Monday, December 14, 2020

In this holiday season, can the Football Giants restore the joy of tanking?

Some pundits say our post-pandemic world will never be the same - that from now on, we will scorn handshakes, crowded elevators and wild Hollywood orgies... that a fundamental glitch in The Matrix has happened, and America shall never be as it was.

To that, the NY Football Giants yesterday said, "Bah!" In four dreadful hours, they managed to restore their trademark mediocrity, providing Giants fans a rock of stability on which to comfortably urinate. 

Throughout the game, Alphonso - from far, far away - maintained a steady train of increasingly angry phone texts. Had he been Tweeting publicly, his posts would have inspired a visit from authorities. But whaddaya gonna do? Fish gonna swim, bird gonna fly, Giant fans gonna scream, "Why, why, why?"

Today, I recall a game last December when the Giants beat the then-Washington Redskins, an authentically terrible team. The victory did nothing for the Giants, but secured for Washington a higher draft pick. They picked Chase Young, the likely NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. The Giants, drafting fourth, chose an offensive tackle who yesterday gave up five sacks in a loss to the also-mediocre Arizona Cardinals. 

Which brings me to the existential question that any thinking fan today must ponder:

At what point to you root for your team to tank? 

When do you scrap all hope and start wishing for the meteor? Because the only way out is a solid draft and change of management? 

Before you accuse me of being a poor sport - which I am - keep in mind that tanking is the most successful winning formula in American pro sports. Look at the Astros, the 49ers, the Redsocks, practically every winning team in the NBA. Very few franchises - the Patriots under Bill Belichick and the Chicago Bulls behind Michael Jordan -challenge every year. 

Which brings me to the Yankees, who supposedly try. 

The strategy has led to the worst decade in franchise history. 

Four years ago, the Yankees briefly tanked. It brought Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and a mini resurgence. No World Series, though. Last winter, the Yankees looked poised to win. The pandemic didn't help. We'll never know.

But this winter - as the Yankees are battling to re-sign their best player, while the owner imposes austerity measures and their pitching looks ragged -  I'm starting to wonder if the Giants' message shouldn't be noticed. The Yankees look like a team that perpetually finishes second. I'm rethinking an old song by Bette Midler: "Don't go chasing wild cards." 

Okay... it's waaaaaaay too early to think about tanking in 2021. But every move the Yankees make should be predicated on the possibility that, come July 31, we're holding a garage sale. We need a world series and an owner who wants nothing less. No more wild card flags.


ranger_lp said...

@el duque said "At what point to you root for your team to tank? "

As a Knick fan also, 4 years ago and counting...

DickAllen said...

You guys are twisting yourself into a tortured knot.

I have it easy - I’m a Jets fan. We make tanking look legitimate.

Anonymous said...

A single thought NY Giants Fan edition...

1) "At what point to you root for your team to tank?"

So, after watching the Giants yesterday, I was keeping a half an eye on the Redskins game in the first half I realized that while I was OK with whatever result took place.

They win we draft around 8th or 10th. They lose, next week's game vs. Cleveland becomes more interesting. But, as the game went on I realized I wanted Washington to win.

Here's why...

At least once a day, for no good reason, I go over to the mock draft simulator at PFN. I think it's because I like hitting buttons. Also, it means one less hand of solitaire while I'm watching whatever game I'm watching.

When the Giant's record was atrocious earlier in the year it was a lot of fun. Lots of trade offers and I always traded down. I was pretty much able to fill most of our holes and still get a good first rounder.

My record was 7 players plus three 2022 2nd and 3rd rounders from four initial picks.

When the Giants took the division lead suddenly I was picking 19th.

I still got a good 1st rounder but the rest of the draft was pretty poor and I got no extra picks.

My point is...

TANK! TANK like Tank McNamara.

The Giants are still not a good football team. It's not that the last few weeks were an illusion it's just that they are, at a minimum 1/2 dozen really good players away from, let's be kind and call it contention.

TANK. TANK so hard that Rommel will come back from the dead just to take a ride.

Duque mentioned Chase Young. I would like to add Montez Sweat, a guy I drafted pretty much every time while playing around on that site last year. He's killing it for them.

As Bob Hope would absolutely say, were he, like Rommel, suddenly returned to the Earth for one last moment, "You brought me back to ask me this? Fine. TANK... for the memories."

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I sympathize, Richie.

It amazed me, watching some of the Jets game, to hear all the speculation over whether they'd get that QB from Clemson.

So...once again, the supposed phenom they lured too early out of USC has flopped? This really is like Groundhog Day.

HoraceClarke66 said...

But local football aside—did NOBODY else watch the YES live broadcast of Cashman rappelling down a building in Stamford, CT?

It is, I swear, the worst thing that has ever appeared on a broadcast, anywhere, ever.

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