There are many reasons to read your local tabloid on a daily basis.
You’ll find out what is actually going on in your area, news which the major newspapers don’t cover. But the primary reason I peruse a tabloid every day is football news. When the New York Times accepted its role as an international newspaper, it gave up daily coverage of New York’s many professional sports teams.
One of which is mine, my team. I was pissed. But both the Daily News and New York Post still have reporters who cover the Giants. This reportage has required a lot of work in the past number of years, during which the Giants have been…what’s that euphemism? struggling? Yeah, that’s it. They’ve been struggling.
I tend to watch football in a way quite different from other watchers. I don’t go hysterical over losses, but even I had to accept the seasonal records were, oh, not good. When a season consists of sixteen games (now seventeen) and your team’s record starts with a win number under five…well.
A lot has been made of the administration and coaching shifts over the past number of years, a lot of blame has been cast.
At the end of last season, the Giants’ owners, John Mara and Steve Tisch, brought in a new general manager who brought in a(nother) new coach. A massive amount of pressure immediately landed on the duo’s heads, and every day’s tabloid coverage analyzed each cell in their bodies, as to how they were guiding and coaching the team.
All those cells have done really, really well, as has a group of relatively unheralded players — so unheralded I keep my roster close at hand when I watch games because I see uniform numbers racing around, numbers I can’t always identify by the players’ names.
(This has been driving me nuts. After all, I was the person standing outside the locker room exit at Washington’s stadium in 1986 after a great game, the only person who could name every player emerging in mufti by his face alone. There were around sixty Giants fans there, all of them (except for me) male. One fan had taken to sidling up to me and whispering, “Who’s that?” as players he didn’t recognize walked up the ramp, and I took huge pride in telling him. I mean, I used to know my guys’ faces, never mind their numbers.)
Yesterday, my Giants won a big game which sealed for them a place in the playoffs. The whole business has been so unexpected, it almost came as a shock, even to the reporters who’ve been covering the team.
All this leads to the best reason to read tabloid newspapers. They have headline writers of such razzle-dazzle brilliance, I am more in wonder of how the writers do it than of how a new coach can transform an entire football team.
So, a headline in today’s New York Post (I read the sports news on Twitter; I won’t pay for the paper) once again displayed the trenchant wit tabloids are known for. In announcing the Giants’ victory yesterday, their surprising position in the NFL and how a new coach did it, they produced this headline:
A HIRE POWER
Get it? I sure did.