By Patrick Stanton
To Woody Johnson, the late Leon Hess, Eric Mangini, Herm Edwards, Al Groh, Bruce Coslet, Joe Walton, Walt Michaels & the entire Jets organization, past and present:
Gentlemen, I’m sorry for being such a bad fan and hope that you accept my most sincere apology for my recent actions. You see, I came to foolishly expect that the goal of a professional sports franchise was to not only win games, but to ultimately win league championships. Silly me, getting caught up in all that hoopla of wanting to not only make the playoffs, but actually win one or two games once involved in it.
I’m sorry for thinking that only winning 1 NFL-AFL World Championship, 4 division titles and making the playoffs a total of 12 times in your 48 years [25%] as a professional football franchise isn’t the very definition of success that every other team in America, if not the world, strives for. It almost isn’t fair to acknowledge the fact that Trent Dilfer and the Baltimore Ravens, with an offense to which I cannot for the life of me, name another player on, won a Super Bowl title while the Jets haven’t even been back to lose one. I’m sorry that during those 12 various playoff appearances, the mean and cruel football gods dealt our team a bad hand of A.J. Duhe, Terrell Davis and their merry band of friends.
I’m sorry that unlike every other franchise in the NFL, you’ve never had your own home during your 48 years in existence and have been forced to rent out the home of your cross-town rival like a college student on food stamps. I’m sorry that the City of NY never deemed it necessary to build you your own stadium because Mr. Hess and Mr. Johnson, why should you have your own stadium?
I’m sorry that in 1982, after yet another decade of what most people would call utter failure, but you call ‘being competitive’, the Jets had to play on the same rain soaked field as the Dolphins and have their QB throw 5 interceptions, including a season ending pick 6 to the aforementioned Duhe. It was so not fair that the tarp was left off the field that I can’t blame you for just not showing up at all that day.
I’m sorry that in 1986, that evil Paul McGuire angered the football gods and cast down upon you, the McGuire Curse, which was the real reason behind your 5 game, season finishing tank job from 10-1 to 10-6, not an epic choke job of biblical proportions. I’m sorry that Mark Gastineau roughed Bernie Kosar and helped the Browns rally back from a 10 point deficit with 4+ minutes to go to beat you on a Mark Mosely FG in double OT. I know if it hadn’t been for that evil McGuire, you would have gone all the way to the Super Bowl right?
I’m sorry being upset at your drafting of Ken O’Brien over Dan Marino, Blair Thomas over Emmitt Smith, and countless others that caused that evil Mel Kiper to state “It’s obvious that the NY Jets have no idea what the draft is all about”.
I’m sorry that Dan Marino made such an unsportsmanlike move by faking a clock stopping spike because, hey, that was really unfair.
I’m sorry that Leon Johnson can’t throw a better halfback pass, because hey, that really was a solid play call.
I’m sorry that the Jets couldn’t “Hold” a 10 point lead against Denver in 1998 for an entire half and Vinny threw 2 killer interceptions in the 2nd half. It really wasn’t fair for those Denver players to get in the way of his intended receiver.
I’m sorry that Punter/QB Tom Tupa wasn’t the answer to a Super Bowl run in 1999.
I’m sorry that the Jets were unable to win a Super Bowl during Bill Bilichick’s 24 hour tenure in New York.
I’m sorry that Al Groh wasn’t the answer in 2000 and bolted for the University of Virginia. I’m sure a coach passing up a chance to coach a NFL team for a NCAA Division 1 School was no reflection of your organization at all.
I’m sorry that you can’t win on the West Coast…..ever.
I’m sorry that Doug Brien couldn’t hit that FG after Herm cost him yardage with Pennington’s kneel downs.
I’m sorry that changing QBs midway through training camp for a 39 year old guy from Mississippi who hates playing in the cold and doesn’t know the system hasn’t worked out.
I’m sorry that Kris Jenkins cannot singlehandedly defend the run and rush the passer all by himself.
I’m sorry it snowed in Seattle last week, because with that roof at GIANTS Stadium, you guys aren’t used to playing in the bad weather, right?
I’m sorry it was such a long flight on your chartered airliner with first class seats and that you weren’t in game shape last week. Also, I’m sorry that the Dolphins and Patriots are being poor sports, by not only winning, but not telling you their secret for flying the same distance and winning on the West Coast.
All in all, I’m sorry Jets. I’m sorry for looking at this fine resume of “success” and thinking that you, the organization, would have anything to do with it. It’s our fault, yes us, the fans. This one’s on us. If we were just more patient with your “yearly 5 year plans”, your questionable personnel moves, and substandard coaching appointments, perhaps you wouldn’t be in this predicament. If only we fans were more willing to shell out thousands of dollars for PSLs, increased ticket prices, increased parking prices, increased concessions prices, then perhaps this really bad run of luck would turn around?
Who are we, the mere fans, to boo and get upset when your team starts 8-3 and subsequently drops 3 out of 4 to SF, DEN, & SEA, causing you to go from a potential 2 or 3 seed to not even being in the playoffs? It’s not your fault, we should know, it’s hard being so good at times.
So to everyone with the NY Jets, please accept our sincerest apologies as you attempt to beat Miami this weekend and hope for a well designed algorithm from an esteemed Harvard Astrophysicist to get you into the playoffs, since you shouldn’t be expected to shoulder the burden of winning out on your own and earning your way in.
Have A Merry Christmas with those 6, 7 & 8 figure checks, because even if you lose, you still win. As for the fans out there, who spend 600, 700, 800+ dollars they really don’t have, to come watch you play? The fans working 2 jobs to support your yearly train wrecks? The fans driving to and from Queens and Pennsylvania every week, paying $30 in tolls along the way? The fans freezing their asses off in a torrential downpour hoping to see their team win? The fans that despite all this, with everything you put them through and all the money they spend on you, continue to come back year after year and have the audacity to get upset with your yearly failures? Don’t worry about them; they’re not “Real Fans”, right????
Discuss this with other Jets fans here.