I got a taste of both yesterday from my two teams.
The Jets ripped my guts out and stomped on them with an agonizing one-point loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the morning game, as the Jets have a habit of doing. But in the afternoon game, the Giants made me smile and whoop and cheer with a rousing one-point win over the Dallas Cowboys.
A single point was the difference in both games. The difference between joy and despair.
Ah, we sports fans are a strange and peverse bunch. It really makes no difference whatsoever to my life whether my teams win or lose... yet somehow it makes a vast difference to my mood. And these close games are going to kill me, I swear. Even that wonderful Giants victory could easily have become a second agonizing defeat, if a certain Dallas wideout had cut right instead of left when he caught the game's final pass from the rookie Cowboy qb.
Fwiw, the Jet defense looked formidable even in defeat, sacking Bengals qb Andy Dalton seven times. How Gang Green managed to lose the game despite that boggles belief, but after decades as a Jets fan, I am used to being boggled.
The Giants defense was not nearly as impressive... but given that last year Big Blue had the worst defense in the NFL, I still have to give them props. I had rather hoped the Giant offense would rack up hundreds of passing yards against a weak Dallas D and crush the boys, but that did not happen, alas. Still, they played well enough to win. Odell is still amazing, the rookie wideout Shepard looks like the real deal, but the real highlight of the day for me was seeing Victor Cruz catch a touchdown pass and do his salsa dance. Cruz is one of my favorite Giants of all time, a true Cinderella story, and a lot of people thought he would never make it back after his devastating injury two years ago. It was so great to see him dancing.
Ah, well. A long season awaits. More agony, more ecstasy.
P.S. I love Chris Berman, but NFL COUNTDOWN, long my favorite pregame show, is not the same without Tom Jackson. I missed Mike Ditka and Chris Carter too, but Jackson and Berman were the Huntley and Brinkley of sports.