Feeling down? Tired? Uninspired? Filled with lethargy?
Are you a Giants fan?
Your team did this to you.
“I heard this study once that said the testosterone levels of the fans goes down after a loss,’’ veteran offensive tackle Nate Solder said Monday, the day after the Giants lost for the fifth time in six games this season. “What that tells me is they’re in it with us. They’re in there tooth and nail, they’re fighting the fights in their minds and going through it with us emotionally.’’
Before we careen off a “too much information” cliff, there is a study, conducted in 1998 by the University of Utah, that found male fans of winning teams see a 20 percent increase in testosterone levels and male fans of losing teams see a 20 percent dip in testosterone levels. Saliva samples were taken an hour before the games and then again about 15 minutes after the final result of the game was in the books.
There it is. Losing takes the pep from your step.
“I think I understand where they’re coming from,’’ Solder said, “because, quite frankly, we feel the same way a lot of times. We are not playing up to our standards.’’
There are moments for sports franchises where it all turns, where patience and next-year aspirations are shot and all that is left is distrust and anger. The Giants are there. There is no benefit of the doubt with anyone, from the 53rd player on the team to the entire coaching staff to the front office to ownership. Everyone is complicit in these football crimes. An operation does not play 70 games and lose 51 of them, as the Giants have done since the start of the 2017 season, without too many fingerprints to count as incriminating evidence.
This is why the Giants were hit with wave after wave of boos during Sunday’s 38-11 loss to the Rams.
Defensive lineman Leonard Williams did not appreciate hearing this. He has played in 101 NFL games. The record of his team in those games: 34-67. As a rookie, the Jets went 10-6 with Williams and since then, the teams (Jets and now the Giants) that paid him are 24-61. He has never come close to a second winning season. He is an expert on losing in the NFL.
If a sociology class needs a guest lecturer to speak on what it feels like to get booed by your own fans, Williams qualifies as an adjunct professor. With the Jets, Williams went 15-21 in home games. With the Giants, Williams is 4-11.
This season, the Giants are 0-3 at home and they have been outscored 82-38.
“I don’t want to be hearing boos from my own fans,’’ Williams said. “I understand that they have a right to be upset as well because they’re coming to see us put good football on the field. We haven’t been winning up to date. But at the same time, I don’t know, I don’t like that.’’
Here is a simple rejoinder (free of charge) offered to professional players when they are asked about getting booed by their own fans: The less said, the better. Try this on for size:
“I understand their frustration. We are frustrated too. They pay good money to see us play and they have a right to express their opinion when we do not give them a quality product.’’
Now then, if the player wants to really ingratiate himself to the paying customers, or if the particular loss was especially heinous, the player can do a mike-drop after reciting this one-liner:
“If I were them, I’d have booed us too.’’
This is always a nice touch.
This is not an indictment of Leonard Williams. The Giants have so many more urgent and alarming issues than disgruntlement from a prominent player (or two, or more) when their feelings get hurt hearing their fans boo them.
Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, in his first season with the Giants after four years in Tennessee, seems to already know the lay of the land.
“You don’t really want to get booed,’’ he said, “but at the end of the day we aren’t doing anything to not get booed.’’
Solder, not citing a study this time, has no outward animosity for all the negativism swirling around his home stadium.
“We can take it two ways,’’ Solder said. “We can say ‘Oh, they hate us’ or we can say ‘Hey, they’re really wanting the best for us, they really want to see improvement, they really want their team to be what it could be’ and that’s how we are. So we’re all together on that.’’
Togetherness has never been such a downer.