NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Sunday became a night of double disappointment for the Jets and their fans, as the team came up one win shy of the Super Bowl for the second consecutive season.
It looked like the game was over early, but Gang Green put together a late comeback – the only problem was that they ran out of time.
Jets fans who thought they would be toasting a victory were left crying into their cups, as sports bars filled with hopeful fans in New Jersey became the solemn settings for shared sorrow.
“My dad was here the year that they won it, in ’69,” Union, NJ resident John Alves told CBS 2’s Lou Young. “He’s been a Namath fan all his life, and he just gave it to me, and I’m honored to wear the jersey.”
It’s been a while for Jets and their followers alike – 42 years in the wilderness, a Super Bowl exile older than most fans.
Listen To Rex Ryan’s Post Game Comments:
“I want it so badly that I want to experience it – I want to remember 2011,” Nola Aliu, of West Orange, said. “I don’t even know what 1969 would have been like.”
“All I want is that championship – I’m so far away again, it breaks my heart,” Jets fan Ken Glinski said. “I’d rather have no girlfriends, ever, and be a Super Bowl winner. I really would.”
A smattering of Steelers fans drank the moment in.
“They’re all booing me, but they’re losing,” one Steelers fan said.
That old feeling for Jets fans eventually starting to come back.
“I’m a Mets fan too, so I’m used to it, but it definitely hurts – two years in a row, especially,” Brian Kapalin said.
“Terrible loss for the Jets,” fan Dominic Ciampitello said. “We should have won this game.”
Fans in the city were on pins and needles all night long, hoping to explode into a celebration that would rival that of New Year’s Eve – but it was not meant to be.
The crowd inside Modell’s Sporting Goods in Times Square watched on a big screen, sitting through the highs and lows as the Jets came up empty.
“It was a good game, but it wasn’t enough to win and go to Dallas and compete against the Packers,” Williamsburg, Brooklyn resident Joseph Then told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.
“If they had shown a little more enthusiasm, more defense in the first half, they wouldn’t have been that far behind,” John Rogers, of Midtown, said.
Modell’s was all set to declare the Jets AFC Champions, with boxes of celebratory merchandise already printed and stocked, but the loss means it will all stay sealed and head to a charity overseas.
While the night proved to be a trial for Jets fans, it was a much more joyous experience for supporters of the Steelers.
At Foley’s bar in Midtown – a haunt known to be Pittsburgh-friendly – the crowd erupted in applause among fans of the black and gold at every play.
Despite the loss, fans of the Jets cheered the team to the bitter end. At the 123 Bar at 50th Street and Tenth Avenue on the West Side, Gang Green was everywhere – with Jets pride intact, no matter what the score.
“The Jets are sexy and I love them, they’re my boys,” Jillian Glowatz, of Floral Park, said.
Despite the disappointing finish, Jets fans said they were proud of what their team was able to accomplish this year – and they’re looking forward to an even better run next season.