I feel sorry for NFL fans in New York. For decades, they’ve gotten two televised games every Sunday afternoon featuring the local teams, the Jets and Giants. Unfortunately, both teams are even more terrible this season than usual.
It’s sad to watch, since I was a fan of both teams when I was growing up on Long Island. My interest in the two franchises faded when I moved away from New York several decades ago, but I still have memories of my father taking me to see Jets scrimmages during training camp at Hofstra University, and then to the first actual NFL game I attended, with the Giants hosting the Cowboys at the old Yankee Stadium. We couldn’t afford good seats, so we ended up with an obstructed view behind a pole in the upper deck, but I had brought my binoculars and was just thrilled to be in the building.
Last night, I asked Siri for the score of the Jets game, and she responded (this is real!), “the Jets were subjugated by the Dolphins, 24 to nothing.” When an artificial intelligence device has to find new ways to report that you lost again, you’re in real trouble.
The other residents of the Meadowlands, the Giants, did manage to come out on top yesterday, giving the two teams a season win total of exactly one game. Nonetheless, the local channels have no choice but to show them. That means fans miss out on seeing good games between good teams, depressing viewership in the New York area, which may partly explain why the NFL’s national ratings are off a few percentage points this season.
On the other hand, since St. Louis no longer has an NFL franchise of its own, we get to watch Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs perform their gridiron magic every week as if they were our local team. I’m good with that.