Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I Know the Diners are Better in Jersey and all, but...

When I explain to people why I reflexively dislike New York teams, I usually start off with some sort of diatribe about how New Yorkers view their teams as being at the epicenter of the sports universe and that every player or coach would (or should) crawl on hands and knees to play in New York. (After that initial statement, I'll proceed to mention [in no particular order] Jeffrey Maier, the '86 Mets, the '94 Knicks and '95 Devils doing their best to make their respective sports unwatchable, Gary Thorne's fellatio of the Rangers marring the otherwise outstanding '94 NHL Playoffs, George Steinbrenner, Mike Francesa's inept stint as a studio college football analyst for CBS in the late 80s and early 90s, the San Diego assistant coach who got concussed by a flying piece of ice in a late-season game at the Meadowlands, and Derek Jeter Driven. I digress.)

Mike Lupica, for example, can be counted on to make a statement on just about every edition of The Sports Reporters. My favorite Lupicaism was his OUTRAGE! when Peyton Manning had the temerity to return to Tennessee for his senior season when he knew full well that the Jets had a high pick in the Draft and needed a quarterback. Lupica opined that Manning was missing the chance to play in "football nirvana" by staying in the Draft an extra year. Somehow, I suspect that Lupica has never been to Knoxville on a Saturday or else that exceedingly provincial statement might never have escaped his lips. I wouldn't care so much if Lupica was just a twerp writing for a paper in another city, but when ESPN holds him up as an analyst on allegedly national topics, then I have a right to expect a little more from him than the apparent belief that no one cares about football in Tennessee.

This little trip down memory lane was jogged this morning by a similar piece of FiveBoroughCentrism from some schmoe in the New York Post (HT: SportsFrog), who automatically assumes that Charlie Weis would would leave his self-professed dream job and come crawling to New York if the Giants offered him a position. Here's the offending paragraph:

The Giants were his dream job then, and the Giants would be his dream job now, maybe the only job that would lure him away from the dream job he has now.

I guess what annoys me so much about this statement, aside from the belief that Weis would do anything to coach in New York, is the underlying assumption that NFL jobs are inherently superior to college jobs, so it's obvious that Weis would surrender arguably the best job in college football for an NFL job that's pretty much the same as 31 other NFL jobs, save for the fact that there are 67 newspapers second-guessing everything you do as opposed to one or two. The statement touches the same nerve that ESPN's "Saturday: it's just two days until Monday and you can kill time by watching college games" ads touched this fall. Gee, do you think that Weis might decline the opportunity to coach the Giants and have Jeremy Shockey mouth off every time he doesn't get the ball? Or Plaxico Burress quit on every other route he runs? In other words, you think Weis might enjoy coaching players who are something other than verbose mercenaries? You think he's capable of opening a sports section and seeing how Romeo Crennel, the other highly-touted Patriots coordinator, is doing in Cleveland?

I'd love it if Weis actually took the Giants job because he scares me a little coaching Notre Dame. He clearly knows what he's doing offensively and if he ever has a Spurrier "Nebraska's players can't be THAT hard to tackle" epiphany that leads him to hire the modern version of Bob Stoops, he'll have an excellent product on the field. (The one area that would cause me concern if I were a Notre Dame fan is recruiting in the defensive front seven. Weis's weakness might be that he overrates the effect of a great offense and doesn't pay enough attention to the defensive side of the ball. See: Neuheisel, Rick.) That said, I just don't see him leaving Notre Dame in the next few years, no matter how much money the Giants throw at him.


Anonymous said...

The thing is, they truly do believe that they're the center of the sporting universe.

I didn't really grasp it until last week. My brother-in-law and I were talking sports. He grew up in middle Georgia, but has lived in NYC for about a year. I could tell that he's already bought into the 'FiveBoroughCentrism' as you put it.

He couldn't understand why I don't give a crap about the Giants or Knicks.


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