Is This Really Happening?
By Joe Brod
I woke up this morning and a wonderful thought occurred to me: ‘what am I going to do if the Jets go to the Super Bowl?’
Why is this thought so wonderful? Because it actually might happen! With the Jets playing in the AFC Championship Game for the second straight year on Sunday, the very real possibility of the Jets playing in the Super Bowl really just hit me for the first time this morning.
Last year, I was just so stunned and happy that the Jets made it their first AFC Championship Game in 11 years that the thought of them actually winning never really occurred to me. Even when they had the lead at halftime, I never once thought they would win. I just didn’t. Why would I? I am a Jets fan.
For Jets fans, to really believe there is a chance their team might go to the Super Bowl, much less win it, is a huge stretch of the imagination. Even the biggest homer among us never really would allow himself to believe they could actually pull it off.
To be perfectly honest, I really would be satisfied with the season if they lost on Sunday. I know, I know. Rex Ryan has been predicting a championship almost since the moment we lost the AFC Championship game last year. But I never thought it was really a possibility.
If anyone asked me what I would see as a successful year this year I would have told them a return trip to the playoffs and marked improvement by Mark Sanchez would be more than acceptable. I wouldn’t have presumed to believe the Jets could repeat back to back road playoff wins and get back to the NFL’s final four – and to have those playoff wins be over our tormentor Peyton Manning and our nemesis Tom Brady? Never in a million years does that happen! These are the Jets, after all.
But then I found myself thinking this morning: ‘if we could beat Manning and Brady in their houses, why can’t we beat Big Ben Roethlisberger? Hell, we already beat him in his house just five weeks ago! Rex Ryan has stymied better QBs. We’re gonna beat that big son of a bitch on Sunday dammit!’
Wait a second! These are the Jets. The Super Bowl? Winning two games in the state of Pennsylvania in the same season? We never won a meaningful game in the state of Pennsylvania until five weeks ago! Literally! How can I possibly believe we can actually win this Sunday? We can’t actually win this Sunday!
For the last decade I’ve had a bit of a jealous streak for Eagles fans and their 6000 NFC Championship Game appearances the past 10 years. I always wondered how Eagles fans managed to get jaded by all those close calls. I always figured it would be great if your team managed to advance to this point in the playoffs over and over again. Guess what? I was right! It is awesome for your team to go to their conference championship game more than once in a row!
But win? Is that really possible? Is it really possible for this star crossed franchise to overcome 42 years of futility and get back to the top of the mountain? You bet it is!