Stunningly, some would go so far as to say miraculously, the New York Giants of New Jersey are going to the Super Bowl. You know what this means, don’t you? For the next two weeks there may be cross-border skirmishing over whether the west bank or the east bank of the Hudson River gets to organize the celebration if the team wins the big game, scheduled for Feb. 5 in Indianapolis.
It’s no contest, though. New York City will prevail. Its mayors like to lead “ticker-tape parades,” and Michael R. Bloomberg is no exception. As sure as a sunrise, he will schedule one along Lower Broadway, just as he did four years ago when the Giants last won the Super Bowl.
This type of triumphant New York procession, which for the past two decades has been reserved almost exclusively for sports champions, is in fact a misnomer. A ticker-tape parade is what I call an “anachronym,” a phrase derived from a physical object that has long faded from normal use. If you’ve ever had your phone ring off the hook or cc’ed — carbon copied — an e-mail, you know what we’re talking about.
Not to put you through the wringer over a linguistic nicety, but who except the most grizzled Wall Street trader remembers ticker tape? Even so, that’s what these parades are still called.
Back to the Super Bowl. The certainty of a victory march along Broadway has eluded one major political figure: Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey. Mr. Christie — who is to politics what Rex Ryan, the voluble coach of the New York Jets of New Jersey, is to football — insisted that his state be the host. “They play in New Jersey,” he said the other day on NBC’s “Today” show. “They train in New Jersey.”
That they do. But they carry the New York name. If you’re an athlete who has just won your sport’s biggest game, would you rather ride to enormous huzzahs on one of the world’s most famous thoroughfares, or do a few loops around a parking lot outside a stadium? Not a hard choice, is it?
But Mr. Christie, who happens to be a Jets fan, likes to let off steam (another anachronym). It would surprise no one if he were to kick up a fuss and all but claim a parade to be his state’s birthright.
He is certainly not shy about challenging Mr. Bloomberg. He did so last summer in advance of the ceremony at the World Trade Center site commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He was unhappy that no invitation had been sent to Donald T. DiFrancesco, who was New Jersey’s governor in 2001. But it wasn’t enough for him that the mayor acceded to his demand and asked Mr. DiFrancesco to join in. News reports said that Mr. Christie felt a need to ridicule Mr. Bloomberg, describing him in private with words like “Napoleon” and “dicator” and with a Yiddish vulgarism.
So the governor will bear watching as the Super Bowl, No. XLVI, draws near.
The Giants, who beat the San Francisco 49ers in overtime Sunday night, will face the New England Patriots, whom they defeated for the championship four years ago. Make no mistake. The Patriots are a formidable team. Oddsmakers will probably cast them as the favorite.
But at least the Giants’ opponent is not the Tennessee Titans.
Some politicians in Tennessee are upset that a woman from their state, Meredith Graves, was charged in New York with weapons possession after she went to the 9/11 memorial with a loaded pistol last month. Ms. Graves tried to check the gun on the way in. She had a license to carry it in Tennessee, and she said she had no idea that the permit held no weight in New York.
Her arrest prompted a lawmaker from Knoxville to introduce a resolution, which may be voted on this week, urging New York to “use common sense” in the Graves case and cautioning New Yorkers who drive through Tennessee to “pay extra attention to our speed limits.” An implied “or else” was unmistakable.
Most likely, the resolution amounts to little more than bluster. But if the Tennesseans get bent out of shape over a relatively minor matter like gun laws, can you imagine what they would do if something really important were on the line, like football?