It’s an historic Thursday for New York sports fanatics today. Derek Jeter, the Yankees’ idolized shortstop of the past twenty years, is scheduled to play his last home game tonight at 7:05 versus the playoff-bound Baltimore Orioles. And the New York Giants (1-2) travel to Washington (1-2) for a critical divisional matchup for both teams that kicks off at 8:25pm in Landover, MD. The baseball game itself holds little meaning. The Yankees have been steadfastly average all year long, and after 158 games played, they are just four games above .500. They were finally officially eliminated from playoff contention last night. But Jeter’s last performance in the fabled pinstripes will garner attention far and wide. Even unbiased meteorologists have gotten involved. The forecast in the Bronx calls for rain, heavy at times, and threatens to cancel the game altogether, in what would suddenly extinguish the fiery hype that has been Jeter’s prolonged curtain call. Whatever you think of Derek Jeter, love him or hate him, he was most definitely not average. You will be missed, Number 2.
The football game renews a rivalry that is over 80 years old. The Washington and New York football teams have met 162 times (the same number of games, coincidentally, that a Major League Baseball team plays in its regular season) in their history. DC won the first game 14-6 back in 1932 when the franchise was from Boston and was nicknamed the Braves. (Well, now, what do you know? Even back then the nickname was more ethically appropriate.) The Giants lead the series with 94 wins. Today, though, both teams will battle just to reach .500 on the young season. Washington and New York are currently tied for last place in the NFC East, and both badly need a win just to stay close to the 3-0 Philadelphia Eagles. DC and their quarterback, Kirk Cousins (427 yds passing; 3 tds), played well in a high scoring and physically brutal divisional loss to Philly last week, while the Giants got their first victory over Houston. Two questions will inform the outcome. Can Washington recover physically and emotionally from last week’s loss in this short football week? Can the Giants’ offensive line give Eli Manning time to pick apart Washington’s vulnerable secondary? Whatever the answers, we know that the Yankees’ and Giants’ games will overlap, and that remote controls and DVRs everywhere will be in full usage mode.