The Giants have won two games in a row. If you went into any Giants fan spaces over the last two weeks, you’d have to go in wearing body armor. Are you happy the Giants won or not? Do you want the team to lose? That’s the question driving everyone to war. Do you root for your team to tank?

Me? I do not root for a tank. I have never rooted for a tank. I likely will never root for a tank. I never want to somehow find myself twisted into a position where I am actively rooting for my team to lose. That’s fuck’n dumb! I want the Giants to win every game they play by 50 points. Some people might see my high Giants pessimism and be confused by that statement, but pessimism in fandom isn’t rooting for your team to lose. It’s wanting your team to win, but not believing they will. I do not have much faith in the Giants, but I will always root for them to win, and I will always enjoy it when they do.

People who are rooting for a tank, who I call Tankers, certainly do not see it as rooting against their team. They view it as rooting for the team, in the long run. I don’t really agree with it. Because this long game is hinged entirely upon unknowns and hypotheticals. One of the things you notice when you get into arguments with Tankers is when the team wins, they talk as if the picks you are no longer in position to get were automatically going to change the franchise. “Oh, you’re happy they won this meaningless game?” they say, suggesting you are some simpleton who doesn’t understand wider contexts. “I hope you enjoy next year when we still suck ass then and some other team has their franchise QB”, they say confidently, as if they exist in an alternate reality where this has already happened.

This has always been the fundamental flaw to me in rooting for a tank. When you root for a tank, when you reach the point where you are actively upset and angry that the team was successful at their jobs, you’ve essentially traded any enjoyment you may get for what’s in the box. And the box might just have more pain. You are working yourself up over hypotheticals. You are building a mythical fantasy in your head of that pick working out and changing everything for the better. You’re daydreaming, and getting mad when reality isn’t allowing that dream to come true. The team winning a game becomes an antagonist in the future you’ve convinced yourself will happen if you picked higher.

The draft is a wildcard. A crapshoot. Absolutely nothing is guaranteed. I saw Jets fans gloat and laugh when the Giants picked Saquon Barkley and allowed them to get Sam Darnold. Barkley, even with his injuries, has been a franchise player, and if the Giants sign him this offseason, he will likely outlast two top 3 Jets QB choices in 5 years. The best QBs of that draft were taken at #7 (and he took at least 2 years of development to become good), and pick #32. I watched the Giants “lose” the Chase Young bowl to Washington and get an all-pro tackle out of it while Chase Young is now a 49er and has spent half his career on IR. I watched Texans fans become absolutely livid last year at losing the tank job and end up with the best rookie QB we’ve seen in years who immediately transformed the franchise.

I watched the Bears become elated that Justin Fields fell to #10 and then watched them misuse, abuse, and squander him in the years since, to the point where he may never be good. Getting that higher pick certainly gives you a better chance at that guy who could help change your franchise around. The Jaguars and Bengals are certainly happy. But it is not a guarantee. It is never a guarantee. It’s just a chance. He could bust, the team could completely fail around him anyway, any number of things can prevent this from working out. And a team who picks below you could stumble into the guy you should have picked anyway and then you’re mad for a different reason.

The draft is a consolation prize. A way to make you feel better about the future when your team sucks ass. You watch your team stink it up all year and think to yourself, well at least we can draft a top guy! But it’s not something you actively root for. You are just trading whatever enjoyment you actually can get out of this year for some far-off potential future nobody knows.

The past two wins, while likely pushing the Giants out of top 2 QB prospect range, have also been the most joy I’ve had all year and I don’t want to exchange that joy for anger and bitterness about some hypothetical future. Tommy DeVito has become a brief, fleeting legend. A tiny speck of joy that shines so brightly. When these Tankers scream that these wins are meaningless, they aren’t. They aren’t to Tommy. They aren’t to coaches who are trying to keep things from falling apart. They aren’t to the players who played in it, who will remember those moments for the rest of their lives. They aren’t to the fans among us who feel happy when the team wins and are enjoying the ride, no matter how silly. No win is meaningless. But it becomes meaningless if you view your entire fandom through this specific lens. This weird min/max winning potential stock investment kinda lens. There is so much more value to sports than just maxing out winning.

I think a lot of these Tankers are too deep in. They are taking football far too personally and seriously. This is a game we watch for entertainment, and if you’ve reached a point where you are actively angry that the team did the thing they are supposed to do, maybe it’s time to take a step back and ask yourself why you need this so badly. Why your team winning brings you anguish. It’s not like being a successful franchise just results in sunshine and rainbows. Once you are good, the losses hurt even more, and the pressure begins to mount to a point where you just feel relief after a win instead of pleasure. Last year the Giants were supposed to suck and instead they gave us nothing but glory. Last year was an absolute pleasure, one of my favorite seasons being a Giants fan, because there was no pressure. No expectations. Just good vibes. Fuck, last year may have hurt the Giants in the long run more than this year will. We now owe Daniel Jones a billion dollars.

The older I get, the more the seasons and games blend together, and the less the team being consistently successful feels like it really matters. I got to witness likely the greatest Giants win in history in 2007 and even now things still feel kinda like gravy. I remember individual wins from all of these bad years in the past decade, and I remember enjoying them. The losses mostly fade away. Even with how dismal the franchise has been I’m still left with mostly good memories. Those “meaningless victories”. I choose to relish those wins, each and every one of them, for the wins they are and the joy they give me. I want the team to be great, but I will never root for losses every week and trade what happiness I am given for what’s in the box. Players dont tank. Coaches dont tank.

Fuck Tanking. Go for the win every time. Figure out the rest when the time comes.