Mara doesn’t get it. Going to see the Giants just isn’t worth it (Opinion)
What was supposed to be halftime celebrating the career of Eli Manning started out ugly as team owner John Mara was relentlessly booed as he was making his speech about his 2 time Super Bowl-winning quarterback. It was so bad that Eli himself had to ask the crowd to calm down. When asked about it after the game Mara said, according to Jordan Raanan's ESPN article:
"I would boo, too," Mara said in the hallway heading to his suite before the start of the third quarter. "We're 0-2 and down at half."
Such a flippant answer shows you just how much this owner, whose claim to fame is that he was born into the right family, just doesn't get it.
It's not about this game or this season. It's about the last 5 seasons where the Giants went 3-13 in 2017, 5-11 in 2018, 4-12 in 2019, 6-10 in 2020 and so far 0-3 in 2021. It's about being tied with the Jet for the NFL's worst record over that period at 18-49.
It's about 1 playoff appearance in the last 10 years. It's about the money fans spent on traveling to Metlife Stadium to see their team go 9-25 at home since their 2016 playoff loss. Mara was not happy after the game, possibly throwing a trash can. Neither are the fans, only while he's making money, we're wasting it on his team.
For most of my life, Giants season tickets have been in my family. I used to see them play in Yankee Stadium during the Fran Tarkenton years, then all through the lean years of the '70s. We went to the Yale Bowl and Shea Stadium while waiting for Giants Stadium to be built. Then finally Giants Stadium from 1976 until 2009. When they moved into the new stadium I was not into spending $7,500 apiece for a personal seat license, which means I get to buy the privilege of buying my tickets which were going up to $400 apiece.
My wife and I took our two boys, one of which is a New York Giants fan and the other an Atlanta Falcons fan, (I have no idea how that happened) to the game Sunday at MetLife Stadium. We sat in section 338, which is almost the upper deck, on the 50-yard line. When all was said and done, we paid over $1,600. Also when all was said and done. The Giants were beaten 17-14 for their third loss of the season.
They have yet to win a game.
Since the start of the 2017 season, which was coming off their last playoff appearance in 2016, the Giants are 9-25. They won 2 home games in 2017, 2 in 2018, 2 in 2019, 3 in 2020, and none yet this year.
Think of how much money those poor fans have spent to sit in all that traffic both ways, pay $50 to park, and overpay for food and drinks. If you want a bottle of water at MetLife Stadium, it will cost you $5. You can get a case of 24 bottles at CVS for $2.99. All this to sit and watch the team go 9-25.
This past Sunday happened to be the day Eli Manning was getting his number retired, which was great because my son Albert grew up a huge fan. Eli's the reason Albert became a quarterback both in flag football and on his high school freshman team. Eli Manning brought honor and championships to the Giants, even though they hung him out to dry at the end of his career with no offensive line help.
To commemorate the day, the Giants gave out Eli bobblehead dolls to the first 25,000 fans who showed up. Those giving them out were practically mugged by stampeding fans many of whom took more than their share.
Why limit the giveaway to the first 25,000 people? Why not give everyone who paid for a ticket to celebrate Eli's career a commemorative bobblehead? Granted the capacity is 82,000 but think of what each person paid for their ticket. It isn't like they can't afford it.
Instead, you begin your trip to see the Giants arguing with a security guard telling you that they're out. It would have made much more sense to limit the number of dolls to one per ticket holder once they show their ticket.
But most importantly, when you spend that much money to see your team, they need to win more than 9 times in 33 home games or 18 of the last 46.
It's not like the old days of the '60s and '70s, where the home games were mercifully blacked out or you could only watch them on a 24-inch color television. Today, we have hi-def options with huge screens. The only throwback we have to those '60s and '70s old days is the play of the team.
So based on all that.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.