The Bad Sports Take Industrial Complex knows no geographic bounds, but eye-rollingly hot air farts especially loud from the pages of the New York Post.
And lately the New York City tabloid has become fascinated with the Minnesota Vikings.
Back in January, just hours after the Minnesota Miracle, NY Post columnist Phil Mushnick called playoff hero Stefon Diggs a "jerk" who's "tough to root for." Now, days after the Vikes made Kirk Cousins the NFL's highest paid player, Mush's colleague Brian Costello is digging into Minnesota.
The abysmal New York Jets expressed interest in free-agent quarterback Cousins, you see, but Kirk wisely opted to hitch his wagon to the Vikings, a team with two stud wideouts, a Pro Bowl tight end, a star-in-the-making halfback, and the league's nastiest defense. Costello's argument is less Xs and Os and more coastal chest-pounding, however.
Costello seizes on an anonymous source who claims Cousins was "intimidated" by the prospect of playing in New York City. He proceeds to argue: 1) The Jets could have paid Cousins more money; 2) The Jets are loaded with salary cap space, draft picks, and steady management, signaling eventual relevancy; 3) In lavishing praise on his new home state, Cousins was "disrespectful to the Jets and the New York/New Jersey area;" 4) New York City is the best.
Costello leans hard into that last point. Summoning his hackiest uncle-isms, here he is swinging smugly at the lowest hanging fruits:
"Are you kidding? Choosing Minnesota over the greatest city in the world? Choosing a place where fine cuisine is a Juicy Lucy (don’t ask) and high-end shopping is going to Target? Remember, Robert Zimmerman left Minnesota to become Bob Dylan in Greenwich Village. Do you enjoy temperatures below zero all winter, Kirk? Minnesota has 10,000 lakes. You know what comes with 10,000 lakes? About 1,000,000 mosquitoes. Cousins chose the Mall of America over Madison Avenue. Enough said."
Actually, Costello has a bit more to say. In the following sentence (!), he cuts his position down at the knees, admitting that the Jets practice and play in the cosmopolitan dreamscape known as East Rutherford, New Jersey.
A few more things:
- Jucy Lucys rule; our dining scene is nationally celebrated
- In addition to free parking, Mall of America has no shortage of bougie retail outlets.
- Bob Dylan secretly loves Minnesota ("Contrary to rumors, I am very proud of where I’m from").
- Surprise! New York, er, New Jersey is also cold.
- Mosquitoes are annoying, but at least there's not a sprawling "Rats in Minneapolis" Wikipedia page.
- It almost requires a three-year, $84 million contract to afford living within five miles of Madison Avenue, whereas no place combines affordability, opportunity, and wealth like the Twin Cities, according to a (slightly problematic) Atlantic piece.
Mostly, though, Cousins entered an objectively better football situation with the Vikings. The rock-solid team competed in last season's NFC Championship Game with a third-string quarterback while the 5-11 Jets watched from home. And, if anything, our culturally stacked flyover metropolis might prove too glitzy for the God-fearing, Creed-loving QB from Holland, Michigan.
In related news: Former Viking Teddy Bridgewater is officially excited to be a Jet, the NY Post reports.