Silliness Finally Hits Giants Camp

Clay Matthews claims Giants didn't beat the Packers in the playoffs

So far, the Jets have gotten to engage in all the non-football nonsense in training camp, leaving the Giants nothing to do but prepare for the coming football season.

How boring is that? It's almost like this football thing is a job for adults.

Thankfully, the kind of silliness that accounts for a daily portion of Jets camp made its way to Albany on Wednesday. It came about thanks to the saddest lament in all of sports: The player who claims that a losing result is somehow fraudulent.

They might claim they are the better team, they may curse some kind of fate or, in the case of Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, they may insist they lost the game instead of admitting the other team won it. That's what Matthews did in an interview with Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports this week.

"We picked the most inopportune time to play our worst ball," Matthews said. "The fact is, [the Giants] didn’t beat us; we beat ourselves. We need to play our best ball when it counts.  This year, I expect us to be right back where we should be."

The story is ludicrous. The Packers didn't play well, but they didn't play well because the Giants were beating them all over the field and the 37-20 is an accurate reflection of that.

While Matthews was calling out his own team's poor performance more than he meant to poke the Giants, it doesn't change the fact that there's a way to do that without the indefensible assertion. The only way you could say the Giants didn't beat them is to say they whooped them.

The Giants felt pretty much the same way and got in some return fire. Justin Tuck went sarcastic and thanked the Packers for handing the game over while Chris Snee played an angrier card.

"If that’s what Clay thinks, so be it,” Snee said. “I have a brand-new ring and we earned every bit of it. We went in there and beat them. He was a non-factor. Maybe that’s what he means."

The Packers and the Giants square off in November at the Meadowlands and you can bet this will come up between now and then. The media will ask about it. The Giants have shown a remarkable ability to hold onto every slight, given their organizational upturned nose when it comes to other people engaging in extracurricular woofing.

It's worked well for them so they should definitely keep doing it, especially in a year where complacency could be a factor after winning the Super Bowl. Mostly, though, we're just happy that the Giants got to have a little fun in camp for a change.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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