In the days leading up to Sunday’s Giants game, there were discussions about whether it was the right thing to play a football game in a state ravaged by a hurricane and still struggling to find its footing (and, in many cases) electricity as the game kicked off.
The Giants talked a lot about wanting to provide the people of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut a respite from the effort to put things back together after Sandy and, hopefully, some inspiration at the same time. After their 24-20 loss, Giants coach Tom Coughlin lamented not being able to do that.
“We wanted emotionally so badly to win the game for all of our neighbors who need some type of inspiration,” Coughlin said, via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. “Of course we didn’t provide it for them.”
I’m writing this to you from my apartment in Lower Manhattan. I returned here on Saturday after a week spent with family on higher ground while waiting for power and water to be restored to my building. There are still buildings across the street with no power and no residents thanks to flooding that led to damages that need to be repaired before my neighbors can return. That was true before the Giants game, is true now and would be true if the Giants won.
I spent part of Sunday morning in Red Hook, Brooklyn volunteering with a food/clothing/necessities collection and distribution for residents of that neighborhood who had their lives shaken by the storm on Monday night. Those people were hanging tough before the Giants result was known and my fellow volunteers were all trying to help their neighbors without any good news from MetLife Stadium.
That’s not meant to belittle the desire of Coughlin and the Giants to uplift the people in the area. It’s the same spirit that has led to all kinds of community action to get things back to normal (as close as such things can get) as soon as possible. But everyone was already on that road before Sunday’s kickoff and we aren’t getting off of it now.
Coughlin should feel assured that he can concentrate on a poor offensive performance and some shoddy special teams work because his neighbors have already found inspiration from one another.