You know, I've always been cool about it, never really cared about it, felt it was below me to even bring it up in polite conversation.
That time has passed.
So as proud New Jersey resident, I have this to say to New York City, specifically Manhattan: Go fly a kite. Long walk, short pier. Have fun with your new socialist mayor, enjoy being saddled forever with Staten Island, take your streetside falafel stands and shove 'em ... actually, forget that last bit. Love the falafel.
But yeah: Enough's enough. The “NY/NJ Super Bowl?” That's what we're calling the Super Bowl this year? The one being played in New Jersey? Where we have two NFL teams? And you have none? Because really, it's not like the “NY” in the “NY/NJ Super Bowl” means anything but “New York City.” It's not like people up in Buffalo are excited because the Super Bowl is coming to New York. WHICH IT ISN'T. It's coming to New Jersey.
And I would've settled out of court if it was called the “NJ/NY Super Bowl.” You know, again, because the game is being played in New Jersey.
Fine, I get it, New York is important, MetLife Stadium to the city limits in the Lincoln Tunnel is seven miles, and obviously New York is going to be the center of the hoo-ha during the run-up to the Super Bowl ... but again: The game is being played in New Jersey.
And again, again: I've never cared about any of this. I mean, I know where I'm from. We all do. But this ... I don't know. It doesn't sit well with me. It's not only a matter of New Jersey pride; it's also a matter of fact.
Now sure, the Jets and Giants have kept “New York” as their team names, and as ridiculous as that is, I can live with it, to an extent. After all, they both got their start in New York. But the Super Bowl? It's just in New Jersey. Not in New York. At all.
Could've avoided all this, of course. Couldn't the NFL have just called it “Super Bowl XLVIII?” That would've been easier. And instead of calling it the “Super Bowl XLVIII NY/NJ Host Committee,” how about just the “Super Bowl XLVIII Host Committee?” Maybe they needed the “NY/NJ” because they didn't want people to confuse it with other, more localized Super Bowl XLVIII's?
Listen: The relationship between New Jersey and New York is so silly, it's just time to throw it open. New York City looks at New Jersey like their kid brother. Kind of a pain to have around, easy to pick on, clearly inferior in every way imaginable. Whereas New Jerseyans look at New York City completely differently: Like a sexy mistress. Yeah, sure, a lot of fun to spend some time with once in a while, but come on, leave our wife for you? Not in a million years. (And that sound you just heard in both my wife and younger brother deeply questioning their relationships with me.)
What makes the relationship even more muddled is that New York — specifically Manhattan, even more specifically, midtown down to the financial district — is more New Jersey's city than New Jersey is Manhattan's suburb. (This kind of makes sense. Roll it around your head.)
You know what? And I realize I'm way off the reservation here, but we should just take it. Swipe it. Invade it. Let's rename Gov. Chris Christie “Gen. Chris Christie” and just seize everything south of the NJTransit tracks at Penn Station. We'd could do this. Divide and conquer. It would be quick. It would beat the Six Days War by five and half days.
I've lost my train of thought.
Oh yes. The “NY/NJ Super Bowl.” Please.
We're a funny bunch, us New Jerseyans. We'll argue into the wee hours about what constitutes North Jersey and South Jersey. We'd quite possibly kill each other over what constitutes Central Jersey, if such a thing even exists.
And then there's the language. Some of us call gravy “sauce.” (They're different.) Some of us call a hoagie a “sub.” (Or a “hero.”) Some us call all pork roll, no matter the brand, “Taylor Ham.” (Those people are idiots).
We're different, in short.
But one thing we can all agree on is we're not New York, not by a longshot, don't want to be.
I'd say New Jerseyans should boycott the Super Bowl and all that, but we all know that's not going to happen. The only thing I'm wishing for is a historical blizzard the night before the game, and some highway department personnel who may or may not be on my payroll decide to smush all the snow against the exit of the Lincoln Tunnel.
See what I did there? The “exit?” The exit is on our side. That's the way I see it. You got a problem with that?
Jeff Edelstein can be reached at facebook.com/jeffreyedelstein and @jeffedelstein on Twitter.