By Jason Keidel
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Let the pundits with their gadgets and graphics tell you one story. Let them cackle in clichés about yards, punts, and field position, while the Jets just seized the pole position. Let your eyes and your soul tell you the true story.
And let those of us who gave you and your Jets no chance a chance to apologize. You didn’t just beat that team in New England. You consumed, dominated, and devoured them.
And though not all of us are Jets fans, we still thank you. Thanks from those of us who cringe at the sound of a Boston accent, who change the channel at the sight of a Ben Affleck flick, who curse at Curt Schilling, who now rejoice at Patriots in repose, at their bloody socks and bloody lips while they limp to the nearest golf course.
Rex Ryan may be the face of the franchise, but this win wasn’t for him. The game and the team transcend the field and Fireman Ed. It’s for all of you who toiled for ten, twenty, even forty years. You endured A.J. Duhe. You watched the Gastineau Game. You suffered Doug Brien’s faulty foot. I have many such friends, of all backgrounds, as diverse as the team they love and the town they call home.
Many hearts and one, giant hex were broken last night. The Patriots just don’t scare the Jets anymore. And that, in large measure, is thanks to a large coach, who said from the jump that he was no chump who knelt at the altar of Belichick.
Mark Sanchez, who was fine, if not divine, will get credit for outplaying Tom Brady. But it was the Jets’ defense, which befuddled Brady all game with a mix of blitz and zone, and a rabid secondary that clung like jock straps to the Patriots’ wide receivers, that should get the credit for this win. Not even Brady can throw from his back.
And there is the sweetness of beating Belichick, in his place, his hood pulled down over his grim grill. It quickens the pulse of the New Yorker and sickens the hearts of New Englanders – most notably our pals at ESPN, who root for all things Boston all day.
And perhaps this ends the chat about the Patriot Dynasty – a misnomer of titanic proportions – a designation with no merit when you consider they haven’t won a title in six years.
Brady and Belichick are still great at their given jobs. But the worship is nauseating, the endless gushing over the pretty boy with the pinup wife and the ornery czar who grunts under the guise of genius, a man entertaining us only because his contract mandates a few meetings with the media.
And aren’t you sick of the poseurs who only know about Brady because he’s married to some swimsuit model? We don’t want fashion in our football. We don’t want our quarterback tucking his long locks behind his ear during press conferences. We prefer our coach fat, our fans loud, our teams proud, and our city second to none.
On your way to Pittsburgh you might thank the Steelers for trading you Santonio Holmes for a Happy Meal Holmes, of course, did what Holmes does: catch touchdowns with his toes two inches from the chalk, with some uncanny radar under his helmet that somehow keeps him inbounds in the championship rounds.
When the alarm sounds and you slap the snooze button, you may wonder if you dreamed that win last night. It was, and is, real. Too real for our foes up north, too dreamy for a city steamy over its Jets, a town lit from outhouse to the penthouse, climbing green up to the top of the Empire State Building.
It may be time to recuse myself this week, as I inhale black and exhale gold. In the meantime, however, I congratulate the Jets and their fans. And should you win this Sunday you may add me to the list of lead vocalists on Super Bowl Sunday.
Feel free to email me: Jakster1@mac.com