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New York belongs to those who work and live here

HOWIE EVANS AmNews Sports Editor | 12/30/2011, 4:24 p.m.

The teams: The New York Jets and the New York Giants. One city: New York. Both claim territorial rights, but the city belongs to neither-not anymore. Not like it was before.

That was once upon a time, but this is the truth and cold, hard fact. Both teams belong to the state of New Jersey, not New York. Their shared stadium is in New Jersey. Their athletic and practice facilities are in New Jersey. And most importantly, the majority of both teams' players house and scatter themselves in New Jersey.

It could have been different; both teams and players living and funning it up in New York. But the filthy game of politics in this often divided city of New York and its power-mad public servants couldn't agree on anything regarding a Jets stadium on the West Side of Midtown Manhattan. Who was going to control the pot of gold? Who was going to get the parking spaces? Who was going to get this? Who was going to get that? Thousands of jobs became yesterday's casualty.

The blame stretches from City Hall to the money people who reign atop the politicians.

So the Sunday fans, thousands of New Yorkers, went bumper-to-bumper across bridges and rolling through the dark tunnels of the Holland and Lincoln tunnels to witnesses a showdown between two teams who had engaged themselves in pre-game silly name-calling, bragging and selling "wolf tickets."

Rex Ryan, whose ailing dad Buddy would have absolutely loved the pre-game war of words, was in full boastful mode. Post-game, Ryan knew his Jets had played a terrible game on the offensive side of the ball. But he gave the Giants credit.

"They were the better team today," he conceded, ready to continue his style of coaching, knowing his Jets will need a miracle to make the playoffs.

Not far from the Jets facility in Jersey, the Giants are in if they hold against Dallas on Sunday.

Tom Coughlin? He took a shot to the knee on a play that extended past the sideline markers. But he was in full "Let's get ready for the Cowboys" mode.

The big winner? New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

New York? This town belongs to those who live and play here. Period!