The New York Giants invited the Miami Dolphins into their training facility tomorrow to help them prepare for the Dolphin's Sunday afternoon game against the Giants co-tenants, the New York Jets. While the Jets head coach Rex Ryan was burying a jinxed football outside his team's practice facility yesterday, the Jets owner, Woody Johnson, was digging up negative feelings between the two New York teams who share one stadium.
The Giants agreed to allow the Dolphins team use of the indoor field almost a month ago. Mara said he wishes he contacted the Jets before the invitation. The Dolphins head coach, Tony Sparano, is the Giants former defensive coordinator.
Johnson did phone Mara and voiced his displeasure at his alleged friend's version of "Three's Company." Mara said he told Johnson he wished he called first and said, "We have a long partnership that's going to last for many years and the last thing I want to do is get them upset about an issue like this." Johnson has made no public comment.
The fans claim they are the stadium's second-class citizens and are still irked by the "rigged" secret coin toss, which decided the team who would pop the cherry of the New Meadowlands Stadium by hosting the first regular season game.
Mara should have taken the Jets inferiority complex into consideration before making the Dolphins--one of the Jets sworn enemies--comfortable. The Jets might view this as revenge for opening up a multi-stitch gash in Giants quarterback Eli Manning's head during last summer's pre-season game. Ryan was asked if he was angry about the Giants' hospitality and only remarked, "Officially? No." The usually vocal coach then added, "It's their facility, they can do anything they want with it."
Ryan wasn't so generous later and said, "I don't want anyone using our facility but us. When we have the Super Bowl [in the Meadowlands] I'm going to make sure we're in it...I don't want anyone in the facility but us."
While New York sports radio was burning with pissed Jets callers, the Giants players took it in stride. "It's cool," said Giant wide-out, Steve Smith, "They'll bring a little South Beach love here."
Sparano brought the Dolphins to New York early, not so much as a sneak attack, but more of a bonding outing for his team. They plan to see the Broadway show "Lombardi" and get acclimated with the cold weather. In an indoor practice field? Mara also mentioned his son is an associate producer on "Lombardi." Maybe the Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez--a noted Broadway buff--is a little jealous?
After all was said and done, the Jets and Giants owners made up. In a Jets fan's warped vision, it is still a Giants town. Forty-two years without a Super Bowl appearance can make a person greener than the Jets uniform. Maybe the Jets ought to roll out the red carpet for the Philadelphia Eagles next week, right before they play the Giants. Sanchez can take them to see "Elf."