Today in Local Sports Coverage: Heresy

Your morning papers gin up a little controversy on an otherwise slow sports day.

The newsiest story is that the Nets seem to have found an interim captain for their Titanic season. General Manager Kiki Vandeweghe, master of the jab step, has agreed to fall on his sword and sacrifice any hope of decent career winning percentage in order to coach the Nets for the rest of the season.

But an interim head coach for an 0-17 team doesn’t exactly send papers flying off the newsstands, so it’s the Giants who get both of your back covers this morning. The Daily News is ready to bury them. “HOUSE OF BLUES,” reads the headline. Inside, Gary Myers shrugs off the Giants’ chances of beating the Cowboys and Eagles and maybe sneaking into the playoffs.

Sometimes teams just have seasons like this. Players get hurt. Nobody steps up. The running back takes a step backward. The defensive ends don’t get sacks. The quarterback has a bum foot. The head coach can’t come up with a plan. The new defensive coordinator looks like a bad fit.

Perhaps, but the Post thinks otherwise. They run Justin Tuck on the back cover with something like a playoff guarantee.

What is Justin Tuck’s level of optimism that the Giants will cast aside their losing ways and actually make a run at the playoffs?

“Give me a scale,” Tuck requested yesterday.

One to 10, he was told.

“Eleven,” Tuck replied.

Add your own punch line.

Is that really a playoff guarantee? Maybe, although the Daily News had the “eleven” line too and didn’t really report it that way.

No one is guaranteeing the Jets will make the playoffs, but Steve Serby is pumping up their chances, starting with a win over Buffalo in Toronto on Thursday night. The Bills ought to be an easy mark, but then the Jets managed to lose last time they played, so you know Rex Ryan is going to be Rex Ryan about the whole thing. “We got some unfinished business that we need to take care of with Buffalo,” Ryan said. Never a good thing when you have unfinished business with the Bills. Serby’s road map to the playoffs: win all of the remaining games and finish 10-6. Perhaps the Nets could try this too.

The most surprising column this morning is in the Post, where Joel Sherman isn’t happy Derek Jeter won Sports Ilustrated’s Sportsman of the Year Award. It would be one of those predictably counterintuitive pieces after an award like this, if it wasn’t so heretical to Sherman’s audience. After all, this is Derek Jeter we’re talking about. But Sherman, who was letting Alex Rodriguez off the hook even before the playoffs started, writes that the award should have gone to A-Rod.

Rodriguez should win this award. He embodies where sports are now. He is the intersection of illegal performance enhancers, advancements in sports medicine, celebrity and on-field genius.

Worse, Sherman thinks that even Tim Tebow might have been more deserving. Suffice it to say the comments on this article are less than positive.

Did I mention it was a slow sports day?

Today in Local Sports Coverage: Heresy