Giants co-owner John Mara opted for a naughty word when faced with the perception that his team’s decision to supplant Eli Manning with Geno Smith comes from a desire to lose as many games as possible, in the hopes of winning the best possible draft position. But the only true “bullish-t” in this dynamic came from the man who opted to use that term, and for good reason.
Mara knows that a team that tanks can’t talk about tanking. If it does, Ted Wells would instantly set up an encampment on the outer fringes of said team’s anal cleft.
Integrity of the game. Integrity of the game. Any effort not to win each an every game is an affront to the integrity of the game, so any team that would ever admit to not trying to win each and every game would find itself in the jaws of a trying investigation.
It’s an easy mess to avoid, because the league doesn’t want to investigate a team for tanking. Instead, the league wants to continue to pretend that it doesn’t happen, even if it does. So the path to avoid scrutiny is to never admit to tanking, and to always deny it whenever the subject comes up.
That’s why there’s no draft lottery. Think of the interest that yet another offseason tentpole could drive premised on determining the draft order would generate. But having a lottery would mean acknowledging the benefit that flows from losing. Which would encourage more tanking. Which would never be tolerated by the league office.
So, yes, the Giants are tanking. And, yes, Mara’s profane response is aimed at ensuring that no one ever realizes that they’re tanking.
That’s not criticism. They should be tanking. Who cares about the difference between 2-14 and 5-11? If the lesser record means securing a better chance to get the next quarterback who will be unceremoniously kicked to the curb in November 2031, so be it.
Indeed, if the Giants end up having dibs over the Jets and the Giants get a franchise quarterback and the Jets don’t, it will have all been worth it, millions of times over.