December 27th, 2004

Same Old Jets . . .

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Thanks to a last minute, non-refundable airfare, I was fortunate enough to miss the Jets’ 23-7 loss to the Patriots at the Meadowlands yesterday. But as I’ve said before, what Jets fan on the planet didn’t anticipate the outcome all week long?

Now the Jets head into the final week of the season in a position their fans find all too familiar: Needing a win to qualify for the postseason. Most recently, back in 2002, our heroes in kelly green and white needed a miraculous win by the Patriots over the Dolphins, plus a win over Green Bay at home in order to win the AFC East with a 9-7 record.

In 2000, they needed a win on the road at Baltimore to qualify in the season’s final week. And after jumping out to an early lead, they blew it.

Ditto back in 1997, when in Bill Parcells’ first year as coach the team needed a season-ending win at Detroit to clinch a Wild Card — a hope that went up in smoke in part when rookie halback Leon Johnson threw an interception on an option play.

So what’s going to happen next week in St. Louis? Does it really matter? Disaster lurks around every corner when you’re a New York Jets fan. Sure, they might win next week, clinching a Wild Card spot, but ultimately, defeat lies only a weekend away. If they don’t lose next week in St. Louis, they’re sure to go belly up in the first round in San Diego. And if they manage to win there, that means another trip to New England where they get to me crushed one more time.

And some wonder why I don’t write more about football.

Click here and wonder no more.

2 Responses to “Same Old Jets . . .”

  1. dcthrowback says:

    It’s this kind of self-hating that gives Bills fans like me so much optimism heading into the final week of the season.

    Nothing like another Jets collapse down the stretch to warm the hearts of the Bills faithful this Christmas season.

    Go Rams!

  2. Robert George says:

    Eric,

    The essence of the Jets fan can be summed up in your unfortunate typo: “…that means another trip to New England where they get to me crushed one more time.”

    You meant, “get to be crushed,” but the personal sense of oppression that Gang Green fans feel is perfectly conveyed the way you actually wrote it.

    S.O.J.!!!

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December 13th, 2004

Same Old Jets

After Pittsburgh’s 17-6 win over the New York Jets yesterday, one Steelers’ fan told me how nervous he was at times during the game. I replied that I was never nervous, after all, from the opening kickoff, I knew there was no way the Jets were going to win.

Bill Rhoden of the New York Times puts his finger on why:

The loss was nothing to be ashamed of: the Jets put up a gritty fight, their defense played well and their offense ran well in spots. Some Jets players talked about lessons learned and what they took away from this loss. Unfortunately, the Jets have been proving themselves and learning lessons for 35 years. When do you use all the lessons learned and win the prize? Ever since winning the Super Bowl [in 1969], the intervening 35 seasons for this franchise have been long and seemingly endless, marked by flashes of futility, near misses, fading away. The Jets tease their fans with an early-season rush, only to collapse.

With three games to go, the Jets are 9-4, with games against Seattle, New England and St. Louis remaining. If the season were to end today, the Jets would qualify as the top Wild Card in the AFC. But as every Jets fan knows deep in his bones, the season does not end today, and the remaining three games are fraught with the potential of disaster and heartbreak.

Another friend told me yesterday that there was no way the Jets wouldn’t make the playoffs, and that they would easily defeat both Seattle and St. Louis. But I know better.

One Response to “Same Old Jets”

  1. Devin McCullen says:

    Nah, the Jets will make the playoffs. Of course, bear in mind that I’m also a Giants fan (although the J-E-T-S are #1), and I was on the phone with my friend at the start of the 4th Quarter of the Trey Junkin game, and I guaranteed there was no way they could blow it.

    So they’ll make the playoffs, and if they draw San Diego in the first round they might even win a game. But they’ll go down quietly in Round 2, and no one will really be that surprised or disappointed.

    Completely off-topic, Saturday Night Live had Brett Hull on Weekend Update, basically for the punchline when asked about the gay marriage ruling in Canada, “That’s what happens when you don’t have hockey.” (Sorry, I just got sick of waiting for a hockey post to put that in.)

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