Mandel’s Musings: The Sun is Setting on the Yankees and the Giants

Published on: 23rd September, 2013

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Rivera era is ending this week

during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  | read this item

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New York — Yesterday’s events in New York and in North Carolina magnified the reality of what appears to be taking place for two of New York’s biggest sports institutions. The Yankees and the Giants, among the most famous sports teams in the world, are officially in crumbling mode. And both teams appear to be victims of aging rosters, poor management decisions, and terrible home stadiums.

Watching the Mariano Rivera ceremony at the new Yankee Stadium yesterday crystallized just how much things have changed for the Yankees. The stadium, which opened in 2009, isn’t anything like the old place, the real Yankee Stadium that opened in 1923. The acoustics of the new building muffles crowd noise, rendering the place with the feel of a gigantic mausoleum. But more important than the sounds is the quality of the decision-making in the front office, the passion of the people who run this team, and the quality of the players, themselves. All of it has changed, and not in a good way.

Across the Hudson River, the Met-Life Stadium houses the New York Giants, who used to play in the old Yankee Stadium. Like the new Yankee Stadium, the sounds of MetLife get swallowed up by the poor acoustics of the building. When the state of New Jersey offered the Giants their own stadium in the Meadowlands, and called it Giants Stadium, the Mara family grabbed the offer. It turned out to be a good investment for the team, as 76,000 fanatics showed up at every game for 35 years.

Through good years, including three Super Bowl championships, and bad ones, the Giants have maintained their dignity and their loyal fan base because of the consistency of the ownership, from Wellington Mara to his son, John Mara. The passion for winning and the love of the franchise hasn’t dissipated since the son took over the team. But, something feels different, now. It feels like an era is ending on the field, and the aging team is now 0-3 with a chance to be 0-6, very easily.

Rivera era is ending this week

Rivera era is ending this week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With yesterday’s obliteration at the hands of the Carolina Panthers, Tom Coughlin is once again under the gun. His job status hasn’t changed, he’s still the head coach of the Giants but, there is a real and fair question being asked today. Are the young players, most of whom are 40 years younger than their coach, tuning out Coughlin’s message? And, are the old players, guys like Justin Tuck and Eli Manning, getting too old to perform at championship levels in the NFL?

 

Wellington Mara's passion has been passed to his son, but the GM is another story.

Wellington Mara’s passion has been passed to his son, but the GM is another story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday, after the debacle in Carolina, former Giants linebacker, Carl Banks, who does the color commentating for all Giants games on radio, said the most damning of observations.

Banks was speaking on WFAN to Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts when he went on his rant:

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team just not show emotion as they were just getting pummeled … I don’t advocate fighting, but show some emotion. Show that you care that your quarterback was sacked six times in the first quarter.”

Banks wasn’t done:

“They don’t like themselves. That’s what it really comes down to. They don’t like each other. They’re not willing to fight for each other. When you have a premier quarterback in this league, and you don’t have enough self-respect — not for him, but for yourself — to protect him, to do your job.  I think it speaks volumes. I think these guys really do need to all stand in (front of) the mirror, and it’s gut-check time.”

This is not a franchise that produces loose cannons, either verbally or on the field. Banks, a Pro Bowl linebacker, has always been one of the more dignified players. His comments, however true they may be, shocked Coughlin

“I don’t like that,” said Coughlin. “That is a very strong thing for someone to say.  It wasn’t pretty, I will say that, but I don’t believe they quit.”

 

 

 

Here’s Jeter and Pettitte going out to Yankee Stadium mound to take Rivera out for final time of his career:

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