Bock’s Score: Sunny Side Up While Local Football Teams Are Down

Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

Call it coach-speak, the universal language used by leaders of teams that are in the doldrums but somehow see only the sunny side of the street. It is also called whistling past the graveyard.

New York’s two pro football coaches have perfected this ability, trying to convince followers of the Giants and Jets that down is up, bad is good and, to quote Little Orphan Annie, “The sun will come up tomorrow.’’

Somehow, though, for the Jets and Giants, tomorrow is a very elusive goal.

The Jets go into Sunday’s game at Miami at 3-10 with a rookie quarterback who has taken his lumps and does not seem ready for prime time. Never you mind. Rookie coach Robert Saleh swears good times are just around the corner.

Last week’s drubbing by New Orleans eliminated the Jets from any chance at the playoffs and extended that stretch of futility to 11 years without a post season berth. That is longer than any other NFL team, longer than the dreadful Lions and other tailenders like Jacksonville and Carolina.

Not to worry, Jets fans. Coach Saleh says things are getting better. This team, he says, is building a foundation. `”Trust the process,’’ Saleh says. “We have a lot of things to look forward to.’’

Then there are the Giants, a once proud franchise that also has fallen on hard times. At 4-9 and about to play first place Dallas, they are one loss away from reaching double digits in setbacks for the fifth straight season. That’s even worse than the Jets.

Have faith, says coach Joe Judge. Each week after each depressing loss, he swears that he sees good things on the field. He talks about being encouraged, about laying a foundation for the future success of this currently woeful team. You have to wonder what he’s watching.

The landscape is bleak for both teams as the NFL season draws to a conclusion. There are questions everywhere and answers tough to find.

But for the coaches, it is keep the faith time. They swear they are learning from the losses and it’s just a matter of time before the plan, the process, pays dividends.

Believe that and you might be interested in purchasing a bridge that leads from New York City to the Meadowlands, once a New Jersey swamp that seems to be headed back to that condition while it hosts these two excuses for pro football teams that have become unwatchable.

Unless, of course you believe their happy-talk coaches.





About the Author

Hal Bock

Hal Bock is a contributor with NY Sports Day. He has covered sports for 40 years at The Associated Press including 30 World Series, 30 Super Bowls and 11 Olympics. He is the author of 14 books including most recently The Last Chicago Cubs Dynasty and Banned Baseball's Blacklist of All-Stars and Also-Rans. He has written scores of magazine articles and served as Journalist In Residence at Long Island University's Brooklyn campus where he also served on the selection committee for the George Polk Awards.

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