Every New York team that wins a championship gets a parade along the Canyon of Heroes – unless that team was the 1986 and 1990 New York Giants. Yes, Mayor Ed Koch did not feel the Giants deserved a parade because they played their home games in New Jersey.
“It’s unthinkable now,” NFL Network producer Ryan Kelly said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “New York loves its winners, and as we saw in 2007 and 2011 when the Giants won the Super Bowl, it didn’t matter that the Giants played in New Jersey. They got a parade down the Canyon of Heroes. But back then, the feelings were still very raw, and it’s kind of this cool part of forgotten history that Mayor Koch ignited this war of worlds with New Jersey and this little town of Moonachie and sort of belittling New Jersey.”
Kelly produced “Jersey Guys,” which debuts Tuesday night on NFL Network’s Timeline series. The piece, which airs at 8 p.m. ET, chronicles the Giants’ mid-60s move from New York to the Meadowlands in New Jersey.
“The great thing about it is that even though New York kind of plays this (rascal-type) villain in the film, it’s such a New York story,” Kelly said. “It’s a story made up of Mayor Koch sound bites and splashy tabloid pages and the local news at 5 with Chuck Scarborough. It’s such a New York story, which I love about it.
Kelly interviewed several former Giants players and coaches for the film, including Bill Parcells, Phil Simms, Lawrence Taylor and Carl Banks. After winning each Super Bowl, the Giants got a rally by the stadium, but they never got a parade. They never got their Canyon-of-Heroes moment.
Many of them haven’t forgotten.
“Yes, I think a little bit of it was that all these guys lived in New Jersey,” Kelly said. “And as Carl Banks says in the film, it was like (Mayor Koch) was looking down on (them) and they didn’t get this once-in-a-lifetime experience to go down the Canyon of Heroes. Some of them, they’ve sort of moved on, and some of them, the feelings are still very raw.”