Have the New York Jets eclipsed the New York Giants as New York's favorite football team? I don't know about that, but I do know that the city spotlight is on the Jets these days -- and justifiably so -- as they prepare to face the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday for the right to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
- Jets fans poured into Times Square Thursday night for a pep rally during which the famous Times Square Ball was illuminated green and white in honor the Jets.
- In New Jersey, a send-off rally was held Saturday. In addition, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pledged allegiance to Gang Green.
- Former Jets star running back Curtis Martin got to light the Empire State Building in Jets green on Friday.
- The Jets are proudly proclaiming their popularity by pointing out they have more Twitter followers than any NFL team.
The Jets have long played second fiddle to the New York Giants when it came to comparing New York's two NFL franchises. The Giants have history on their side. They are an original NFL franchise. They have three Super Bowl titles and four appearances in the past 25 years. The Jets have been the ignored step-child, mostly irrelevant to the football universe -- and anyone in New York who wasn't a diehard Jets fan -- since Joe Namath delivered on his famous guarantee in 1968. The Jets didn't even have a real home until New Meadowlands Stadium, which they share with the Giants, opened this season.
Times have changed, however. The Jets have an owner who wants to win and isn't afraid to make a few waves to get that done. He is more than willing to step on Superman's cape, or the Giants as the case may be. Witness the hiring of Rex Ryan, which has been the biggest key to the Jets' accomplishments the past couple of seasons.
While the Giants have mostly stumbled since winning the Super Bowl in 2007, missing the playoffs two straight seasons, the Jets are today appearing in their second straight AFC Championship Game. There are still Giants players and fans, who will -- correctly -- point out that they have rings and the Jets don't. The Jets cannot change the past.
It is a 'what have you done for me lately?' world, though, and recently it has been the Jets who have been getting it done.
Jets fans will always be Jets fans. Giants fans will always be Giants fans, and scattered around the country there are probably more of them than there are Giants fans. Right now, though, it is hard for anyone to argue that the Giants aren't looking up at the men in green.