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Have the Football Giants Overtaken the Yankees?



By Mike Silva ~ January 25th, 2012. Filed under: New York Yankees, Sports Media Commentary.

Our good friend on Twitter @ElieIsElite relayed a comment made my Mike Lupica today on ESPN 1050:

“There’s nothing bigger in this area than Giants football; not the Yankees, not the Mets, not the Jets, nothing! nothing! nothing!”

I am not sure I agree with this statement. Right now, the Giants clearly have overtaken the Yankees for the talk of the town. Check in with me in about four weeks when, win or lose, the buzz from the Super Bowl will have worn off.

For as big as football is in the country, I never have seen it discussed 24/7/365 in New York like baseball. Nothing gets more intense than when both the Mets and Yankees are in contention. Look at the buzz in the city in 1999 and 2000, and from 2006-2008 when both teams were considered “contenders” at the same time. There was a tremendous amount of buzz here for the 2000 World Series. I don’t remember anyone not being excited about it.

The only teams that have “overtaken” the Yankees the last 30 years is the Knicks and the Mets. There was nothing bigger than the Pat Riley Knicks in the early 90s; right before the Yankees first World Series in 1996. The Mets in the 80s were also a bigger story than the Yanks. It bothered George Steinbrenner so much he obnoxiously penned a column for the NY Post during the ’86 World Series. You could put the Rangers in that category for a brief moment during their championship run in the spring of 1994. Of course, my perspective starts in the mid-80s, so perhaps some of you more tenured New York sports fans can add to the conversation. How does the Islanders dynasty in the early 80s stack up?

Baseball in this town always seems to take on a life of its own. Remember, as many as 8 million people have paid to watch a baseball game in this city. That’s a lot of fans, and I am not sure either football team can expand to that reach. Perhaps it has nothing more to do with the fact that football is once a week and only 16 games. The baseball daily grind might give it an unfair advantage in this conversation.

Lupica is saying this because December and January are football months so whatever local team – Jets or Giants – is in the hunt, they will be the story.

I will say that both the Giants and Rangers seem to have the most loyal fans of all the pro teams in this city. If one team could overtake baseball I think it would be the Knicks, for the simple reason they are the only game in town when it comes to the NBA (sorry Nets fans you don’t count), and they unite the city in a way that not even the Mets and Yankees can. Let’s face it; most fans don’t root for the opposing New York team.

Let’s see what you think. Do you agree with Lupica? Are the Giants bigger than the Yankees? What if they win the Super Bowl? Have they become the darlings of the city?

I will say this has been a special run for the Giants, and it’s been a ton of fun to watch.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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3 Responses to Have the Football Giants Overtaken the Yankees?

  1. Mike I

    The answer in a word is no. Here is one reason why, the last few days before the Giants-Falcons playoff game, the first home playoff game in the new stadium, tickets were on sale at StubHub for under 100, that was about 20-30% less than face value. You would not see that normally for Yankee tickets, especially for the non-club seats and they have had a ton more playoff games at home.

    It is just like up in Boston, the Patriots have been a phenomenal story and have moved up from No. 4 in Boston to a secure No. 2 position after almost being shipped away to St. Louis in 1993. You cannot go to a game at Gillette Stadium without hearing at least one Yankees Suck chant.

    New York and Boston will always be baseball towns first. Yankees-Red Sox is one of the original professional sports rivalries. As good as the Giants and Patriots are, they would have to play in a few more Super Bowls to even come close. Another factor is that neither team actually plays in the city.

    The Yankees are the global iconic brand that owns New York, especially when you play in a league where no star player can be off limits. I too remember the 80s with the Mets being the team of the city, but who knows if they will ever be what they were in terms of popularity in New York ever again.

  2. Chuck Johnson

    It’s the middle of January and we’re talking more about the Yankees than the Giants.

    Come June, no one will remember the Giants were in the Super Bowl, much less be on blogs talking about them.

  3. Piazza

    I don’t know who’s bigger- the Yankees or the Giants, but I wish nothing but bad things on either one.

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