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Keidel: Meet The Jets

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Receiver Braylon Edwards #17 and head coach Rex Ryan (L) of the New York Jets chat during warms up prior to playing the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Receiver Braylon Edwards #17 and head coach Rex Ryan (L) of the New York Jets chat during warms up prior to playing the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

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By Jason Keidel
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Win or lose, the Jets are wholly entertaining.

Coach Rex Ryan, whose foot grows in his mouth with every speech, said he was tired of talking about Braylon Edwards.

There is a perverse beauty to the way the Jets handled Edwards, making it no secret that they planned to play him, that his DUI case hadn’t been properly adjudicated and hence he’s not officially a criminal. At least the Jets have the guts to admit that character is incidental. As long as you aren’t in an orange jumpsuit, you can suit-up

Ryan is very proud of his team’s logo, pointing proudly to the emblem before shouting, “Play like a Jet! Win like a Jet! Drink like a Jet!”

Yes, I made up the last part.

Edwards is keeping the helm warm for another smooth criminal, Santonio Holmes, who returns from suspension in two weeks. A caller recently asked Mike Francesa what kind of message the Jets are sending to Holmes by being so casual over Edwards’s arrest. Mike said it was an excellent question. It was, and I have the answer.

The Jets don’t care. And I applaud them for being so brazen about it. The NFL has become a de facto halfway house, and everyone from the janitor to the GM knows it. If Michael Vick plays, why shouldn’t everyone else? Sure, you and I would have been fired at the first flash of impropriety, but our limbs aren’t insured by Lloyds of London.

If you are a useful player, your team will dart through any loophole to get you from perp walk to the catwalk. Atonement comes on the field, not in the court. The Jets pointed to the rest of the league’s apathy toward such conduct as a way to justify their own. Don’t waste your breath. We get it. Besides, you benched him for an entire quarter! Makes a chain gang look like a Club Med.

Edwards was forgiven the moment he dashed to a 67-yard touchdown Sunday night. Unburdened of his formerly titanic beard and blessed with a small conscience, Edwards had the gall to dance after his score – all the evidence you need that misdeeds are relative when good deeds are measured by a scoreboard.

Had the Jets lost to the Dolphins, a conga line of purists would have pointed to the karmic justice that comes with pardoning drunken drivers. (How’s that going?) Suffice it to say that the Deity has items on the docket more important than the AFC East. In the NFL, drinking and driving is deplorable on Saturday, but a “family matter” and “organizational decision” on Sunday.

Ryan, for all his gaseous assertions, is not dumb. He knows that winning is the elixir, the mute button for critics and cynics. He won’t have to talk about Edwards anymore because no one will ask. It’s the etiquette of victory.

Feel free to email me: Jakster1@mac.com

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