Written by Michael Fish
Ever since getting into a relationship a New Yorker in 2011, I naturally forced her to struggle through West Ham United games with it. So when she asked me if I wanted to watch a New York Giants (NFL or American Football for those who don’t know), how could I say no? It was at that point that I became a Giants fan, plus going back and forth from Essex to New York, they were now my local team so to say. However, as the years past and I grew to understand the game more, I realised that the two teams had such strong similarities that it was essentially destiny for me to support the Giants… and be incredibly miserable in doing so.
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably a West Ham United fan, and have been for several years. You’ve been through the the incredible rollercoaster of emotions many times over. You’ve probably questioned why you love the team that you love, maybe even questioned your very sanity. Well, it is because of all of those reasons and many more that I argue that you’re a natural fit to be a New York Giants fan.
Slaven Bilic and Ben McAdoo
When I started writing this article, Slaven Bilic and Ben McAdoo were at the helm of West Ham United and the New York Giants respectfully. Now, the fact that I have to say that for both men is a great comparison right there. West Ham have made a horrendous start to the 2017-2018 Premier League season, and the New York Giants are not to be outdone. After the first 8 games of the NFL season, the Giants have managed just 1 victory and an amazing 7 defeats. Starting to get the picture? Most recently West Ham suffered a 4-1 defeat to Liverpool, and the New York Giants had their backsides handed to them by the Los Angeles Rams 51-17!
For that reason, both Bilic and McAdoo have become almost become vilified by the fan base, with an invisible countdown clock hovering above their head as to when the inevitable will happen, and their services are no longer required. Since then, the West Ham United board have decided to “part ways” with Bilic, which seemingly puts them one step ahead of “Big Blue”.
The next opponent for the Giants are the San Francisco 49ers, who have themselves had somehow a worse start to the season. They are currently without a win. Lose to them, and surely Ben McAdoo will be joining Slaven Bilic in the line at the job centre.
What defense? It will come to the surprise of no West Ham fan to discover that no other team has conceded more goals in the Premier League this season than West Ham. If our defense was a bucket, the hole in the bottom would be so big that it’d actually more fair to describe it was a tube. And guess what? If you want to support the New York Giants, they won’t let you down in this aspect of the game either.
As previously mentioned, the New York Giants defense just allowed another team to score 51 points against them. 51! If you tried to compare that to a Premier League game, imagine how you’d feel if West Ham had lost 7-1 against Liverpool rather than the 4-1 scoreline which in comparison actually doesn’t sound so bad. When you start watching a game, you can’t help but wonder not if, but how many the opposition will score. Am I talking about West Ham or the Giants? Who could tell?
What offense? As it stands right now, the New York Giants has the 2nd worst offense in the NFL, and that’s only because the team with the worst offense has one game in hand over us. Even if the New York Giants defensive unit plays their part, when it’s the turn of the offensive line to have a go, you struggle to get excited about our options going forward, and you pretty much just wait for the other team to get the ball back. Sound familiar?
The Long Standing Captain
Mark Noble and Eli Manning
Mark Noble started his professional career at West Ham in 2004 and has never played for another team (aside from the odd loan spell early on). He gained popularity with the West Ham fans due to the shifts he’d put in, the effort and passion he showed the team. He would go on to be honoured by being given the captains armband which he rightfully earned. However over the past couple of seasons he seems to be missing a step or two. His heart is still in it, maybe even more so than ever, but his body is slowly starting to give up with fans suggesting he needs to step aside and let someone else take his place.
Eli Manning started his professional career at the New York Giants in 2004 and has never played for another team. He gained popularity with the New York Giants fans due to the shifts he’d put in, the effort and passion he showed the team. He would go on to be honoured by being given the captains armband which he rightfully earned. However over the past couple of seasons he seems to be missing a step or two. His heart is still in it, maybe even more so than ever, but his body is slowly starting to give up with fans suggesting he needs to step aside and let someone else take his place.
See what I did there?
The Star player. Will he stay or go?
Even as bad as West Ham have been playing, there have been a few bright sparks, one of which is a young man named Manuel Lanzini. Whenever he’s on the pitch he brings an energy to the team that is missing whenever he’s not around. He can pull out some magic from his pocket when it’s most needed, such as that beauty of a goal against Liverpool which was unfortunately ruined by conceding a goal before the celebratory bubbles had a chance to fade. The boy is a star! And recently many fans have started to worry that with the team playing as bad as they are, will he want to leave? Will he want to play for a winning team?
Enter Odell Beckham Jr. He is without a doubt the best player that the New York Giants has on it’s offensive line. When he’s playing, it’s a matter of “get the ball to Odell!” and if you get the ball to him, he’ll more often than not make something special happen and give you that bit of hope you’ve been missing. However, with Lanzini, people worry that he may want to leave the team and will soon be traded away from the Giants. As with Lanzini, with the current way both teams are performing, losing their star player would be a huge hit and would only mean even worse things to come.
Now, I could go on and on with the comparisons. How on paper both sides should be performing a lot better than they are, how injuries constantly hinder our progression, but I think I’ve made my case already.
After reading this article, you’re probably wondering why the hell I’m still a New York Giants fan. Well, the answer is simple. The same reason I’m still a West Ham fan. I moved to New Jersey in November 2016, and so the Giants are now my local team. Now they’re my team, that’s it, decision made for life.
So if you’ve ever wanted to get into the NFL, or need to pick a side, I say look no further. Because for better or for worse, if I had to describe the New York Giant’s style of play, i’d say that they play the West Ham way.
I’m English (West Ham fan in case that wasn’t clear), but live in America now. I follow both the prem and nfl pretty religiously. I’ve been meaning to write to you for a while about you supporting the Giants, because I’m a big fan of yours, but it makes me cringe.
You didn’t mention the fans at all! The two club are nothing alike, in that the Giants fans are tourists/fickle. I get that your wife supports the Giants, but the Jets are also your local team and have a much better fan base. The team most like the Giants is the Eagles. They are the only sports team in America whose fans are as close to having the enthusiasm and loyalty as West ham’s.
To put it simply, English people supporting the Giants is like Americans supporting Spurs.
If you’re ever in Philly, reach out to me and I’ll show you around.
Yeah, the NY Giants and West Ham are exactly alike. They’ve each won 8 league championships in their history. Oh wait…