One of the best ways to get the nostalgic fervor going for an old stadium is to have a “last game” there. The New York Giants played their last game in their old New Jersey Meadowlands home, and the NYC press corps did not disappoint with nostalgic references.
Neil Best of Newsday (link here for Newsday subscribers or those willing to pay to register) described yesterday’s shellacking of the Giants by the Carolina Panthers as “the most embarrassing of their 283 games there,” perhaps overlooking the 1978 Giants/Eagles game where Herm Edwards helped Big Blue snatch deafeat from the jaws of victory in a play Giants fans know as simply “the fumble.” The New York Times was a bit more circumspect, with Joe Lapoint suggesting the 41-9 blowout had “the feeling of a funeral” with more than 78,000 moruners attending the ceremony.
It’s not actually the last game at Giants Stadium, though as that may be played out on Sunday evening, when the Jets take on the Cincinnati Bengals in a game that is sure to fire up the forces of wistful nostalgia once again. The Bengals, many might recall from previous postings on this site, are draining the coffers of Hamilton County, Ohio, as the cost of financing the team’s new “jungle” in the Queen City has caused taxpayers to dip into their pockets more than they were initially led to believe. We’ll see how things work out in the Meadowlands when the new sports palace opens up for the Giants and Jets in 2010. Both teams have set seat license fees to stratospheric levels, so New York metro season ticketholders are likely to be a bit poorer in 2010.
While taxpayers tend to fund professional sports complexes in the U.S. as part of our ongoing support of private enterprise, which for some reason does not pass as “socialism,” our friends to the north are debating how to get ice rinks built for, shockingly, average people to use for their own events and activities instead of for pro team use. An article today’s Globe and Mail says that if a new public rink goes ahead as proposed “it will be one of the few publicly funded arenas to open in Toronto in the last 28 years.” Not sure why 28 years is significant, but the construction of a publicly funded facility for something more than spectatorship sounds like an interesting idea.