As the New York Giants march into Super Bowl 42 going up against the undefeated New England Patriots, a battle wages on and no, its stage is not set in Arizona but rather in the small town of East Rutherford, NJ. A town that for 16 weeks out of the year plays host to the New York Giants or the New York Jets. Long has there been call by New Jersey fans to change their name to either the New Jersey Giants or New Jersey Jets (although the calls for the Jets are much quieter, I’m sure). But for now they remain a “New York” property, a property that East Rutherford mayor James L. Cassella is not too thrilled with. While New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and New York Governor Elliot Spitzer make the usual wagers against their New England counter parts on the big game, Mayor Cassella gets to wager with himself, once again out of the loop.
In a recent New York Times article, the paper interviewed Mayor Cassella about being the bridesmaid in this football story. The article made mention to the fact that the Giants and Jets had at one point actually played in New York and while both franchises made the move west over 20 years ago, they still remain New York branded. And unlike other relocations, neither team felt the need to change their NY to a NJ.
The article also talked to New York City’s Mayor and Governor, with Gov. Eliot Spitzer pointing out that for six weeks out of the year, the Giants make their training camp home in Albany. Gov. Spitzer failed to mention that for the rest of the year they make their home in New Jersey, with their practice field within walking distance of Giants Stadium. (The Jets actually practice in Long Island but are planning on moving their facilities to Floram Park, NJ) For Bloomberg and Spitzer, they join the growing ranks of politicians happily jumping upon the winning team’s bandwagon.
For us New Jersey Giants fans (which I have been a proud member of for most of my life) the real saga is one that wages on for us everyday, the need to prove our worth to those living in not just New York, but across the country. To prove to those who have branded New Jersey as a state that could almost be marked as a fly over that we are more than that. We are more than just a connection between New York City and Philadelphia; we are more than just bad sunless tans and horrible spiky hair. But a state, that takes pride in its industries, in its beaches in its people and yes, in its diners. A state that is proud to be the home of the Giants and of the Jets, of the Devils and of the Nets. So for Mayor Cassella, East Rutherford, NJ and all of those New Jersey Giants fans, let’s go Big Blue!
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