In New Jersey, the two biggest forces of wind which are beyond control come from two sources-- Mother Nature and Governor Christie. This weekend, one of those hurricanes is expected to pound the Jersey shore and the other will be hunkered down trying to keep surfers and "bennies" off the same beaches.
There is one more storm headed to the Meadowlands and its name isn't Irene. Its tropical storm Rex.
Jets head coach Rex Ryan has looked like a comparative summer breeze to Irene in the days leading up to the Jets-Giants game at MetLife Stadium this Saturday. The normally brash Ryan has just been downgraded to a Category-1 storm. Call the National Weather Service for a sound bite.
Even Ryan's offseason remarks that the Jets (1-1) are no longer the little brothers of New York football have done nothing to turn this game into anything more than it is-- an exhibition game. The two teams meet in a regular season game on Dec. 24.
It's not to say that the outspoken Jets head coach is going be welcomed with open arms by the "home" team-- the Giants.
Ryan still resents the Jets being considered squatters in the new MetLife Stadium and living under the shadow of the Giants (1-1) for the past three decades.
After two straight AFC championship games, Ryan believes the Jets are the superior team and he is ready to paint the two-year old stadium Jets-green.
In his book Play Like You Mean It, Ryan stressed that the Jets are now the "big brother" in New York and "are going to remain the better team for the next ten years."
"When people ask me what it's like to share New York with the Giants," Ryan wrote. " My response is always 'I'm not sharing it with them-- they are sharing it with me.'"
Even the new name at the old New Meadowlands Stadium has a Giants' tint-- literally. The MetLife logo is the same color as Giants blue.
This whole stadium brouhaha has been a thorn in the Jets side since they took residence there in 1984. It came to a head last year after the teams argued who would get to host the first game in their shared home field. It didn't help when NFL commissioner Roger Goodall allegedly had a "secret' coin toss-- with out any team representatives-- before awarding the first game at the $1.7 billion stadium to the Giants.
Jets fans claim the toss was rigged.
Giants fans gave their little brother a nougie and said quit bawling.
"I'm glad MetLife came forward as a sponsor," Giants captain Justin Tuck said yesterday. "But to me it'll always be Giants Stadium."
To Tuck and any fan over the age of seventeen who grew up in the area.
It seems like revenge ought to be more of a theme for this week's game than city supremacy-- even though the players say it isn't so or they just won't admit it.
Plaxico Burress, the former Giants Super Bowl hero who snubbed the G-Men and signed with the Jets after a 20-month prison stay, blew off the notion he was seeking the Big R.
"There's nothing extra, no added incentive, juice or whatever you call it," Burress said. " I'm more concerned about me going out, playing better, getting better."
Maybe Giants quarterback Eli Manning will go the eye-for-an-eye route. After all, he was the one who wobbled off the field during last year's pre-season meeting sporting a gash on his forehead that required 12 stitches to close up.
The second quarter hit by Jets linebacker Calvin Pace sent Manning's helmet flying and his exposed mug into safety Jim Leonhard's facemask. Manning's Y.A. Tittle moment was the result of a clean hit, miscommunication with Brandon Jacobs and looked worse than it was.
"I don't think about it to bring back good times," joked Manning yesterday. "I can deal with it...it didn't hurt too badly."
Okay, no animosity there either. I guess we'll leave it up to Mother nature to wreak some kind of havoc.
The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST and Irene is expected to bring wind gusts of up to 70 mph. In the Meadowlands that's a light breeze. Com' on Irene.
The Giants VP of Communications, Pat Hanlon, said the game will go on as scheduled.
"Based on everything we've seen and heard, it sounds like the brunt of the hurricane isn't expected to hit our area until Sunday," he said.
"I go about it just like I would any other game," said Tuck of the exhibition game. "Is it more intense than what the rivalry was with the Jets before Rex got here? In a preseason game, no. But come that game right before Christmas, that might be a different story."
No hurricane until Sunday, no Rex Ryan bombast and no revenge.
Can't wait for the regular season.