FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – The cliche that the preseason doesn't matter is true, unless it's the annual exhibition game between the New York Giants and the New York Jets. There's plenty of trash talk between the two sides for what is supposedly a meaningless game.
They even have a trophy for the winner.
It should come as no surprise that these two teams don't like each other. They share the same New York market and both play at MetLife Stadium, making things too close for comfort. The Giants are the historically better team but the Jets have found confidence in recent years and now have rebuilt with a strong, young core. There is nothing but differences between these two organizations, their fans and even how they conduct business. Apparently, the players and coaching staff don't like each other much either.
The latest shot fired came on Wednesday when Jets center Nick Mangold tweeted a picture of the "Snoopy Bowl" trophy given every year to the winner of the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. The Jets won the game last year and got the trophy. Mangold was clearly trolling Giants fans:
The bad blood all started midweek when Andre Williams, a fourth-round pick out of Boston College (who has only been in town for a couple of months), spouted off that “I think the Giants are the real New York team.” When asked about it, Jets head coach Rex Ryan, whose son plays at Clemson, responded to Williams by saying that “Yeah, last time I saw him he was getting smoked by Clemson.” Williams had just 70 yards on 24 carries against Clemson last season.
Tell us how you really feel, Rex. He was joking obviously but it is clear that there is something under the surface here between these two teams.
“Guys go to the same eating establishments, whatever. And I think there is something to it, you don’t get to play each other very often,” Ryan said on Wednesday. “So it is kind of a one shot deal. This game is always a physical game. I think guys like each other, respect each other and things like that. They’re in a different color jersey, you have guys popping off.”
It was Ryan who got emotional last year in his press conference following the Giants preseason game. Former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was on track to start, had just been knocked out of the game by Giants defensive lineman Marvin Austin and Ryan was a bit testy.
The shoulder injury, which happened in the fourth quarter of the game, cost Sanchez the season and Ryan was asked after the game about the timetable to name a starting quarterback. He dodged the question, leading to a back-and-forth with the press where invoked his First Amendment rights to answer a question as vaguely as he wanted.
Then Ryan mocking turned his back on the press.
“I can say anything I want, that’s the beauty of this country. I will stand backwards and answer the question, I will do it sideways,” Ryan said as he mimicked the motions. “At the appropriate time we will make the announcement when I think it’s the appropriate time.”
All for a preseason game and a Snoopy trophy. Sounds about right.
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Kristian R. Dyer writes for Metro New York and is a contributor to Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KristianRDyer