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New Meadowlands Stadium

The Evil Turf!

Some New York Giants fans are in a panic right now, with wide receiver Dominick Hixon’s 2010 season ending before it began. For those who haven’t heard, the receiver/return man went down untouched during the Giants’ recent mini-camp, and torn his ACL. Season over.

The loss of Hixon as a receiver is probably minimal. He’s clearly behind Steve Smith and Mario Manningham on the depth chart, and could have easily been the fourth receiver behind second-year player Hakeem “Don’t Call Me Hicks” Nicks. In addition, the Giants also have Derek Hagan, Ramses Barden, and Sinorice Moss. There is a lot of excitement about Barden and his size (the Giants have been without a tall receiver that Eli Manning can throw a jump ball to since Plaxico Burress went to the slammer), and this injury may force the Giants to give Barden more of a chance.

Yet as minimal as Hixon’s  impact as a receiver is, the loss of the Giants’ kickoff and punt returner can’t be overestimated. Hixon was a player who gave Giants’ fans a surge of excitement every time he made a return. Even when he wasn’t returning punts for touchdowns (like in East Rutherford against Dallas last season), he could be counted on to give the offense good field position with an impressive return.

The Giants could go back to Moss as a return man. Early last season, the Giants took Hixon out of the return rotation, feeling his value as a receiver was too great to risk injury on returns. The 1998 preseason injury to Jason Sehorn continues to haunt the Giants and affect strategy (it was recently reported that cornerback Aaron Ross wanted to return kicks. Fat chance at that.) Anyway, Moss was pretty terrible as a return man.

Hixon’s injury has led to a lot of panic about the new stadium’s artificial turf. The New Meadowlands Stadium uses FieldTurf and a lot of the players (as well as coach Tom Coughlin) commented that the turf was loose and wasn’t very good. Nevermind that the old stadium used FieldTurf as well, and people weren’t tearing their ACLs left and right.

The turf is like a pair of new shoes. You have to break it in first. Once the turf gets a little more usage, it will tighten up and the “What’s wrong with the turf” questions will go away. In fact, it’s possible all these other events at the stadium (for example, college lacrosse was the first event at the new stadium, not football) are being used to help break in the turf.

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BS Sports Blog offers $1.25 for naming rights

BS Sports Blog Stadium. It has a nice ring to it.

Yes, i”m joking. But this isn’t a joke. Online dating site AshleyMadison.com has submitted a formal offer to the New York Giants and New York Jets for the naming rights for the New Meadowlands Stadium. The offer is for five years and totals $25 million.

Now this alone isn’t that interesting, and I wouldn’t normally blog about this, except this isn’t your run of the mill dating site. The site’s motto is “Life is short. Have an affair.”

Yes, that’s right. A site that promotes adultery wants to have their name on the new stadium. Can you imagine? Stephen Weaver at Examiner.com has an awesome take on it.

“Dad, where are we going?”

“To Ashley Madison Field son. We’re going to watch the Giants play.”

“Oh, who’s Ashley Madison?”

“Oh, it’s that great site that split up me and your mom when she found I was cheating on her. Remember, when you cried for a couple days?”

“Oh. Can we go home?”

I think an approval would result in drop in attendance for the Giants, as married women refuse to allow their husbands to attend games in fear of a cross promotion. But it might help the Jets finish selling their PSLs.

Obviously, this has no chance at being accepted. The Maras and Tisches have a family image that would be shattered by accepting such a bid, and the Johnson & Johnson company wouldn’t be too happy if the founder’s great-grandson was openly promoting adultery. But it’s a great way to get your name out. Tons of people (like me) will write about it, and refer to the website (although you may notice there isn’t a link to the company’s website; this is intentional).

This isn’t the company’s first attempt at silly advertising, as they tried to buy ad space in the Official Super Bowl XLIII Game Program, but were rejected by the NFL. Back in February, they offered the city of Phoenix, Az. $10 million to rename the airport. The strapped-for-cash city declined the offer.

Another reason the offer will almost definitely be declined is that it’s too low. The Giants and Jets are reportedly looking for a deal of $20-25 million a year for the naming rights, and a $5 million a year deal isn’t going to cut it.

Sadly, the Meadowlands Stadium hasn’t had the best luck with the naming rights. A previous offer of $25 million a year by Allianz was canceled amid protests that the German-based financial services had ties to Nazi Germany.