In our last installment of "is there a Central Jersey?" I conceded that there IS in fact a place people like to call "Central Jersey." But it can be found more in the hearts and minds of those who live there, and not on a map.

Take for example tonight's NFL game between the Giants and the Eagles. With rare exception, people to the north of the line from Trenton to LBI will root for the Giants and folks south of that line will be cheering for the Eagles. There is about a 10-mile-wide swath along that line that can go either way. If you go into supermarkets and sporting goods stores, you will find merchandise for either team, depending on what side of that line you're on.

Dennis Malloy photo

Here's where it gets hard for people to accept, but it's the unvarnished truth. Above that line, and in the territory of North Jersey, you will find the mythical place known as "Central Jersey." They are part of the New York media market and sports universe and therefore part of the state that is North Jersey. Central Jerseyans have their own identity, not wanting to be associated with Bergen, Essex or Hudson counties for their New Yorkishness, and not identifying with Warren or Sussex Counties' rural lifestyle. And of course, they want nothing to do with South Jersey, because of our strange accent and lack of typical Jersey knowledge, like the Taylor Ham/ Pork Roll debate.

So there you have it, if your neighborhood has Giants flags and your local store has Giants paraphernalia, you are physically in North Jersey. However you are mentally and emotionally in your beloved Central Jersey.

So now you know and tonight is proof!

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