Some people are fans of the New York Giants. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the New York Giants. This 2020 Defector NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: New York Giants.
Awwwww… CONGRATULATIONS, PRAIRIE BOY!
Your 2019 record: 4-12. 2019 will be remembered, barely, for being Eli Manning’s final season, both with the Giants and as a professional quarterback altogether. No more, “Hey maybe they’ll trade him to the Jaguars!” speculation, which was always my favorite strain of speculation. No, Eli never got traded to the Jaguars. So many laughs left on the cutting room floor. By the way, Eli retired with FEWER total career interceptions than his big brother. Even in failing, Junior Rebel Flag couldn’t stack up.
Elsewhere, the Giants spent last year tackling themselves, running away from Mike Francesa, and having their smallest fans get absolutely spit-roasted by DeMarcus Lawrence. This was a transition (read: wasted) year under GM Dave Gettleman. You can tell because we are now halfway through Gettleman’s Binder Of Fate.
As such, the Giants jettisoned head coach and destined failure Pat Shurmur, replacing him with… Matt Rhule? Josh McDaniels? Eric Bieniemy? Kris Richard? LOL NOPE.
Your coach: OH GOD.
That’s former Pats special teams coach Joe Judge. As you can see, Judge rocks a pen in his ear rather than Matt Patricia’s trademark pencil, because he would prefer all his fuckups be in permanent ink. And buddy, WILL THEY EVER BE. Judge has never been a coordinator at ANY level of coaching. But what he lacks in experience or accomplishments or even basic intellect, he more than makes up for in conspicuous hackery:
“What I’m about is an old school physical mentality… We will punch you in the nose for 60 minutes. I want this team to reflect this area. I want the people that pay their hard-earned money and the neighborhoods of New York, North Jersey, South Jersey, to come to our games and know that the players on the field play with the same attitude they wake up with every morning. That is blue collar, it’s hard work, it’s in your face.”
You’re fucked. You’re so fucked I can’t even laugh about it. You know your team is in deep shit when your new head coach already sounds like he’s calling into sports talk radio to moan about Iowa State football. Judge fits right in with Gettleman’s no-frills approach to running a football team. And by “frills,” I mean plans. They’re just gonna pretend it’s 1990 until the Mara family replaces them all with even BIGGER dinosaurs. To that end, the entire coaching staff is resplendent with failures, including Jason Garrett, Derek Dooley, Bret (Bert) Bielema, and the wondrous Freddie Kitchens. All led by a fucking high school coach.
If you’re lucky, you could beat Massillon this year!
Your quarterback: THE LEGEND BEGINS.
True story: Right as I started writing this preview, I misremembered Daniel Jones’s name as Daniel Brown. “Daniel Brown” was the name I googled first off the bat. Can you blame me when you watch him throw that pass? I know Dave Brown’s spiritual bloodline when I see it. Anyway, it’s gonna be a big change for Giants receivers from Eli wildly overthrowing them to Daniel Jones underthrowing them so badly that they FALL THE FUCK DOWN trying to adjust.
Jones acquitted himself nicely in his first season behind center, throwing twice as many TDs as picks. I think I speak for all Americans when I say that I am CRUSHED Jones didn’t prove to be a hilarious reach on every single snap. Instead, I’ll have to be content to watch him slowly deteriorate over a period of many, many years. Imagine Eli’s endless backslide, only without the two rings up front. That’s what I’m seeing in Daniel Jones. So much promise.
Your backup is Colt McCoy, who always sounds more capable than he actually turns out to be. The last time McCoy saw the field, it was after Alex Smith’s leg died of COVID. McCoy subsequently broke his own leg, because Washington’s training methods pre-date the fucking Garfield administration. Anyway, Colt will punch you in the nose and make all of Perth Amboy proud in doing so.
What’s new that sucks: To keep Jones clean, the Giants drafted Andrew Thomas at No. 4 overall, retreating to their time-honored tradition of reaching too high for O-linemen. They also signed Dion Lewis to spell Saquon Barkley once Barkley is inevitably tear-gassed by the Totowa Police Department while getting takeout at a Wendy’s drive-through. Oh, and corner Deandre Baker—who Gettleman traded up into the first round to draft in 2019—was charged with four counts of armed robbery during the offseason. He too will punch you in the nose. He doesn’t even have to be playing football to do it. Curious that Gettleman would subsequently release him knowing all this.
Otherwise, this team will remain as hilariously inconsistent as it has been for roughly a decade now. Left tackle Nate Solder’s contract became an albatross the second he signed it, so unless Thomas proves to be a stud, this line will prove distressingly similar to the one that allowed 43 sacks last year. I’m also looking forward to whatever NEW injuries Sterling Shepard plans on being sidelined with for large chunks of the schedule this time around. Maybe this time he’ll get rabies!
Aldrick Rosas got tanked and did a hit-and-run. SO PHYSICAL.
What has always sucked: I suppose hiring the guy who feeds Bill Belichick’s cats when Belichick is summering on Nantucket is new. It doesn’t FEEL that new. Nothing about the Giants feels new and never can. They’re a franchise designed for eternal mustiness. Its fanbase has the NFL’s highest cop ratio, both literally and figuratively. If anything, hiring a Belichick lackey only adds to that non-mystique. It’s a shitty, judgmental organization that caters to shitty, judgmental people. So of course they drafted a Dookie. Of course their GM is a proud cap reaper. Of course they’re still angrily searching for the next Mark Bavaro. Of course they think the running game is important. Of course they have the dullest uniforms in the league. Of course their games are where people go to tell their friends they’re getting divorced.
And of course they’re Roger Goodell’s preferred team. The Giants are bumbling assholes masquerading as unquestioned authority, and they’re the only ones who don’t know that the world is laughing at them on a daily basis. When Mike Francesa can drop you with his own punch to the nose, you’re anything but blue collar. You’re just a sack of used grape jelly. Giants fans care more about whining to their co-op boards about the noise outside than they do about this team.
What might not suck: Listen, when Jason Garrett takes over as interim coach 20 months from now, it’s gonna FEEL stabilized to you.
Ratto says: “Joe Judge is Bill Belichick only with a fetish for making other people run laps. David Gettleman is trying to decide whether he wants to be Fred Flintstone or Barney Rubble. The team has won 12 games in three years, and their ability to excite is in direct proportion to the date they start fighting with Saquon Barkley over his second contract. Their biggest roster developments have been at kicker, where Aldrick Rosas was cut after a 100-mph hit-and-run incident, replaced by Chandler Catanzaro who came out of retirement. And then he was cut (here’s a Gettleman bobblehead for you, kid) for Graham Gano, who missed 2019 with a fractured femur. Then again, the Giants only got close enough to try 17 field goals a year ago, which is part of the reason why Joe Judge gets to make everyone run laps. Eli is infinitely better off.”
HEAR IT FROM GIANTS FANS!
Wellington and Ann Mara were arrogant enough to believe they could sire 11 children and not produce any negative consequences to society.
Dave motherfucking Gettleman. A sentient pile of American cheese. I’m British your cheese sucks.
We have had more losses in the last four years than the Browns. And they fucking went 0-16 in one of those years.
The best nickname we could come up with for Daniel Jones was Danny Dimes.
I’ve reckoned with my mortality through the lens of their suckiness, and surely there are healthier ways to grapple with these types of things.
Daniel Jones is too smart to have Eli’s colossally dumb luck.
I’m already pissed off thinking about Giants fans defending the inevitable Saquon Barkley trade next offseason.
Not long ago I was walking down the street when I saw a Giants hat. I instinctively yelled “Go Giants” to my fellow sufferer, hoping for that small moment of sports fan camaraderie you find when you meet another supporter in the wild. When he looked back at me, I realized I was talking to a homeless man who had probably found the hat in a dumpster. He glared at me, asked me for change, and then started spouting anti-Semitic remarks when I passed him by. I don’t think he knew who the Giants were. He’s better off for it.
We’ve proven that we can reach the playoffs with just a semi-competent pass rush and for some reason we have chosen to make edge rusher our worst position.
Joe Judge is the high school gym teacher who made people run laps for not trying in dodgeball. I’m sure he would have been a great coach in 1961.
The team sure is concerned about the “character” of their [black] players and the “culture” of the locker room and not the obviously overwhelmed and clearly brick-skulled GM, who has much more to do with the team’s failures than OBJ’s Snapchat ever did.
Mara was against legalizing sports betting in New Jersey, even though his grandfather was a bookie who bought the team for $500 in illegal profits (less than $10K today), and the team he inherited is worth over $3 billion today, largely because of the money spent gambling on NFL games.
In a fraternity that includes the likes of the late Paul Allen, Arthur Blank, David Tepper, Robert Kraft and even Jerruh Jones, Giants’ owner John Mara lists his name as “John K. Mara. Esq.” because he graduated with a law degree from Boston College before immediately sucking on The Duke’s patronage teet upon graduation. In a genuine meritocracy he’d be a middling HR manager at the NJ-based pharma outfit.
Deep down we all know that the last three Super Bowl victories were flukes. As much as Giants fans like to pretend we’re not like our mouth-breathing Jets fan cousins, a significant portion of this fan base celebrated when the most exciting offensive player in the history of this team was traded to Cleveland. My 12-year old son adores OBJ and is now a Browns fan because of Dave Gettleman (fuck Dave Gettleman).
Last year (in The Before Time) I had the misfortune of being in Myrtle Beach, the answer to “What if the whole town was a boardwalk?” While waiting in the desolate yet pristine airport for my flight home, an old man attending one of the souvenir kiosks stepped into my path and said, “I guess I should thank you.” I assumed this to be some sort of sales pitch, and despite my better instincts I stopped to engage. He pointed at the Giants cap on my head and said “Well, I’m a Browns fan, so for Odell of course!”
And oh how he laughed. His laughter echoed down the concourse, past the Chick-Fil-A and back, right into the very core of my brain. A madman if there ever was one. I bought a fridge magnet from him that had a painted depiction of dolphins breaching the ocean waves, the words “Myrtle Beach, SC” emblazoned on it. This magnet was relegated to the side of my fridge where parking tickets, takeout menus and other ugly magnets from other awful places live in shameful purgatory.
Gettleman traded a third round pick and a fifth round pick for Leonard Williams, who sucks, and then doubled down and slapped a franchise tag on him so we’re paying him $16M this year to get like half a sack. Now a trade for someone like that would make sense if we were in contention, but no. He decided he needed to add talent while we were 2-6 and clearly out of the hunt. Fuck him and his goatee.
My coach is only experienced in Special Teams, which is basically teaching guys how to run into a pile headfirst. They are going to have to give our talented running back 100 carries a game for a chance to not lose by 40 points.
Across the league, scouting and management are informed by barely masked white supremacy, but no team so blatantly throws away money and actively avoids talent as the Giants. The Giants are “say what you will about Nathan Peterman but he has the look of a quarterback” as a whole organization.
This team has picked in the top 12 six times in the last seven years. This team has zero players whose jersey I would consider purchasing for my son. I don’t think that Gettleman understands he’s allowed to trade draft picks, instead of just taking someone at terrible value where you are. I don’t understand how someone can be so smug despite being demonstrably incorrect about every decision he’s made since being in charge. At least we picked up the 1000th Patriots coordinator to be a horrible disappointment elsewhere!
My name is Kevin, I am a 37 year old white man, and my favorite NFL team is the New York Football Giants. I would guarantee you there are no less than 2,000 other people who match this EXACT description. I have met at least 500 of them at MetLife Stadium the 4-5 times I have been.
Speaking of, what a piece of shit. I have been to the following NFL stadiums:
•Cowboys (new and old Jerry Worlds
•Rams (St. Louis
•Oilers (Memphis Liberty Bowl)
Getting to and from, and the actual in-game experience is BY FAR the worst at MetLife.
We traded 2 draft picks for Leonard Williams in the middle of a losing season and then franchise tagged him. We made no big free agent signings despite having plenty of cap space and holes all over the depth chart. We hired a Belichick assistant as our head coach in the hopes that that Belichick magic rubs off on us despite that literally never working for any of the legion of NFL teams that have tried it. We’re probably the only team in the league that would still refuse to give Kaep a tryout. Fuck Dave Gettleman, fuck John Mara, and fuck our fans, most of whom are cops in spirit if not in profession.
If the Giants were the normal kind of bad, I wouldn’t be writing this. If the Giants were simply THERE and offered nothing to the world, positive or negative, I wouldn’t be writing this. But that is no longer the case because this fucking caricature of a high school gym teacher is turning this fucking team into the organizational embodiment of the “I’m sorry if you’re offended” mindset.
Building from the line out is not a bad idea. Having all those “hog mollies” that Dave Gettleman loves to buy/draft/jerk off to makes for a solid spine. The problem is that Gettleman is obsessed with a bunch of dog whistles that boil down to “I want all of these talented players to shut the fuck up and acknowledge that I am the important part of this team.” It’s this fucking patronizing egotism that everyone vilified Jerry Krause, for in The Last Dance except Gettlemen does it in a style that is so much more abrasive and confrontational and selfish. Krause was overzealous in wanting credit for the work it takes to build a team according to the rules of the game. Gettleman is trying to create the narrative that his approach to the culture of football is the ONLY way that you can be successful, and that is just so much fucking worse to me.
He traded away the most talented player this team has ever had because he was a “distraction” and he didn’t “want to be here,” when the reality was that ODB is a hyper-competitive person that wants to win and is willing to express his displeasure if winning isn’t happening. But because he was vocal and because he was another candidate for Face of the Team, he was gone.
I was at a PUP concert the night of the draft and was sitting around between sets waiting for things to start up again. My friend, a Patriots fan, checked his phone to see what was happening in the draft and began cackle laughing in his seat. I knew exactly what had happened without him telling me because it was the most obvious thing in the world.
The Giants are no longer bad. Now they are aspirationally bad. They are striving to be the most nose to the grindstone, blue collar, do your job ass franchise in the history of the NFL and that has already resulted in terrible football, an archaic offensive gameplan, a sentient letterman’s jacket at quarterback, and an ongoing pressure to make the whole team into one bland amalgamation of names all to feed the ego of a general manager. He is Clay Travis’ gushing replies in human form and he will be aggressively average-to-bad at his job until he is replaced with another tepid attempt at Serious Figure in Charge. Fuck, the Giants might as well bring Coughlin back in to cosplay as a senile drill sergeant yet again because then at least we might get a couple of accidental Super Bowls out of it.
tl;dr I really fucking hate Dave Gettleman.
Our kicker, who replaced the wife abuser, was drunk enough at 8 in the morning on a Tuesday to drive 100 mph through a red light, T-bone some innocent human, and then attempt to flee barefoot. Barefoot! He’s a kicker! He should be storing his feet in protective jars, like David Duchovny’s hand in Zoolander, during the offseason. Instead he literally ran home over boiling asphalt and broken glass, to what end exactly? Did he forget he left the car registered in his name at the scene of the crime? It’s more than a little concerning that every offseason a handful of our players seem to try earnestly to kill themselves.
I can’t even watch this team anymore. I fully hate every decision maker at this organization with every fiber of my being, I am not close to being over the Odell trade. I will not be satisfied until Dave Gettleman is shot into the sun and John Mara is forced to either sell the team or utter the words “I was wrong, I am deeply out of touch with reality and I am very sorry” on national television. Please, Mr. Dimes, please keep fumbling and prove you are the unforgivable draft mistake that I need you to be.
If you wanted an encapsulation of all the greasy, reprehensible shit that’s packed into the unmarked category of whiteness in America, you could do worse than the New York (Football) Giants. Conflating the fact that the franchise has been controlled by an unbroken line of bloodsucking plutocrats with hazy virtues like “class?” Check. Proceeding ass first into the future so that you never have to break nostalgic eye contact with a past whose true allure is its lack of melanin? Uh-huh. Staking the future of a multi-billion dollar business empire on a square-jawed, clean-shaven idiot because you saw him do something impressive in a motherfucking exhibition game? Yup. Chasing a talented WR off the team for the twin crimes of being brown and having a personality? You know it! Demanding to be taken seriously despite a recent record of terrible front office decisions, brain-dead coaching, and a record under .500 for the past three years? OH YEAH!
I know all that, and I still choose to watch football, because I’m a fan of the New York (Football) Giants, a team where the parenthetical word is the only accurate one.
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