Few topics are as polarizing as sports. Turn on your TV or radio, and you’re bound to hear debates about how, for example, the Giants will finish this year or who they should select with their first-round draft choice.
There are, however, a handful of subjects that most, if not all, Giants fans can agree on. Here are five that deal with players, coaches, specific games, and even wardrobe!
No. 5: Joe Judge was a terrific hire.
Given Bill Belichick’s assistant coaches' track records when they became head coaches (Matt Patricia, Bill O’Brien, Josh McDaniels, etc.), there was understandably some skepticism when the Giants hired the former New England special teams coach last January.
After one season, Judge has proven, though, that he doesn’t fit the stereotype above of not having a plan or knowing what he's doing. A 1-7 start in his first season turned into a 5-3 finish, with the Giants right in the thick of the NFC East title hunt (albeit in a weakened division) right until the end.
And based on that one season, there is plenty of optimism for the future.
No. 4: Ben McAdoo benching Eli Manning for Geno Smith was an insult.
Several people were to blame for the Giants' bottoming out in 2017, but Eli Manning was the last person to blame.
Before their week 13 matchup with Oakland, Manning had started 210 consecutive regular-season games, second only to Brett Favre for the longest such streak in NFL history.
Meanwhile, with the Giants struggling and the seat underneath him getting hotter by the day, then-head coach Ben McAdoo sought to save his job by removing Manning, whose lack of mobility probably had McAdoo longing for Aaron Rodgers at times, from the picture.
In doing so, McAdoo presented his proposal under the guise of wanting to look at the team's younger talent--thought to be Davis Webb--at quarterback.
So imagine everyone's surprise when Geno Smith, on whom there was a good four years of film to review--was named the starter ahead of Manning, who rejected McAdoo's half-baked idea to rotate quarterbacks by half in an upcoming game against the Raiders.
Unfortunately for McAdoo, the plan not only backfired and created a major public relations nightmare for the Giants, but it also cost him his job. Manning was reinserted into the lineup the following weekend by interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo, but not before McAdoo's insulting plan to scapegoat Manning ruined the quarterback's impressive streak.
No. 3: The 49ers committed pass interference in the 2002 Wild Card Game.
Yes, indeed, this isn’t the only reason why the Giants lost. They blew a 24-point third-quarter lead and shouldn’t have been in their situation, to begin with.
Long snapper Trey Junkin, pressed into action after the Giants had an injury at the position, had snapped fine all game long. Unfortunately, he saved his worst snap perhaps of his career at a critical juncture in the game, the poor snap forcing the Giants to attempt a pass to offensive lineman Rich Seubert.
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San Francisco’s Chike Okeafor interfered with Seubert, who was flagged for being an ineligible receiver, even though he had been reported as eligible. The league eventually sided with the Giants on their dispute, but it was too late as the team's playoff run ended on a blown call.
No. 2: The red jerseys were atrocious.
In 2004, the Giants dusted off the mothballs on their red jerseys, which they had worn from 1937 through 1953.
While for some the return of the nostalgic red jerseys was special, the fact that 50 years had passed since they last took the field wearing that color didn't sit well with a lot of fans, who saw the red jerseys fly in the face of the team's "Big Blue" moniker.
The red jerseys lasted until 2007 when they were once again retired, and good riddance, as they always looked entirely out of place, especially since the Giants paired them with their grey pants.
No. 1: Lawrence Taylor is better than Aaron Donald.
I covered this point in a previous article after former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman seemed to forget about just how good Lawrence Taylor was back in the day when he opined that Aaron Donald of the Rams was the best defensive player he had ever seen.
So for the back row, who might have missed it: Lawrence Taylor is better than Aaron Donald, and it's not even close.
No disrespect is meant to Donald, who is playing a Hall of Fame type of career. But this suggestion by Aikman, a Hall-of-Fame quarterback, stated during a national telecast of a playoff game was simply beyond belief.
Aikman, remember, played against Taylor, who single-handedly revolutionized the game by forcing some of the league's greatest head coaches like Bill Walsh and Joe Gibbs to invent new tactics to slow him down.
To suggest that any defensive player in the game today is better than LT remains mindboggling.
There are certainly topics of greater proportions to debate when it comes to the Giants. Is Daniel Jones the right guy for the future? Will Saquon Barkley return to form? Was it that bad to trade Odell Beckham, Jr.?
These are all discussions for another day. In the meantime, there are plenty of opinions that can be universally accepted.