By Jason Keidel
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When the Jets were 2-1, I said their season was over. Fans questioned my ancestry, sanity, and even sexual orientation.
Then the Jets lost two games and all was silent. Then they beat the Colts and the Gang Green Goons returned. “We’re tied for first, jerk!” was one greeting I got. Forget that they were 3-3, and also tied for last. Too many Jets fans find solace in mediocrity.
Then Jets pitched that steamer yesterday, at home, against the juggernaut, Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins. Now they’re no longer tied for last. At 3-5, they may soon own squatter’s rights.
It’s tough to find clever ways to eulogize the Jets, who have no identity on offense, and little talent on defense. We were told all summer that the team was hiding their new, nuclear offense, with Tim Tebow running the Wildcat like a Bengal tiger. They didn’t tell us that the secret would be guarded like the Manhattan Project. Perhaps we won’t know until it happens. Only problem is that the Jets don’t know when that will be.
It’s almost impossible to blame Mark Sanchez for all of this. How can a quarterback lead his team to the AFC title game in his first two years suddenly morph into a stiff? He’s throwing to practice squad receivers, handing the ball to schizophrenic running backs, and running for his life after his right tackle has been shoved onto his half-ton buttocks for the tenth time.
Teams preach teamwork, that every rung on the corporate ladder leads a club to victory or defeat. Sounds about right. The team doesn’t play with the same, rabid abandon for Rex Ryan. Mike Tannenbaum hasn’t had a great draft in years. And Woody Johnson pulled rank on both when acquiring Tebow, who has been little more than a glorified wishbone curator.
Maybe the only thing you, the fan, can do is not watch, spare yourself the pain and paying the Jets to provide it. There are so many deficiencies. Just when you pin the blame on the offensive or defensive donkey, their special teams surrender the game. And while you can say the Gangnam dance the Dolphins performed after returning a blocked punt for a touchdown is redundant, you can just as easily assert that not reaching the Super Bowl once in 43 years is equally old.
If you spent any time outside the five boroughs this weekend, you saw otherwise normal people scrambling from Sandy to Sam’s Club, Costco, and K-Mart, bumping through aisles, gobbling water, canned goods, and flashlights as though Godzilla were lumbering onshore.
Then we saw Dennis Byrd get an applause few have earned the way he has. Between Byrd and Sandy, we learned that football shrinks in the shadow of real-world disasters and recoveries. The Jets are just a different kind of disaster, without the recovery.
Are you ready to wave the white flag? Let Keidel know in the comments below…