By Joe Brod
This is it! This is our year! We’re finally gonna do it! The Jets are going to win the Super Bowl!
Not so fast. For some odd reason, I don’t seem to share the enthusiasm of the majority of my fellow Jets fans going into this season. It’s not that I don’t think they are that good – they are. It’s not that I don’t believe in Rex Ryan – I happen to base my life on his teachings. It’s not even that I don’t believe in Mark Sanchez – hell, anyone who knows me thinks I am his personal PR man.
It’s because I am a Jets fan.
I know, I know. Most who know me will now say, “but I thought you didn’t buy into all of that ‘same old Jets’ stuff?’” Well, I don’t. I do not believe in karma. I do not believe that this franchise is cursed. I do not believe that there is some strange, evil metaphysical force preventing the Jets from winning. Hell, I hardly even believe in bad luck.
This isn’t even really about them, it’s about me. Well… maybe it’s kind of about them. Let me explain why I feel this way:
I feel this way because one of my earliest memories of Jets football is the “Mud Bowl.” This was the AFC Championship Game loss to Miami that got Walt Michaels fired as head coach. And if that wasn’t enough, the Jets replaced him with Joe Walton, who at his introductory press conference announced his intentions to “rebuild.” Rebuild what? You just came within a game of the Super Bowl. What the hell is there to rebuild? You’re right there!
I feel this way because of the “fake spike.” A terrible moment which to this day means I should probably never meet Dan Marino because if I do, I will kick him squarely in the nuts. This precipitated the firing of Pete Carroll, not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself but it was followed by the single darkest moment in Jets fan history. The moment that gives Jets fans the ultimate trump card in suffering. Whenever a fan of a another traditionally moribund franchise tells me that I don’t understand how bad they have it, I look them dead in the eye and ask them “has the owner of your team ever stood at a podium, announced that he was ‘tired of losing’ and that he ‘wanted to win now’” and then proceed to hire Rich freakin’ Kotite? The Jets lost 28 of their next 32 games – so much for being tired of losing.
And finally I feel this way because of “Vinny’s Achilles.” 1999 was absolutely our year. We had just lost the AFC Championship Game after leading at halftime. John Elway was retired and out of the picture. We were primed and loaded and then came the first series of the regular season. We couldn’t even get teased for seven or eight weeks. Our world came crashing down less than five minutes into the season. To give you an idea of what that felt like, my father is fond of telling people that he only hopes I have the same look on my face the day he dies that I did when Vinny went down in a heap on opening day. It was that bad.
These are specifically the reasons I can’t seem to get myself too excited about this being “our year.” I, personally, don’t seem to see them running roughshod over the rest of the NFL on the way to what some seem to feel is their guaranteed eventual coronation.
It’s not the same old Jets. It’s the same old me.