Eli Manning of the Giants loses his helmet after being...

Eli Manning of the Giants loses his helmet after being hit by Calvin Pace of the Jets. (Aug. 16, 2010) Credit: Errol Anderson

First they tried to beat the storm and get the game in before the full force of Hurricane Irene hit the New York area. When it became apparent that wouldn't fly, the Giants and Jets decided to try a different approach and wait until after things calm down.

The Giants -- the home team for the preseason meeting between the two stadium-mates -- announced Friday night that the most meaningful meaningless game in the league will be moved to 7 p.m. Monday.

The game originally was scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, but the teams announced Thursday that the kickoff would be moved up five hours to 2 p.m. On Friday night, they went in the other direction, postponing the game until after the hurricane leaves New York.

"Along with the NFL office and the Jets, we have closely monitored the hurricane and the forecast and its potential impact on our area for the past several days," Giants president and CEO John Mara said. "After conferring with [New Jersey] Governor [Chris] Christie, [Jets owner] Woody Johnson and [NFL] commissioner [Roger] Goodell, we have determined the best course of action for the safety and well-being of all is to move the game to Monday night."

Giants players already had begun arriving at the team hotel for their regular pregame routine when the decision was made. The Giants now will have a walk-through and meetings Saturday morning and will be dismissed before the brunt of the storm arrives. The Jets will not practice Saturday.

The Giants spent the day watching the forecasts and trying to come up with a plan to avoid putting anyone at risk. With public transportation being virtually shut down as of noon Saturday and even airports announcing planned closures, it became clear that the game had to be moved or canceled.

The logistics of moving an NFL game are staggering, even in the preseason. But it beats having to refund money to season-ticket holders. There also are football considerations. The third preseason game traditionally is the final critical tuneup for the regular season, and both teams had expected their starters to play at least the first half, with some going into the third quarter.

Both teams will play their fourth preseason games Thursday, with the Giants at New England and the Jets at home against the Eagles. Two games in four days -- one of them a travel day -- will be a challenge. The teams also will have to trim their rosters from 90 to 80 players by Tuesday.

Before the game was postponed, the teams actually met at Bryant Park in Manhattan on Friday afternoon to celebrate the renaming of their shared home: MetLife Stadium.

Beth Hirschhorn, chief marketing officer for MetLife, said the preseason game between the teams will be renamed the MetLife Bowl. She unveiled a trophy with the company's mascot, Snoopy, perched atop it.

"I think it will add something," Jets coach Rex Ryan said of the small spoil that will go to the victor. "Obviously, both teams want to stay healthy, but you want to play football and you want to represent yourself that way. It should be a physical game.

"It'll be great competition, but I think late in the fourth quarter, it'll dawn on everyone like, 'Hey, you know what? Let's get this MetLife Bowl trophy.' I think it'll dawn on both teams and they'll be fighting till the end for that thing."

More football news