Your team: New York Giants
Your 2012 record: 9-7. Missed the playoffs after appearing in a Super Bowl. Like clockwork.
Your coach: Ideal buddy cop movie police chief Tom Coughlin. He's got just 10 weeks 'til retirement, Rolle! HE'S TOO OLD TO LISTEN TO YOUR HORSESHIT EXCUSES. I bet Tom Coughlin goes to bed at night wearing chinos and white sneakers. You will read 700 puff pieces about Tom Coughlin every year that say, "Hey, he's not such a dick anymore!" But then his team will lose and he will immediately throw his players under the bus and back that bus up six times to make sure they've been thoroughly run over.
Your quarterback: Greatest average quarterback of all time Eli Manning.
Your fantasy player everyone will hate: Hakeem Nicks. You draft Hakeem Nicks and you convince yourself that you just got a steal if he manages to play a full season, and he will NEVER play a full season. Every third week, he'll bust out a nice game and you will find yourself with 33% of a fantasy stud on your roster. Hakeem Nicks could tweak a hamstring working the DVR remote. So annoying. Fantasy GMs are harder on injured players than Nick Saban. Oh, you're injured? FUCKING SIT IN THAT CORNER AND DON'T TALK.
Why your team sucks: Because we at Deadspin are NERDY BLOG NERDS who live in our mother's basements, these little preseason team roasts tend to come and go without much fuss, save for the occasional angry tweet or delightful piece of hate mail. But after we posted the Giants preview last season, I got an ominous email from a Giants team official with the subject line "you and I need to have a conversation". Here now is the email exchange I had with that official:
HIM: Next week after I through my opener. [sic]
ME: You're throwing the opener?!
HIM: Meant get through wise ass
ME: Well, you can contact me any time about anything. Always happy to respond.
HIM: Just to clear up some of the stuff in your column.
ME: Ah, I got it. By all means, send me any points you'd like to dispute and I can send them Craggs' way. I'm also happy to print any formal response if you feel compelled to give one.
The official never did follow up to correct whatever it was that I got wrong in that post. In all fairness to him, these previews offer ZERO substantive football insight. However, in a league that takes itself far too seriously, it's the New York FOOTBALL Giants (I swear to God, the word FOOTBALL is included in the team's official email signature) who take themselves the most seriously.
They are the model home in the NFL's planned McMansion cul-de-sac. Beautifully appointed! Check out the GORGEOUS new stadium with nickel-plated fixtures! There are even a handful of randomly won Lombardi trophies in the parlor! And a successful minority GM! And look at the beautiful child named Eli running around in the front yard with no pants on! THIS IS THE IDEAL PLACE TO RAISE YOUR NFL TEAM! When Roger Goodell goes to bed at night, he dreams of an NFL that consists of 32 antiseptic franchises just like the Giants: A "family-run" team with boring uniforms and a handful of photogenic fans bussed in from Manhattan to cover up for the 50,000 rockheads from Morris Township ogling tits in the parking lot. It's a franchise that gives off that distinct whiff of faux classiness—the kind Goodell needs to extort public stadium funding and obscure concussion concerns in a legal fart cloud.
Get past the direct mail catalog veneer and you see the obvious flaws. The Giants' new stadium is despised by virtually everyone. The fans are assholes. No, really. They are ASSHOLES. They are proof that no New York team should ever win anything. These people already believe, literally, that their city is better than every other city in the world. (I lived in New York for the majority of my 20s and even though I like New York, that is NOT TRUE.) Giving them a championship team on top of it only makes it all worse. New York deserves the Knicks and Mets and Jets jabbing needles into their eyes for decades. They don't need the Yankees and Giants to lord over everyone. They're unbearable.
And despite four (??!!!??!!) Super Bowl titles, the Giants have put some HORRENDOUS product out there on the field. You're looking at a team that, several times a year, will follow up an impressive road victory with a 20-point blowout loss to a 10-loss team at home. This defense was the second worst in football last season, and that's saying a lot because there are many, many bad defenses in the NFL. How do you fuck up that badly with Justin Tuck and JPP up front? Well, the Giants do. They are required by law to play down to their competition. In fact, they must play beneath their lowest competition, just so that you'll question them any time they win anything of substance.
Also, fuck Mike Francesa. Just fuck him right in the face.
Why your team doesn't suck: Every player in the NFL is currently injured, so I see no reason why the Giants can't piece together another "miracle" run in which Eli farts out a quick string of playoff victories after buttfucking his way through the regular season. Out of the four teams in this division, the Giants are least likely to do anything aggressively stupid, like shout out racial epithets at a country music concert, or send RGIII out onto the field to die, or employ Tony Romo.
The 12 worst Giants ever:
1) Ray Handley. Like Rich Kotite, he completely disappeared from football after getting fired by the New York NFL team employing him. When you get fired in New York, you STAY fired. You don't go getting some other job somewhere else. You move to Tahoe and curl into a ball and die.
2) Dave Brown. I think the supplemental draft exists specifically to draw out the NFL's dumbest teams.
3) William Joseph
4) Sinorice Moss. His first name makes me want a Twizzler.
5) Ike Hilliard
6) Cedric Jones
7) Thomas Lewis. This is not a hard and fast rule, but if you've ever drafted a skill position player from Indiana, you have probably made a terrible error in judgment.
8) Ron Dayne
9) Bill Arnsparger
10) Trey Junkin. "How do you fuck that up?" #williamhurt'd
11) Matt Dodge
12) Jarrod Bunch. Giants fans don't even like their GOOD running backs. So when you suck, you give them even more reasons to complain.
Emails from Giants fans:
Because they'll go 6-2 and then lose to the Jaguars three times in a row at home.
Let me tell you how the first drive of the season will go for this team. First and 10 - shotgun formation. Nicks runs a deep fly route up the left side, double covered the entire way. Eli underthrows him by the length of the Cowboys' abomination of a scoreboard. Second and 10 - I-formation. Handoff to David Wilson, a monster kick returner who should be running sweeps all day. Instead, Coughlin puts a target right on the center's ass, and Wilson hits it with spades.
Third and 12 - spread formation, empty backfield. Nicks and Cruz run deep. Eli locks onto whatever geriatric patient the Giants have trotted out at tight end this year, who is running a cross route five yards short of the first down. Eli hits him right in the numbers. Fourth and seven - fans breathe a sigh of relief when Steve Weatherford boots a stunning 40 yard line drive punt to the Cowboys' 35.
They will win or lose every game by single digits - nobody knows how to draw up a game plan to perfectly play up or down to the quality of your opponent than Grandpa Tom - except for the last two must-win weeks of the season, where they will lose by a combined score of 150-6. If RGIII hasn't emerged from his medically-induced coma, maybe they take the division and win the right to host the Seahawks in the Wild Card round.
Sometimes I feel like I work harder watching them than they work actually playing.
Our linebacking corps couldn’t run a relay 40-yard dash, our secondary is as stalwart as a fucking shower curtain, and our new stadium looks like a stack of CDs.
The fan base in and around NY and NJ will inevitably criticize Jerry Reese every single off season for every move he does or does not make. However, once whatever decision Reese decided to make actually, somehow, (almost suspiciously) pans out, every single blow hard will step back and go "OH I TOLD YOU SO. IN REESE WE TRUST". Miserable.
There are three guarantees in life...death, taxes and linebacker being one of the Giants biggest needs in Mel Kiper's pre draft analysis every year.
Fuck Derek Brown.
And definitely fuck Ron Dayne. All 853 pounds of him.
For all the praise that ownership, Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin get for running a tight ship, this team is always chock full of assholes.
There are two possible outcomes for every Giants season: Shit the bed but recover in time to win the Super Bowl, or just shit the bed.
In 2012, one of my cousins said that it sucked that the Giants made it into the playoffs because "now we'll never get rid of Coughlin." Bill Cowher could disembowel a puppy and drink its blood on live television and most Giants fans would still prefer him over the coach who helped us win two Super Bowls.
Kevin Gilbride has done his best to lose every damn game he has ever coached. I could watch Buddy Ryan punch him in his stupid mustachioed face every day.
Even after thousands of years of human evolution, our starting quarterback is still unaware that's is possible to supply your body with oxygen by breathing through your nose.
Without fail, Giants fans turn into Mel Kiper Jr. every single April and flood internet message boards and wake Mike Francesca up from his sleep to explain exactly why the Giants made the wrong picks. When the Giants selected Jason Pierre-Paul all hell broke loose. Drafting a punter would have generated a higher approval rating. Here's a line from a reaction post on a popular Giants Blog:
"I have to be honest with you, Giants fans: I hate this pick. I've been following the Giants since 1990, and I don't remember ever being this disappointed in a first round pick."
The player that Giants fans were PISSED that we missed out on? Rolando Fucking McClain.
Gameday inside MetLife stadium is quieter than James Gandolfini's funeral. The one time you want mouth breathing Italians to be loud and raucous they can't even do it for a fucking football game.
I don't think a single one of our linebackers would ever play a down at a school like Alabama.
We got so lucky. I swear to fucking god, Rooney & Kate Mara are the two most talented people with Super Bowl XLII & XLVI rings.
The standard outfit for Giants fans is a tucked-in button down shirt.
Every team has a shitty fanbase. It's the versatility of Giants fans that make us special. Think about Eagles fans, Steelers fans, Saints fans, Packers fans, Bears fans, Cowboys etc. You have a clear stereotype for each team. But what is an asshole Giants fan? Is it the Gordon Gekko smug asshole who knows nothing about the team but can get great seats? Is it the Jersey loser with is custom IROC Z with the George Thorogood t-shirt? Or maybe that guys kid in the tuner kit car who blasts dub step? What about the guy who talks about how "we" won 4 super bowls, as if being a fan has anything to do with that. I'm guessing he booed Eli to greatness. What about the old timer who is quick to remind you about their 8, not 4 sonny, 8 titles, forgetting that nobody cares about the farm hands who played the game for whisky before the Super Bowl era?
Our fan base is a toxic combination of Yankees fans and people from New Jersey.
The opposing team could be 3rd & 98 and the Giants would still let them convert.
Bobby Big Wheel:
Man, fuck the Giants. I'm annoying as hell when they're playing.
Kevin Gilbride could be the least competent offensive coordinator in football. He single-handedly holds back one of the most talented offenses in football year after year with his shotgun draws, wide receiver screens and shitty facial hair. It's no surprise that the Giants offense only reaches its potential in the last 2 minutes of each half when they are in a no-huddle with Eli calling the plays.
David Diehl, in addition to being a human turnstile who will surely get Eli killed before his already-dead career finally ends, also got a DUI last summer for smashing his Beemer into 2 parked cars. Yet, he's one of Tom's guys, so he stays no matter what.
Tom Coughlin will play a corpse over a talented rookie because a propped-up corpse has more veteran experience.
MetLife stadium exemplifies everything that is wrong with new stadium construction in the NFL. The team built a $1.6 billion monstrosity in the middle of a fucking swamp, which holds more fans than any stadium but is still as quiet as a funeral home.
Also, fuck Dave Brown.
We’ve got 6 starting-caliber defensive ends and that doesn’t matter because our secondary has the speed and maturity of my 12-year-old cousin in leg braces.
Eli Manning is an elite QB one out of every three weeks.
The two Super Bowl wins against the Pats are two of the five happiest days of my life and I would still GLADLY trade them and the entire team for the ability to never hear Chris Berman say THAAAAAAAAAAAAAA GGGGGGGGGG MENNNNNN ever again.
Only the Giants could score 52 points one week, then get shut out the next fucking week.
Our quarterback is such a joyless, coach-speak spewing goober that he's won two incredible Super Bowls and is more famous for taking a cell phone picture of a flooded apartment.
Fuck MetLife Stadium and the fact that it's located on Route 3, one of the most treacherous, absurdly threatening stretches of highway in this or any universe, the very definition of everything that's horribly, horribly wrong with driving in New Jersey. Fuck the perpetual construction on Route 3, and fuck the fact that there's no possible way it'll be done by the time the Super Bowl rolls around in February. Fuck all of North Jersey's roads, highways, side streets, avenues and boulevards, for that matter.
And double fuck Tiki Barber.
In December of 2007, I attended the last game that the eventual Super Bowl champs would lose. It was one of those frigidly cold days where the steps were iced over so that security ignored anything and everything that might involve climbing more than three steps. This allowed the season ticket holder behind us to blatantly smoke his cigarettes while telling us how bad the Giants suck and how they could never win anything with Eli Manning at quarterback. His sentiments seemed to be shared by everyone around us.
One fan who sat near the back of our section devoted nearly the entire game to yelling for the third string quarterback to come in: "Wright! We want right! Put in Wright!" The smoker behind us explained that the fan was yelling because Eli's backup, the 300 pound Jared Lorenzen, was nearly as bad as Eli and clearly the Giants should be playing Anthony Wright.
So all game we listened to the endless drone of "Wright! We want Wright! Put in Wright!" Our only reprieve from the Wright-loving fervor came for a few brief moments at the beginning of halftime when the loudspeaker came on and the announcer boomed something along the lines of "Your halftime entertainment tonight will be your local New Jersey Pee Wee football champions in an exhibition scrimmage!" About halfway through this announcement, the Wright advocate stopped yelling. When it remained quiet for a few seconds after the announcement was completed, I thought perhaps the fan would give his voice a rest during halftime and let the kids play in peace. A moment later, however, the fan's voice sounded again: "Frisbee dogs! We want frisbee dogs!"
Two superbowls in five years and still no one even wants to give that fucker Gilbride even an interview for a head coach position? Perry Fewell should punch him in his stupid fucking face.
Just take a Jets fan, and give him an even more dirty Italian accent, and make him live not on Long Island. Boom, Giants fan.
I went to the Giants-Seahawks game during the 2011 season. The Giants (the same team that would insanely go on to win the Super Bowl that year) managed to lose at home against the dynamic duo of Tavarius Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst. The game ended when Eli threw a pick six in the end zone to lose the game. The entire crowd shuffled out together, dead silent, like blue-clad zombies.
In the parking lot, there's a family packing up their tailgate. The oldest one, a white guy in what appears to be his late 60's wearing a Mark Bavarro jersey, says loudly to the two younger people (in their forties) packing up, “I know you're not gonna like me saying it and all, but I blame this loss completely on da' niggers." The younger people looked at him, smiled, and shook their head like he had farted in public. Nothing else was said.
Last season somebody tweeted "You have to have a pretty bad gambling addiction to bet on a Giants regular season game." That's about as true of a statement as I've ever heard about the Giants.
The Giants will field, arguably, three of the best offensive players in team history this season and yet every time I go to training camp there's two assholes in a Shockey and Sehorn jerseys complaining about how we need someone like Plaxico who "you can just throw the ball up to".
Our quarterback is the football equivalent of Jermaine Jackson.
The New York Giants fanbase is a living embodiment of Louis CK's "Everything is amazing and nobody is happy" routine.
Jerry Reese has been a pretty good GM, and I want to take a hammer to my lap top anytime I see “get rid of that affirmative action hire” on a message board.
I don't know whose fault this is so I'll blame it on Gilbride, but for 5+ years now the ball is never snapped until there is less than 3 seconds left on the fucking play clock.
Want to stop the Giants? Just let them into the Red Zone. The 20 yard line is like kryptonite to this team.
Saw a guy LAST YEAR wearing an Eli jersey with the words "sucks" written under the "Manning" on his jersey. I asked him why he wrote that. His response: "Because he does. He hasn't accomplished anything." Yup, this after a second Super Bowl title.
We lost twice to the Redskins in 2011 with Grossman as their QB.
I will never tire of seeing Tom Coughlin’s face on the sideline. The man looks like he’s trying a Sour Warhead for the first time.
I was leaving a Monday night game in '11 where they honored the ’86 team at half time. As I’m walking out with my friends, we see the great Lawrence Taylor hop off a security golf cart in front of a bunch of limos. As the cart sped away LT stops in his tracks and yells “Hey, none of these are my car, come back!” LT was immediately fucked. Imagine walking out of your local stadium and seeing your team’s greatest player ever wandering around looking completely lost. He was immediately mobbed by the hundreds of drunk fans. I seriously lost sight of him in the crowd and I don’t know what happened to him. Way to take care of the greatest linebacker ever, Giants.
Year First half Second half
2012 6-2 3-5
2011 6-2 3-5
2010 6-2 4-4
2009 5-3 3-5
2008 7-1 5-3
2007 6-2 4-4
2006 6-2 2-6
2005 6-2 5-3
2004 5-3 1-7
Fuck Tiki Barber with a rusty ax.
Because Giants fans are secretly just as stupid as Jet fans, we have this moron, License Plate Guy, serving as our Fireman Ed stand-in.
Wanna be part of the Deadspin NFL previews? It's simple. Just email me and give me ample evidence of why your team sucks: personal anecdotes, encounters with fans, etc. I'll throw any good material into the post and give you proper credit. Next team up: Philadelphia Eagles.