Now that the issue of which New York team will open the new stadium at the Meadowlands next season has been resolved, we sift through the debris of this most ridiculous controversy and offer up these final thoughts:
* Waaaay too much was made of this ... by both teams. Sure, it is a cool thing to be the first team to play at a new stadium, and the Giants and Jets were within their rights to lobby NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to express those feelings. But after that, it's up to Goodell, according to the NFL's constitution and bylaws, to decide the matter.
* Woody should be ticked, but only up to a point. Woody Johnson made a big point about the coin toss in his statement issued nearly three hours after Goodell announced his decision. If Goodell indeed shot down the idea of a coin toss as initially suggested by Johnson, and then actually flipped a coin to decide the matter before telling both teams, then Johnson has a beef.
But the way it was handled from there was questionable. First, the Jets put out a release on their website Saturday saying there would be a coin toss to determine which team would be the first to play at the new stadium. This was done even after Goodell had informed both teams that he had in fact flipped the coin to make the determination.
Then after it was announced late yesterday that Goodell had decided that both teams would play on opening weekend, and that the coin flip went in the Giants' favor, Johnson issued a statement that essentially ripped Goodell for not flipping the coin with both teams present.
But that only inflamed the situation, even if Johnson wanted to show Jets fans that he was fighting on their behalf to secure the first game.
* Goodell hasn't explained yet whether he in fact nixed Johnson's idea of a coin flip, and then flip-flopped himself by doing exactly that on Friday. But at the end of the day, it was his decision to make, and he was within his rights to make it. Perhaps he decided to flip the coin before telling the teams because he felt the Jets would have insisted on being there for the coin toss. Which would have made some sense.
But it would have also made a public spectacle out of something Goodell didn't want to see happen.
At the end of the day, Johnson's statement looks more like a case of sour grapes and only propogates the notion of the Jets' feelings of second-class citizens to the Giants. It should also be noted that Johnson only agreed to build the new stadium along with the Giants after his own stadium plan to build in Manhattan failed.
* In the end, both teams playing on the first weekend of the season is a terrific idea, one that should be embraced as a sensible solution. Instead, the Jets remain less than satisfied that they "only" get to play in the first Monday night game of the season. It's time now to embrace the idea.