Monday, March 15, 2010
Has NFL appeased Giants and Jets?
By Dan Graziano
After a day of confusion regarding the first regular-season game in the new Meadowlands stadium, the league has announced a solution. Both the New York Giants and New York Jets will host a game in the new stadium on opening weekend. The Giants will play Sunday, Sept. 12, and the Jets will host a game on Monday, Sept. 13.
"After extensive discussions with both teams, we have come up with what we believe is a unique approach for celebrating the opening of the new Meadowlands Stadium," said commissioner Roger Goodell.
It brought a quick end to what was becoming an embarrassing story for the league. The New York Daily News reported Monday that the league conducted a secret coin flip to decide which team got first dibs to the stadium -- and the Giants won. Jets owner Woody Johnson was reportedly (and understandably) upset about the league's approach.
It looks like Goodell scrambled to find a more equitable -- or "unique" -- solution. The Giants will still get the first crack at the new stadium, but the Jets will make their regular-season debut in prime time. I don't think the Jets will be completely satisfied with going second, but this is a logical solution to a messy situation. You have to love that the most outspoken P.R. man in the league, the Giants' Pat Hanlon, made the following statement:
"We look forward to playing the first regular-season game ever in the new stadium," said Hanlon. "We have a great new home, and it's right next door to Giants Stadium, a building that housed our three Super Bowl championship teams. We look forward to building the same legacy for our new stadium, and it starts on Sept. 12."
Hanlon's obviously pulling out the ol' sharp stick. The only time the Jets and Giants both opened the season in Giants Stadium was in 1991.
In the whole scheme of things, this is not that big of a story. But the league certainly has egg on its face for conducting a coin flip that apparently neither team was invited to observe. Does that make any sense to you guys? The Jets' official Web site had reported that the league might hold the coin flip at the stadium to create even more interest. But apparently that idea was trumped in favor of a more intimate gathering.
Now I'm just waiting to see if the Jets' P.R. staff responds to Hanlon's jab.