For fans of the New York Jets this Sunday's Super Bowl match-up between the New England Patriots and New York Giants is really a no-win situation. Yet, as sports fans, we're contractually obligated to watch the big game. We will end up rooting for one side, no matter how much it makes us cringe. For me, it's not even close as to whom I'm rooting for: It has to be the Giants.
Is it just me, or does every New Yorker view Boston as the Evil Empire? The Boston-New York rivalry almost transcends sports and was heated before the NFL even existed. If the Patriots win the Super Bowl this year, it will be eight championships in all four major sports combined, compared to New York's two. What kind of New Yorker wants to see that?
That brings me to Tom Brady – the guy with three rings, a $12 million contract, endorsement deals that may be worth even more, a 22,000 square foot house, and, oh yeah, he's married to Gisele Bündchen (who is worth more money than he is). How can you root for this guy? He's got enough in his life to be thankful for, and I'm sure taking the ‘L' in this game won't hurt his reputation too much.
At least Eli Manning is likeable. As a Jets fan, I can at least relate to him in a way. He is the younger brother to the more successful, well-liked and appreciated Peyton – just like the Jets are to the Giants. If I have to see someone win, it might as well be the underdog knocking off the big bad Pats.
Remember Super Bowl XLII? Surely Jets fans didn't want to see the Pats finish off their undefeated season and were rooting for the Giants then. Our attitude towards the teams shouldn't change just because the Patriots are slightly less talented now.
For all of the "Giants own New York" sentiment that has always seemed to swirl around New York, as a fact, it hadn't really been the case post-Super Bowl XLII. That offseason, the Jets signed Brett Favre and were the talk of the town all year. Next, they brought in Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan and went to two straight AFC title games, while the Giants missed the playoffs both years. So I don't think it will be as big of a tragedy to Jets fans if the Giants win because, as history has proven to us, the Jets have the ability to take New York.
If the Pats win, it's completely different. That would be five conference championships and four rings since Bill Belichick and Tom Brady united in 2000, an almost unprecedented run. It would go down as one of the greatest dynasties in the history of sports. This is the last thing a Jets, or any New York sports fan, should want to see.