Unable To Be First Team To Lose All Games, NY Giants Unsure How To Proceed
East Rutherford, New Jersey (AP) – The New York Giants entered the 2013 NFL season prepared to follow the leadership of quarterback Eli Manning into the record books, but soon found themselves without direction, as the achievement of losing every single game in a sixteen-game season had already been accomplished by the 2008 Detroit Lions. They subsequently won a game, calling into question the team’s ability to achieve anything epic, even anything negative.
The season opened with promise, as the Giants dropped games to the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos. Its momentum continued apace with a 38-0 blowout loss to the Carolina Panthers, and had observers thinking the Giants might be only the second NFL team to lose all sixteen games. Hopes remained high through the following two weeks as the G-Men failed to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles; the Chiefs held the Giants to a measly seven points while scoring 31 of their own, calling to mind the misery of the mid-1990’s and the pre-Parcells era in the 1970’s and early ’80’s. Another loss in week six, this time to the Chicago Bears, had commentators and fans alike mulling comparisons to the Jets, and talk began in earnest about the possibility of an anti-perfect season.
No New York sports team of any prominence has ever achieved an anti-perfect season, even the lowly 1962 New York Mets, whose 40 wins and 122 losses remain the lead standard for underachieving franchises.
But all the hopes came crashing to a bitter end with an actual win against the Minnesota Vikings in week seven, and precipitating a crisis in the Giants’ locker room and front office. Head Coach Tom Coughlin was at a loss to explain how his team actually executed plays, attributing some of the apparent on-field success this past Sunday to a combination of dumb luck, questionable officiating, and a Vikings team that evidently wanted the loss more.
An NFL review of the officiating found no grounds to challenge the performance of the referee and his crew, pointing to the very real possibility that the Giants might be improving, a prospect that would put a severe strain on fans’ expectations and on the players themselves. One team official even suggested bringing back quarterbacks Dan Brown and Kent Graham, whose brief, almost-mediocre performances in the mid 1990’s brought New York sports fans back to the George Steinbrenner ’80’s.
Commentators agree that whatever the proximate cause, the victory in week seven reflects a mediocrity that renders the 2013 team more forgettable than the 1944 Brooklyn Tigers, a team whose ten losses and no wins ensured they would disappear by the following year. As such, experts agree, it is eminently appropriate for the team to continue playing in New Jersey for the foreseeable future.