By Jason Keidel
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One of sports’ spiritual arteries is trash-talking.
My friends have waited over a decade for the Steelers to stink. Now that they do, people who haven’t spoken one foul word to me since the Clinton administration are popping up like weeds, reminding me of how wretched this season has been for my beloved black and gold (particularly Jets fans).
I can eat it, or I can say that I can’t see them over the six Lombardi Trophies on my desk. Or I can remind them that their team hasn’t won anything yet.
Kinda like the Giants. That mushroom cloud over the Meadowlands, where the play is as rancid as the swamp surrounding the stadium, is the residue of an 0-6 football team. Despite their dearth of victories this season, they keep spouting off sermons, promulgations and proclamations.
At first it was cute. Antrel Rolle, as is the predisposition of players from The U, asserted that his Giants would run the table after their 0-4 start. That’s how Rolle rolls. He leads with his tongue and backs it on the turf.
But now it’s just superfluous and silly. After losing two more games, they are now cellar-dwelling with NFL titans like the Jaguars, who were four-touchdown underdogs last weekend.
There is nothing more to say. No soapbox sermon, no parable, no monologue will make the Giants a good football team. We’re hearing way too much from those who have done too little. No more Will Beatty. No more Kevin Boothe. No more Twitter twaddle between Ruben Randle and David Wilson.
First, Giants fans were wrought with a foot-in-mouth malady. Some of you actually wondered if Eli Manning should be benched and if Tom Coughlin should be canned, ignoring the Super Bowl bling they bagged for you. Their biggest chasm still is on the line. They can’t pressure or protect a passer. The rest doesn’t matter until the core is fixed, which falls on Jerry Reese.
Speaking of the GM of the G-Men, Reese must feel a little disoriented after planting a clock in the Giants’ locker room, ticking down to this year’s Super Bowl — a game that will surely be played sans Big Blue. At least Reese learned that time is relative, without being an Einstein.
Now the Giants, who keep belching these bromides about a playoff run, need to shut up. Win one game, against a woeful Vikings team with just one win — against my Steelers, of course, beating Big Ben in the shadow of Big Ben – and then speak mildly, meekly and modestly.
You know it’s bad when strip clubs start a blackout. According to The New York Post, Rick’s Cabaret in Manhattan refuses to televise the Giants on their fleet of flat screens, worried it will impose some impotence. Evidently, nothing is less amorous than Manning’s latest pick-six.
If nothing else, the Giants know where they can go after another loss and not worry about being caught on camera.
The Giants once mastered the art of understatement. Perhaps you found it a little bland, their cold, corporate cadence echoing down the sterile walls of their headquarters. But it did lead to two rings, in stark contrast of the three-ring circus across the hall in Jets Nation.
We’re used to a certain, dull decibel level from the Jets. Yet the Jets look like the veterans these days. Page Six has been oddly void of Gang Green fodder. And it’s Rex Ryan, not Coughlin, preparing for a vital divisional game this weekend.
Not even Einstein could have figured that.
Follow me on Twitter @JasonKeidel.
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