Column: In defense of New Jersey
Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Updated: Thursday, August 29, 2013 00:08
With the 2016 presidential election now a mere three years away, we should expect to see New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in the news a lot more often.
Whether in reference to his opinions on the economy or his ever-important weight, Christie is going to have a lot to say.
But the New Jersey Governor was in the news for something other than politics this week after he made an appearance on the Boomer and Carton Show on the WFAN radio station. When asked about the New York Giants and Jets football teams, he made it very clear about how he felt towards where each team truly belongs.
“It bothers me that these teams are still called New York teams,” Christie said. “There’s nothing about New York with either one of these football teams.”
Christie went on to recite the truths that New Jersey fans know all too well: both the Giants and Jets train in New Jersey, have their practice facilities in New Jersey, and suit up Sundays for home games in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Despite the proximity of MetLife Stadium, which the Giants and Jets both call home, to Manhattan, both teams have played their home games in New Jersey for decades with no sign of moving to the other side of the border anytime soon (MetLife just opened its doors in 2010).
But why do both teams still go by the New York moniker?
Is it the fact that New Jersey teams just aren’t popular enough with their market? The Nets seemed to think so after booking it to Brooklyn as fast as they could, but the Devils have been a consistent NHL powerhouse for the last two decades with their New Jersey home.
Is it the fact that New Jersey just doesn’t work well with the sport of football specifically? One of the last football teams to put New Jersey in its name was the New Jersey Generals of the short-lived USFL in the 1980’s. Even though it was a team for only three years, the team with a New Jersey name was big enough to sign Heisman winner Herschel Walker and consistently battle for dominance in the league.
To many, New York City is the center of the universe. Naming a team after such a significant area often seems like a better idea than naming it after a state that is so often considered an afterthought of the Big Apple.
What is ridiculous is to think that an area like northern New Jersey is a good spot for a Super Bowl in the middle of the winter (MetLife Stadium is scheduled to hold the upcoming championship game). But that’s an argument for another time.
As far as the name goes though, it seems a little ridiculous. Were those in power too lazy when Giants Stadium was being built to change the team’s names to hold “New Jersey” and deal with the potential downside of the rebranding?
But when all is considered, maybe it’s not so ridiculous for a team to name itself after somewhere other than where it plays its home games. After all, it’s not even as crazy as a college football team calling a stadium 25 miles away from campus its home stadium.
Follow Mike Corasaniti on Twitter @mikecorasaniti.