NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – While Hurricane Irene continues its path toward the Tri-State area, Jets coach Rex Ryan is certainly not throwing any water on what he sees as a heated rivalry with the Giants.
In his book released earlier this year, “Play Like You Mean It,” Ryan proclaimed the Jets as the top football team and “big brother” in New York. They have been more popular on Long Island, but generally have taken a back seat to the Giants through the years.
With trips to the AFC title game the last two years while the Giants weren’t making the playoffs, Ryan sees his club as No. 1 in these parts.
Asked if he still believes that, Ryan said: “Oh, absolutely. Absolutely I do.”
The Jets will have their chance to back Ryan’s words up when they host Big Blue on Dec. 24, the next-to-last week of the regular season.
“I guess we get to find out on Christmas Eve,” he added. “Again, I am not backing down from one comment. I believe we are the best team in New York and the goal is to be the best in the National Football League, not just in New York. I am not backing down one bit from that statement. I believe that will be the case.”
Giants defensive end Justin Tuck irked Jets fans this week when he said the New Meadowlands Stadium, whose naming rights were just purchased by MetLife, will “always be Giants Stadium.”
Ryan took exception with that, as well.
“He can think all he wants, but I think of it as MetLife Stadium and it’s the home of the New York Jets,” Ryan said. “I guess he can think of it that way. He’ll probably be one of the only guys that think of it that way. I certainly don’t think of it that way.”
Neither does wide receiver Santonio Holmes.
“It’s the Meadowlands, the home of the New York Jets,” he said. “That’s all I have to say about that.”
Are the Jets better than the Giants? Let’s get the debate going in the comments below…
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)