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Monday, April 7, 2008

Two Teams, Both Alike in Quality...Kind of...

Two teams will occupy one space at the Meadowlands in the future, just as they do now. Jets fans feel mixed about this, but just imagine how great it is imagining the area's supposedly elite team having to come back home to move back in with their metaphorically wayward, mulleted blue collar cousin in green? "Hey. Welcome back, Blue. Mr. Hot Shot. I saved ya a Schlitz. Oh, wait. No I didn't." And, the deed isn't in Blue's name alone because it isn't his neighborhood anymore.

However, both Big Blue and Gang Green are doing something that generations of intermingling New York-based teams have done in the past - fight, hate, play on the same fields as each other and co-exist. Here we go:

Originally, the New York Giants used to originally play in the Polo Grounds, just as the baseball Giants used to. But then the football Giants moved to Yankee Stadium in the late 50's, just about the time that the baseball Giants moved to San Francisco; there are, in fact, two Yankee Stadiums today - one in use, one being built next door. Professional football is not played at Yankee Stadium any more because in 1976 the Giants moved to Giants Stadium, which is right next door to the newly carved foundation of the New Meadowlands Stadium. However, a year before they moved to the Meadowlands, the Giants played at Shea Stadium (image taken from www.stadiumsofnfl.com) for one season in 1975 while Yankee Stadium was going through refurbishment (the Yankees played at Shea during 1975, too). A few years after the Giants moved from the Polo Grounds, the New York Titans began playing there; they then became the New York Jets, who moved in 1964 to Shea Stadium, along with the New York Mets, who still play at Shea, unlike the Jets, who moved from Shea in 1985 to Giants Stadium, which they currently share - just as they will with the New Meadowlands - with the current Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. Although Giants Stadium is busy throughout all sixteen plus weeks of the football season with both teams alternating home games, the Stadium remains the titular property of the Giants. Coincidentally, the New Meadowlands Stadium is being built at the same time the New York Mets are also building a new stadium, a quarter of a century after they forced the Jets out of Shea. This will be called called Citi Field (the final "i" in the field's name indicating its corporate name), a park that is designed to look like Ebbets Field, the park where the Brooklyn Dodgers played until they moved to Los Angeles in 1957, the same year the Giants (baseball) moved to San Francisco. By the way, competing with the football Giants back in the 1930's and 40's were an NFL Brooklyn Dodgers football team who also played at Ebbets Field. So did Biff Loman.

As for the Jets, well, they nearly abandoned the dubious distinction of being a part-Empire State, part-Garden State club but were unable to get approval from Manhattan's politicos for a West Side Stadium of their own. This was a blow to the Jets organization, our fans, our team, and we can't help but wonder if the Giants would have gotten it had they asked for it.

So there we are. A regular Wagnerian Ring Cycle, huh?

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