My Jersey Journal article on football allegiances in Hudson County, which, for those of you who don’t know, is the one right across the river that contains Jersey City, Hoboken, Bayonne, etc., and is the purview of the Jersey Journal. Contrary to popular belief, the Jersey Journal is not a diary about my jersey collection.

The article is basically a run-down of a poll conducted by New Jersey City University. Not surprisingly, the G-Men reign supreme in Hudson County, as you would suspect they would in all of northern NJ, which has traditionally been Giants country – the Jets have more of a Long Island fan-base.

Many of the six-hundred respondents are clearly pretty ig’nant when it comes to football, but nevertheless, the poll reveals some interesting stuff: For instance, 62.1% of Hudson County Giants fans identified themselves as Republicans. This is pretty surprising, considering that Hudson County is one of the most Democratic counties in the country – Kerry beat Bush by a 2-1 margin in 2004, and Corzine beat Forrester by a 3-1 margin in the 2005 Gov. race.

Peter Handrinos, author of the forthcoming Best New York Sports Arguments: The 100 Most Controversial, Debatable, Questions for Die Hard New York Sports Fans, offers some good insight into this Republican affinity for the G-Men.

“The Giants have always been more associated with the establishment. You can even look at the nicknames: ‘The G-Men.’ ‘Big Blue.’ Even the red, white and blue colors speak of old-time values. In the sixties, the Giants were the guys with crew cuts, and Joe Namath and the Jets were the guys with long hair and beards.”

Check out this on-point and really well-written blog post by Michael Waxenberg about the return of Colonel Tom to Jacksonville. He writes, “Coughlin was the unitary executive in Jacksonville. He truly was the organization. The team’s ascent disguised his quirks, and its decline unmasked his hubris…. [But] Coughlin seems to have learned from some of the mistakes he made in Jacksonville. The Patton act isn’t quite so overbearing, except perhaps in his interaction with the media. He has made a genuine effort to connect with his players on the basis of mutual respect and not fear.”

–Well, it will be Bob Whitfield at left tackle on Monday – forget about sliding Diehl over and sticking Seubert in Diehl’s spot. It’s important to remember that Whitfield, for as bad as he looked last Sunday, was coming in completely rusty off the bench, working at a different position (left tackle) than he had the week before (right tackle, when he filled in for a migraine-ridden McKenzie.) Those subtleties in footwork make a big difference, especially when you’re coming in cold against Alex Brown.

Who knows? Maybe the loss of Petitgout won’t be so debilitating after all. And if Whitfield falters, there’s always the option of sliding Diehl over. This week should be a good test – Whitfield’s matched up against speed-rusher Bobby McCray, who comes into the game with 6 sacks. If he can handle this assignment, we’re not in bad shape.

–Tim Carter’s gotta step up, and it didn’t look encouraging when Amani’s replacement was blanked by the Bears. But as Mike Garafolo writes, the coaching staff was actually extremely pleased with Carter’s play. Let’s try to get him the ball – the guy can be a playmaker.

–So yeah, as you all know, Tuck is out for the year with a mangled Lisfranc joint. Jesus Christ, what’s the deal with our D-Ends and this Lisfranc thing? (Who is this Lisfranc character, you might ask? Well, check out the Wikipedia entry.) And I thought Tuck was, like, set to come back any day now? As commentator Fred ominously points out, “2006 DEs = 2005 LBs.” Let’s hope Strahan and Osi get well before we play Dallas on December 3rd. If we have to rest them against the Titans the week before, fine (although it would be nice having them to contain Vince Young).

Welcome back, Lance Legree, who will split time with Joseph at the left DE spot while Osi (who is doubtful) and Strahan (who is out) convalesce. Obviously it’s a huge downgrade going from Osi and Strahan to ‘Nuke and Joseph/Legree, but at least these are pro-quality players we’re trotting out. It would obviously be great to have our playmakers, but we should be okay.

–Also in this Garafolo piece, Sinorice Moss continues to progress, but both he and Colonel Tom are being cagey about whether he’ll play or not. How ‘bout not? I want this guy completely healthy, if that’s possible, for the stretch-run and the playoffs.

–In other injury news, Brandon Short is out and Carlos Emmons might play. We could use Emmons back, but let’s not rush him – Torbor and Gerris should hold up fine.

–And Sam Madison is questionable, and may actually miss a few weeks. This isn’t good – we’re really thin at corner now, and losing R.W. or Webster would be kinda devastating.

Speaking of Webster, his improvement at corner is about as critical as Whitfield’s improvement at left tackle. Two things you simply cannot have are a vulnerable left tackle and a vulnerable corner. We know Webster has the tools: he just needs to play better.

–Last but not least, NYGMen wishes a Happy Birthday to Dan, a regular NYGMen commentator, die-hard Giants fan and close friend since Kindergarten.