Nick Mangold, NY Jets, Empire State Building, Lights
Nick Mangold, New York Jets, Getty Images

Why was the Empire State Building lit up green?

Throughout the week after Damar Hamlin’s traumatic injury on the field in Cincinnati, teams across the NFL lit up their stadiums in the Bills’ colors. Players showed solidarity with Buffalo and Hamlin, sporting “Love for Damar” and No. 3 hats, shirts, and jerseys.

This was a show of humanity and togetherness.

After the Eagles’ 31-7 victory over the 49ers in the NFC Championship, some New Yorkers tried a different show of sportsmanship—but this one fell flat.

People in Manhattan and beyond, driving past on the highway or just gazing at the skyline, noticed something strange: the Empire State Building was lit up in green. It took a tweet for anyone to realize why that was the case.

Huh? Why was the Empire State Building—that is, the New York State building—lighting up to honor the Philadelphia Eagles of the Keystone State?

Jets’ Ring of Honor member Nick Mangold took to Twitter to express the dismay of New Yorkers everywhere.

To add to the incongruity, the New York Giants, as much as they play in New Jersey, are also in the Eagles’ division. Giants’ players and fans are still smarting from their 38-7 Divisional Round defeat at the hands of Philadelphia just one week ago. And now their own representative city goes and betrays them? (Giants Twitter did not take too kindly to this, either.)

The overarching question, though, is why one random city would choose to support another random one. When there’s a reason of humanity or good sportsmanship, then it’s heartwarming. When it’s out of the blue, though, with no specific reason, it’s bizarre.

A big part of football is the rivalries. Imagine if the New York skyline was lit up in Patriots’ red, white, and blue when New England advanced to its Super Bowls. Is that sportsmanship, or sticking it in the face of suffering Jets fans?

One Jets fan came up with some rather clever reasoning for the move.

Later, the official Empire State Building Twitter account released a follow-up.

Does it make any more sense to honor the Chiefs in New York? At least Kansas City truly has no connection to New York, unless you count the fact that the Chiefs will face the Jets in 2023 and Kadarius Toney, the Giants’ first-round pick in 2021, is now in Kansas City.

Either way, that was poorly done by whoever lights up the Empire State Building. The only green on that building should be the Jets’ Green and White.

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Rivka Boord has followed the Jets since the age of five. She is known locally for her in-depth knowledge of football. She hopes to empower young women to follow their dreams and join the sports conversation. Boord's background in analytics infuses her articles with unique insights into the state of the Jets' franchise and the NFL as a whole.
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