Oct 21, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin waves to fans leaving field with victory over Minnesota Vikings at MetLife Stadium. New York Giants defeat the Minnesota Vikings 23-7. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

NFL "Likability" Rankings: Where are the Giants?

Let’s imagine you’re a sports fan getting his/her first introduction to the National Football League experience– which franchise would you be most likely to gravitate towards? Maybe it’s the organization’s legendary lore that will grab you. Or the star power/incredible athleticism of a certain player. Heck, how about just the straight prevalence of the W’s? In other words, you pick your team because it’s a perennial Super Bowl powerhouse.

The staff at Cover32.com put together “outsider” likability rankings for all 32 NFL teams, based subjectively off expected answers to the above question(s). The Giants slid in at #13 on the most likable scale, but not for the reason Big Blue Nation would expect, or appreciate:

Yes, rooting for the Giants is sort of like pulling for Microsoft, the IRS or Bank of America; but organizations with deep pockets, lots of connections and tons of resources tend to not disappoint their supporters.

With an eight-pack of NFL Titles to their name — four League Championships and four Super Bowl rings — the New York Giants have given their fanbase an awful lot to cheer about since 1925. That much is definitively true. However, are deep pockets and connections really relevant to football success? We’re not talking New York Yankees baseball here.

Indeed, the Giants are typically at or near the NFL salary cap ceiling  ($133 million in 2014), but they are far from the anomaly. With training camp less than a month away, the Jints rank 12th in total team salary.

So… with $6.3 million still available to spend for the upcoming season, has the Giants resource well run dry? Once again, this is not Major League Baseball where a luxury tax is the only line of defense between competitive balance and excessive spending. Of course, New York/New Jersey is afforded an innate advantage over the Jacksonville’s and Cleveland’s of the world (don’t tell that to the Jets). However, the Giants are certainly not alone in this regard either.

At the end of the day, the NFL rewards team building. The playing field is level for franchise’s that value winning over the bottom line. In the original NY Giants days in the ’20s, the Mara family used resources to get ahead. Fantastic stuff, such as Tim Mara purchasing a “Wolverine’s” franchise in Detroit for the sole purpose of making Benny Friedman a Giant football star. That’s part of New York’s historical allure and prestige. This is a team and organization that has used every resource to win in its storied past.

But these days, is being the biggest and richest really still the reason for GIANT success, or is it that the New York Football Giants are just better at building winners?

NFL fans. You decide.

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