MARINE: New York sports teams following ‘Blueprint’

Corey Marine

Many hip-hop fans and critics believe that Jay-Z is the greatest rapper alive. Throughout his long career, he has represented New York City well, and his name has become synonymous with the Big Apple. He has recently released his latest album, “The Blueprint 3,” and it is rather interesting to see how the titles of its songs can be applied to the active New York sports teams.

“So Ambitious” fits in particularly well with the New York Jets. The organization as a whole had an aggressive off-season. They fired Eric Mangini, let go of Brett Favre, brought in the defensive-minded Rex Ryan for the head coaching position and traded up to draft Mark Sanchez. Pharrell croons on the hook, “The motivation for me is them telling me what I could not be.” This represents the new culture that Ryan has brought with him from Baltimore, particularly on the defensive end. He has allowed players to trash talk to the media because he has confidence in his team, and the team expects to win.

The Jets may also be singing along with “A Star is Born.” The rookie quarterback, Sanchez, has not exactly reached superstar status, but he has been able to manage games. There is not much more you can ask of him. Sanchez, like Matt Ryan of the Falcons last year, has been making veteran-like decisions on the field despite his lack of NFL experience. Expect him to struggle at times, but the foundation for a great future quarterback is there.

The New York Giants are reminiscent of “Off That,” as the team moves past last year’s woes and headaches. Jay-Z raps, “We don’t really care what you used to say, unless that affects your future pay. I’m on the field running two-a-days so I don’t drop the ball when it’s threw my way.” The team is looking more like they did when they had Plaxico Burress and less like the team that struggled to find the big play once the star receiver was released by the team. The G-Men are sticking to the formula that led to a Super Bowl victory: run the ball effectively, and create pressure up front from their defensive line.

The New York Mets are “Already Home.” The team could never find itself, and the team was injury, plagued from the start of the season, making it difficult to develop any kind of team chemistry. Their defense was abysmal, Manager Jerry Manuel and General Manager Omar Minaya were close to being fired and the fans were unhappy with the effort the team put out on a nightly basis. ESPN put salt on the wound with a “Not Top 10 Plays” dedicated solely to Mets’ blunders on the field. It was not a good year for the Amazin’s by any means, but there is always next year.

The Yankees’ anthem is “Run This Town.” They have the best record since the All Star break, and in turn, they have the best record in Major League Baseball. The offense exploded, the big off-season acquisitions came around and the defense learned to play well on a nightly basis. They were also singing “Reminder” during the season. New York has always been a baseball town, and, last fall, football dominated New York City headlines with the Mets and the Yankees both failing to reach the postseason for the first time in over a decade. Now, the city is buzzing with the Bronx Bombers being the first team in the league to clinch a playoff spot and the talk of a possible Ticker Tape Parade down Broadway in November. The Yankees captain is also reminding everyone he can still play as he finds himself in MVP discussions again.

Hova has become a mainstay of hip-hop, influencing hip-hop culture and fashion. He is also known to be a big sports fan. He was rumored to be involved in bringing the New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn. He sits courtside at basketball games. He is a friend of Lebron James, and as he states in “Empire State of Mind,” “catch me at the X with OG at a Yankee game. I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can.” It will be some time before we have another hip hop artist as influential as Jay-Z, but New York has a legitimate shot at winning another championship in the near future. Will the big city become the next sports dynasty like Boston? Only time will tell. If only something could be done about the Knicks…


Corey Marine is a senior communication major from New York. He can be reached at [email protected].