EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Sure it’s only a pre-season game. Yes, it doesn’t count in the standings. And, heck, maybe it is meaningless, but the stakes of Monday’s Jets-Giants game may have just gotten higher. The newly named MetLife Stadium, home to both the Jets and Giants (although it will be the Giants who will be the home team), have added a college-like atmosphere to tonight’s highly anticipated match-up.
And, no, I am not talking about the keg stands and beer bongs that will be present during pre-game tailgate parties.
For the first time in this annual meeting, the winner will be rewarded a Snoopy Trophy. Snoopy, of course, is the mascot for MetLife, giving the match-up a bit of a bowl game atmosphere — still meaningless, yet adding a bit of glitz to this oh-so-glamorous match-up.
The match-up as of late, however, has been more grit than glitz since the arrival of Rex Ryan, who has immediately marked his territory in New York, claiming his Jets are New York’s new football team. With his bravado and renewed mentality the Jets have outplayed the Giants over the past two years.
Ryan’s smash-mouth style of play and in-your-face attitude has won over players from all over the league, most notably former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress, who will be making his first start against his former team after being out of the league for nearly two and a half years.
Of course this pre-season match-up, while considered to be the most physical of all the warm-up games, will count for nothing, one has to imagine both teams get a little more amped up to battle for bragging rights. This game will be the pre-cursor to their Christmas Eve match-up, where the Jets will be the home team, and will most likely seal both teams’ playoff positioning.
The battle for New York supremacy kicks off in 18 minutes, however the war is far from over.
TONIGHT’S INACTIVES: JETS – QB M. Brunell (calf), OL T. Canfield (knee), OT R.Turner (ankle), TE J.Cumberland (hamstring), & DT S.Pouha (knee). GIANTS – K L. Tynes, QB S. Rosenfels, CB P. Amukamara, DB B. Jackson, DE O. Umenyiora, RB A. Bradshaw, DB A. Brown & WR D. Calhoun.
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