to be polite. Oh, you're looking to sack our quarterback, Daniel Jones? Right this way.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #2: Jones' pocket collapsing, and he's going to get sacked.

O'GRADY: The incompetence unfolds each week at the team's shared stadium in the Meadowlands of New Jersey. I pity those who've attended games there this year - Jimmy Hoffa, who has no choice because, according to legend, he's buried under one of the end zones and the cardboard fans in the stands who, in a cruel twist, cannot close their eyes. But defeat is experienced differently by Jets and Giants fans because of their team's distinctive histories. The Jets boast a single championship triumph, their upset victory in Super Bowl III. We're now on Super Bowl LIII. That's a half-century of mostly mediocrity.

The Giants, on the other hand, have tasted gridiron glory, none sweeter than when they beat the dimple-chinned Tom Brady and his undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. But when asked which fan base has it worse this year, Giants fan David Martin struggled to answer.

DAVID MARTIN: Like, the Giants - I don't know. The Jets - gosh, that's - what's worse? They're both painful. As a Giants fan, it's a little bit harder to really believe that they're this bad. And the thing is, they are.

O'GRADY: Joe Alberti of Long Island cares just as passionately about his Jets but must admit that...

JOE ALBERTI: Yes, being a Jet fan has not given me a lot in my lifetime. That's a fair assessment.

O'GRADY: Alberti is 53, so he's been rooting for his team a long time. He thought that this season of all seasons might be different.

ALBERTI: With the pandemic, you know, people needed a diversion this year. And after one week, the Jets didn't give it to them, and it's a shame. It's amazing how you have two teams in New York and both of them are as bad as they are.

O'GRADY: It's not looking up for the winless Jets. On Sunday, they play the 4-2 Buffalo Bills, and tonight the Giants will have a chance to win their second game of the season or lose their sixth game against their division rival, the Philadelphia Eagles. The cardboard fans will be watching, but not expecting much.

For NPR News, I'm Jim O'Grady in New York.

(SOUNDBITE OF TROUBLE'S "SNAKE EYES") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.