By Ernie Palladino
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The forecast for New Year’s Eve day in East Rutherford calls for a game-time temperature of 23 degrees and 11 mph winds.
Those numbers will surely fall as the sun sets on both MetLife Stadium and a Giants season that grew more miserable with Sunday’s 23-0 loss in Arizona.
But let’s face it. Even if the weather people called for 90 degrees and sunny, there’s no way to make Jason Pierre-Paul’s recent musing that “true fans” will show up for the finale to this 2017 train wreck against Washington look anything better than delusional.
Frankly, sometimes silence is the best policy. Especially for anyone on a 2-13 roster that just set a franchise record for most losses in a season.
For JPP to think MetLife will fill with appreciative Giants fans looking to send their team into the new year on a supposed high note, well, that’s just silly on a number of levels.
For one thing, 23 degrees with a wind is pretty darned cold for anybody, even if one does hit the parking lot stocked with a bottle or two of a favored anti-freeze. That works for teams playing for playoff seedings, not the No. 2 overall draft pick.
The defensive end’s fear, of course, is that he’ll see a repeat of the Philadelphia game two weeks ago. Temps were just above freezing on Dec. 17, but that didn’t stop anyone from selling their seats. And most of those went to Eagles fans who are bonkers for their 13-2 team.
MetLife sounded more like Lincoln Financial Field that day. Those Philly fans, never known for subtlety, grew so loud in the fourth quarter that they drowned out Eli Manning’s cadence and tricked right tackle Bobby Hart into a false start.
Pierre-Paul shouldn’t worry about that, however. The Redskins sit at 7-8 with no postseason hopes. No reason for anyone in New York or Washington to freeze their tuchises off for this dog of a game.
The only noise coming out of MetLife may be the ghostly whistle of wind blowing through sections of empty seats.
On another level, the Giants haven’t given their faithful any reason to show up on any Sunday this year. And we’re not just talking about an injury-depleted roster.
We’re talking about players like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Jackrabbit Jenkins, both of whom drew suspensions for bugging out on their team. We’re talking about Eli Apple, the first-round cornerback who sat as a healthy scratch for four games and then failed to play a single down on defense last week.
If those guys didn’t care then, why should the paying customers give half a hoot now?
They can’t even get a last look at the team’s only Pro Bowl selection because safety Landon Collins’ season ended with a broken forearm against the Eagles.
Perhaps if there was any hope at all for a decent performance, somebody might show. But the Giants are coming off a shutout loss against a team that hadn’t held anyone scoreless since the George H.W. Bush administration. It was the nadir for an offense that averaged all of 15.2 points per game, just 1.2 points more than the last-ranked Browns.
Nothing to see there.
Want to get a look at backup Davis Webb for the QB/other position argument come April? Forget it. He’ll probably stay right where he’s been the past 15 games, on the inactive list.
Pierre-Paul wants the real fans to show up Sunday. But the Giants have done nothing to warrant leaving a nice, warm home to sit in the elements.
This isn’t Green Bay.
He needs to remain silent the next few days, get this season over with, and retreat into hibernation until training camp.
Any other choice in a season like this would seem insane.
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