There are a few New Jersey natives in the Virginia blogosphere, but as far as I can tell, I am the only one who took his decidedly unhealthy concern for the New York Jets with him to this side of the Potomac River.
That said, those readers who are also part of the Jet fan base will probably recognize the feeling in their stomachs yesterday afternoon as the Cleveland Browns, fresh off their game-tying desperation drive, were moving down the field in overtime to get in position for the game-winning field goal. Images of the 1986 Divisional Playoffs (for those old enough to remember it) may have flooded the mind, although strangely enough, this didn’t happen to me until the game was over. What did imprint itself on my neurons was the most reliable phrase of disgust in Jet fandom.
I though to myself, “This is a Same Old Jets game.”
You need to be a Jets fan to understand this. Just about every one of us can reach back in time to games where the team managed to pull defeat from the jaws of victory: the aforementioned 1986 playoffs; at least three games in the otherwise forgettable 1990 season; just about any game from 1987 through 1998 involving the Indianapolis Colts . . .
. . . and who can forget the Fake Spike Game (if you’re not a Jets fan, don’t ask)?
Even last year, as the Jets were taking the roller coaster to the AFC Championship game, there were three ugly last-minute losses (Miami, Jacksonville, and Atlanta – the last of which led Rex Ryan to famously and erroneously declare the team eliminated from the playoffs).
This year, by contrast, the Jets had only lost twice, and in neither game did they lead in the second half.
Yesterday, however, was all about preparing for the brutal letdown (made somewhat worse by the fact that the game was not on TV, forcing yours truly to follow it on my increasingly outdated cell phone) that only comes with being a Jets fan.
Then Antonio Cromartie recovered a fumble (thank you, again, San Diego!), and after some punts, Santonio Holmes scored a touchdown (thank you, Pittsburgh!), and the inevitable, poisonous loss became yet another victory-cum-desperate-message-to-cut-back-on-the-cholesterol.
Now, there are still seven games left in the season, plenty of time for this team to return us to normal (hearts pulverized into littel green and white pieces). For now, though, this teams has won three games that any honest Jet fan would have considered lost (this one, Detroit last week, and Denver before the bye).
The Same Old Jets would be 4-5, and grmubling about maybe getting a wild-card. These are the Same Old Jets.
The Rex Ryan Jets are 7-2 and forcing fans to look at their eating and exercise habits.
Cross-posted to VV