There is absolutely no doubt that upon entering the 2012 NFL Season, New York Giants fans had set a high bar: Repeat. There is nothing wrong with that as Head Coach Tom Coughlin wanted to build on the strengths of how 2011 closed and the word continuity has been uttered more than fail has.
The concern at hand when setting sights so high is frustration can arrive faster than a waiver claim for a fantasy sleeper on a Sunday evening. Oh, that and some fans tend to seriously lose any ability to approach a situation with rational thought. Humor isn’t even close to being used and absurd and unfounded comments come through lips that usually part to scream pro-team clichés. Week 4’s painful loss to another division rival (the Philadelphia Eagles) created some ugly ogres – either that or Mr. Hyde came out early from many.
Dejection after a team defeat is expected when such piety and optimism is placed into a single game – especially against an opponent that elicits so much disdain and depraved recollections. Most die-hards understand that the emotional state that can be drawn out goes further that wanting to kick the family pooch. However, attacking fellow fans (to the points of threatening demise and detriment) and wishing ill towards the team that just hours prior had such professed, undying love? Little more than unreal, it’s disturbing behavior for Big Blue fans.
What provokes this hostility within and why so early on, make proclamations (in Week 4) that: “one more loss, then…”, “This team is done and so am I!” and “_____ sucks; here we go again…”? Why take it to the extremes?
One theory is the years following factor. A large portion of the fan base for the New York Football Giants have been there for their years of pre-glory and multiple Lombardi trophies. They remember the miserable years of having hope and having it crushed repeatedly (see: annually) while being stuck in a bit of a coaching rut. The Bill Parcells era ushered in a new gaggle of followers, but they also bought into the no-nonsense ways that the Tuna adhered to (and while continuing to be a cautiously optimistic mob. 1986 finally paid off for the true Big Blue Faithful that remained by their franchise’s side. Ensuing years were much of the same until 1990 when odds were beat to win another World Championship, but the years after that second Lombardi were all over the place. Recollections include: Parcells’ infamous “retirement,” Ray Handley/Dan Reeves, Dave Brown/Danny Kanell, Simms/Taylor retirements, a 2000 Super Bowl appearance that culminated in an infuriating loss and playoff appearances that seemed to always fall short.
Enter the “new” fans that cannot appreciate the misery that old school fans have stomached for decades. Their “time” came swiftly compared to their predecessors’. They are of a cloth that wants, umm, demands instant gratification and will accept nothing less than what, in their mind, is perfect. If it’s not, they threaten to walk away, which is typical behavior instead of “hanging tough” and following through with the team (definition of fan – look it up; we need different vernacular for these types). What many of the old-school-ers see is spoiled ignorance – ignorance that doesn’t know much of what transpired prior to their entry into blue fandom. Sure, names like Lawrence Taylor and Phil Simms roll off the tongue with ease, but anything more – like actual New York Giants history – is lacking horribly, along with how to act as a Giants fan.
Week 5 will soon be in the record books, but the outcome is still to be played out – on the field at MetLife Stadium at 1:00, EST. Win or lose, could the Big Blue brotherhood hold it down enough to not act like a Philadelphia Eagles fan?
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