If the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers insist on being as cuddly as Regis and Kelly, before the teams clash in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, then leave it up to the Governor of New Jersey to stir things up.
A war across the Hudson River broke out yesterday after the Garden State's Gov. Chris Christie claimed the Jets belonged to New York in name only and that where the team actually plays is in the New Meadowlands Stadium, in East Rutherford, in his state. So that makes them New Jersey's team.
Funny. Nobody was banging on Woody Johnson's door and claiming the Jets as it's own while Eric Mangini was coaching the team.
Christie--who is as outspoken as Jets head coach Rex Ryan with a girth to match--asked, "Today when they are practicing, where are they practicing? New Jersey."
"And when they play their home games, where do they play? New Jersey. And where do most of the players live? In New Jersey," he bragged. Pure Rex Ryan.
To which, that closeted New England fan, Bloomberg shot back by saying the Jets were formed in New York, bred in the Polo Grounds and then played their games at Shea Stadium.
"We can all root for the Jets, but they don't call him Turnpike Joe," said the defensive mayor, referring to legendary Jets quarterback "Broadway Joe" Namath.
That was then, this is now reasoned the stubborn Gov.
Even Ryan jumped into the fray if, surprisingly, only as peacemaker.
"There's enough of the Jets to go around, " reasoned the guy who never let anyone cut in front of him at the all-you-can-eat buffet table before his lap-band surgery.
New Jersey. A hot bed of popularity and hilarity these days. The birthplace of Sinatra, Springsteen, Nicholson and Joe Theisman. Even Pia Zadora comes from the land of the best pizza (it's the water), diners, Atlantic City and "The Sopranos."
If any state deserves the loud and obnoxious Jets though, its Jersey. The state can wholly lay claim to the pitiful Nets and their .45 cent tickets and the long-forgotten Devils. And not the Jersey Devil demonizing people in the barren Pinelands. It might even find more warm bodies in that desolate stretch of forest then languishing in the near-empty seats at the Prudential Center.
Yeah, Jersey has it's Shore and Housewives and, if anyone could have combined those towering cultural pillars with football, it would be the Jets. Gang Green did it with "Hard Knocks" last summer on HBO.
And if you've ever enjoyed (or been called as a witness to) a Jersey Transit train ride from the Meadowlands after a Jets game (hide the women, children and Patriots jerseys) you might smell another bad reality show mixed with the stench of beer on the trip.
While Christie and Bloomberg fire salvos across the river, the Jets players have keeping their mouths shut for once.
Not so the mayor. He asked New Yorkers to "put aside rivalries and focus on what's truly important." City dwellers were sure he wasn't talking about snow removal or rising crime and debt. "I'm talking about the Jets winning the AFC Championship on Sunday," said Bloomberg.
Whichever state owns the Jets is a moot point. This is still Giants territory and all of the green lights in Times Square and beaming on the Empire State Building can't cover up the Giants blue.
New Jersey. You can have the Jets.