If Super Bowls were won by sound bites, the Jets would have been the team to lift the Lombardi Trophy at the end of last year and celebrate the unveiling of their championship rings last night at Tiffany’s in Manhattan.
Instead, it was the Giants who won two road games in the playoffs and knocked off the favored Patriots in the Super Bowl while the Jets watched from their sofas.
Surprisingly, the Giants taking to Fifth Avenue tonight to show the world their Super Bowl rings isn’t an extra impetus for the Jets to redeem themselves this year.
“To be honest with you, I could care less. I didn’t know anything until you said something. I could care less. All I know is that the Giants, we face them in the preseason. That’s all I have to care about the Giants,” right tackle Wayne Hunter told Metro New York.
“You get sick of the guys next door — the guys in New England, the teams in this area. It’s already a rivalry in itself so the fact that they have a Super Bowl ring doesn’t motivate me anymore and I don’t think it motivates this team. We really don’t concern ourselves with that. We don’t look at other teams.”
Much like Hunter, not one of the Jets players was aware of the ring ceremony when asked.
“That’s great for them. That is a huge, huge accomplishment,” guard Matt Slauson said. “A guy can go his whole career and not play a playoff game and they went all the way and won the Super Bowl; it’s great for them. But I don’t care about it. Extra motivation? No. At this point we’re trying to improve and move on to next year.”
While the Jets have forever been labeled as the “little brother” to the Giants since winning their lone Super Bowl title in 1969, there isn’t any hostility toward the team next door.
“It’s not something that drives us. Because us, as Jets, we set our own team goals and the guys have their own individual things they want to accomplish during the season,” linebacker Bryan Thomas said.
“But we don’t look at them as far as ‘this rivalry’ and this and that. It’s all a brotherhood. You can’t be upset about what they did. We just need to go out there and focus on what we need to do so that hopefully we can find our success too.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer for more offseason news.