There’s A Rivalry Afoot

Published January 14, 2011

New York Post, Boston Metro covers for Jan. 14, 2011

A tale of two front pages

Planning to rob a bank this weekend? Schedule any activity during which you want to avoid crowds for Sunday between 4 and 8 p.m. — that’s when the Patriots face off against the hated New York Jets for a spot in the AFC Championship game.

Any game featuring the Pats and Jets, or Boston and New York, is always filled with drama. Having split the season series at one win apiece, and needing only three more wins to etch their names in the history books, both teams head to Foxboro on Sunday knowing that they can win and move one step closer to the Super Bowl.

How do you know that two teams (and their associated fanbases) hate each other? When they bring their dislike to the media, and local newspapers pile on.

The talk surrounding this game borders on the absurd.

Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie is feuding with hall-of-fame-headed, model-wife-marrying, three-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady (a Sisyphean task if ever there was one.) Headline machine Rex Ryan is hoping to get into Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s head. Perhaps most notably, the media has latched on to a story about Ryan’s wife’s feet, and Patriots wideout Wes Welker used the opportunity to give one of the most hilarious press conferences of all time.

Today’s New York Post graphic pits New York’s Jets against New England’s evil empire, with Belichick playing the role of Darth Vader and Ryan a two-hamburger-a-day Han Solo.

The Boston Metro was only too happy to indulge Pats fans by taking, ahem, a kick at Ryan. (If you don’t understand the Metro’s cover, you can find the “story” here.)

For once, the game of football lives up to its name.