As any long-suffering fan of a New York football team knows all too well, the stadia that they have exclusively played in for what is now a 40th consecutive year have been erected on land in the swamp lands of New Jersey, There have been an awful lot of punch lines and urban myths about exactly what–or who–may have gone into the process of cement mixing and the selection of the companies responsible for building both MetLife Stadium and its Giants Stadium predecessor, but what is undeniable is that land it was built upon is, as the infallible Wikipedia refers to it, the site of large landfills and decades of environmental abuse.
Never was that more obvious than last night.
Amidst a steady downpour that dampened the festive mood of the season opener for the New York Football Giants even during the 9/11-themed pre-game festivities, and even as a healthy and financially satisfied Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley lined up as teammates under center as they began their 2023 season in the hopes of a repeat run to the playoffs, which 2022 shockingly culiminated in, and before a national NBC Sunday Night Football audience that apparently drove the downloading and subscriptions of Peacock in cities were satellite TV customers of Nexstar and Hearst-owned affiliates were currently off the air in separate contract disputes against DIRECTV and Dish Netwok, respectively, the night got gloomier still quickly, and deterirorated from there.
As NJ.com’s Darryl Slater mournfully though accurately reported last night:
The 2023 Giants, brimming with hope after last season’s magic, wilted on national TV against the Cowboys — a pathetic Week 1 egg laying of epic proportions.
The Giants’ 40-0 loss showed they still can’t beat the Cowboys. It showed how large the gap remains between the Giants and the NFC East’s two best teams, Philadelphia and Dallas. And it showed, ultimately, that the Giants are not yet a legit contender. Not even close.
Make no mistake: The Giants didn’t just lose Sunday. They got their teeth kicked in.
How bad was it? Well, The Associated Press gave some initial details:
The Dallas Cowboys have not only put some distance between themselves and the New York Giants in the NFC East, they showed Sunday night they are going to be a contender for more than a division title.
If they play this way all season, owner Jerry Jones might have a championship contender again,
And Charean Williams of PRO FOOTBALL TALK joined the fray with these kind of observations:
Sometimes you’re the bug, and sometimes you are the windshield. The Giants were the bug, and the Cowboys were the windshield on Sunday Night Football.
The Cowboys annihilated, humiliated and frustrated the Giants from start to finish. They won 40-0 on a rainy night at the Meadowlands in one of the most lopsided season-opening games in NFL history.
The Steelers’ 43-0 victory over the Browns in 1999 in the Browns’ return to Cleveland was the last time a team won by a wider margin on opening day.
And on FAN NATION’s Cowboys-supportive blog, Jonathan Alfano and Mike Fisher weighed in with this:
The Cowboys certainly played like a championship was on the line with a 40-0 drubbing of their NFC East rivals on “Sunday Night Football.” This game marks the Cowboys’ largest victory over the Giants since 1966, when they won 52-7 in Dallas.
For the record, that 1966 team finished 1-12-1, which, to date, is the worst all-time single-season record in Giants’ history. At the moment, the qualifier to date is necessary. Those ’66 Giants at least scored 263 points (though they gave up a franchise-record 501). And that team at least tied their season opener (a 34-34 standoff in Pittsburgh that, incredibly, reflected only the sixth most points allowed in the 14-game season).
All of this gave even more context to the kind of sobering anecdotes and afterthoughts that Jersey-based Slater added in his story:
Daniel Jones rolled right and flung the ball, desperately trying to connect with Darren Waller. Instead, late in a soggy first half of disconnections and comical ineptitude, Stephon Gilmore scooped up Jones’ low pass before it could hit the turf. The game was over at halftime, when the Giants were down 26-0 — and got loudly booed off the field. By midway through the third quarter, most of the Giants fans had bailed to beat traffic.
You know things are pretty terrible when people actually WANT to get back into traffic on roads that traverse a swamp on a rainy night in Jersey.
Here I was, actually lamenting about how I would torture myself with trying to justify money I really don’t have to subscribe to Sunday Ticket via YouTube TV. The current $439 price point and inability to offer monthly installments that DIRECTV puts even that discounted offer far beyond my means. With the Jints and Jets both on national TV this week, I punted my decision a week.
If nothing else, last night’s performance made my decision a whole lot easier.
I became a Giants fan the year after they went 1-12-1. when Fran Tarkenton rode into town with fanfare and propelled them to .500. I got swept up in the relative hype and hoopla, even as the Jets and Joe Namath began their far more meteoric rise to respectability that a year later resulted in their only World’s Championship to date. Their latest savior, Aaron Rodgers, will lead them tonight with similar fanfare into battle with a golden opportunity to fully take over the zeitgeist and mood of New York football fans.
Aaron, it’s up to you and your fellow HARD KNOCKS co-stars to even try and get me to reconsider eschewing things like bills and food to pony up to You Tube (incidentally, Google, it wouldn’t hurt you to consider some sort of installment plan for hardship cases like me).
As for you Giants–well, let’s just say your swamp needs draining a lot more than some others’.