See that billboard? That billboard now towers over I-78 (Big thanks to reader Brian who pointing this out to me), and it is the latest in digs and cheapshots the Devils have hurled at the Nets. I have no idea why the Devils continue to poke and prod at the Nets, but they seem to enjoy it. Seriously, where were they all this time when the Giants and Jets call themselves the New York Jets and the New Yourk Giants. Sure the Nets don't have New Jersey on their jerseys, but the Giants and Jets don't even acknowledge the Jets at all. As a New Jersey resident, that pisses me off more than anything the Nets have done. As for this latest dig the, is it clever? Meh, not really. Is it petty? Sure. To me, however, it just screams marketing ploy (notice the number to get your package plans is up there, almost as big as the words Jersey's team), but you no what, it worked. Everyone who follows sports in New Jersey seem to be talking about it, and this billboard has given the Ratner bashers the opportunity to get on their podium again.
The Star Ledger posted an editorial about the billboard this morning, and there they coined a name we are probably going to hear the rest of the year. Nowhere Nets:
It's the latest gotcha in an intramural feud with the Nets, who continue to commit silly personal fouls against the state while playing in a decaying -- and competing -- arena the Devils want closed. But motives aside, the Nets deserved the dig.
It's not enough that the Nets keep insisting they're moving to Brooklyn (call us when a shovel actually scratches the dirt over there), but now the Nets are removing "New Jersey" from their road uniforms for the upcoming basketball season.
Basically, they're saying: "When we're in New Jersey, we'd rather be in Brooklyn, and when we're on the road, we don't want anyone to know we're still from New Jersey."
So, while New Jersey pours millions of tax dollars into Izod Center to prop it up for the Nets, the NBA team repays the state with disrespect.
The Nets say they're just, uh, regionalizing their brand. Hogwash. The team that draws fewer people than a planning board meeting (the Nets ranked 24th out of 30 NBA teams in total attendance last season) suddenly wants to market from horizon to horizon?
Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn also chimed in because they seem to hop on any anti-Nets bandwagon there is. I love how whenever the tax dollars the Nets get from NJ get mentioned, they conveniently forget to mention all of the money that NJ makes off of the Nets. I mean of course they won't mention it, it weakens their point. Also in the quoted section above, they mention the Nets low attendance and the fact that they would rather be in Brooklyn than NJ. Don't you think those two things go hand in hand? Don't you think if the Nets were selling out the Izod Center, or thought they could sell out arenas like the Prudential Center, they would stay? I do. But they can't and they won't which is why they are heading to Brooklyn.
I have said this before, I don't really think this jersey thing is a big deal at all. And before I go on, I feel like I have to give you guys my stance on this (as if you haven't already figured it out). I am from New Jersey. I have been a diehard Nets fan my whole life. I was a part of that whole stay in NJ movement at first, but then, then I realized the move to Brooklyn only makes sense business-wise and basketball wise. As long as they keep the name the Nets, that is good enough for me. Let's keep this in perspective people, these are away jerseys. They are removing the name off of away jerseys. I think if New Jersey residents were going to be offended they should have been a long time ago. In my opinion, they have no right to be indifferent for years and now feign outrage to drum up support for their causes (which is what I think these politicians are doing). Plus, I actually think the red jerseys are nicer.