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Giants Looking to Send a Message to Jets on Monday

There's more at stake than in your usual preseason opener

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images

    One Giant didn't get the memo that the Jets were to be ignored.

    Cornerback Terrell Thomas said he was disgusted by the arrogance of the Jets during Wednesday night's premiere episode of "Hard Knocks" and intimated that he'll be using it as inspiration for Monday night's preseason opener at the New Meadowlands Stadium. He plans to issue a reminder that recent history means nothing because this is still a Giants town.

    "There's a lot going on right now with the Jets claiming New York and that it's their town," said Thomas. "We're not feeding into that. But at the same time we want to send a message to them that it's still our town. And it's going to be our stadium. ... Until they win the Super Bowl, until they start dominating teams - and just don't do it one year - we'll consider it. But until then, everybody knows it's a Giants town."

    Thomas might not be clear on what "not feeding into that" means but he's got a pretty firm grasp on his feelings about the Jets. And no matter how many of his teammates expressed dispassionate denials of the existence of a television show about the other team in town, it's a pretty good bet he's not the only one who has some hostile feelings to sort out on the field come Monday.

    That means Monday is going to be a lot more than your typical preseason affair. It's the first football game at the new stadium, Green Day will be performing before the game gets underway and both teams have an awful lot to prove this season. The Jets have to prove they aren't the cocky blowhards Thomas and many others think they are and the Giants have to prove that last season was actually just a blip on the screen. Not even the fact that most of the game will be played by guys on their way to unemployment will take the fun out of it.

    Ultimately, of course, the result of Monday's game is completely insignificant. So is the question of whether this is a Giants or a Jets town, for that matter. Thankfully, six months without football makes it easy to forget all that and turn the game into a blood war that matters more than anything else that has ever happened.

    Hyperbole aside, it's awfully fun to have football back, isn't it?

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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