By Jason Keidel
I don’t know whether Jets fans are psychic, psychotic, or schizophrenic.
A rabid Jets devotee told me they would beat Atlanta, on the road, in a game the Falcons had to have, in a place where Matt Ryan has a sparkling record. And he predicted the exact score.
The same fan lit up my Facebook page with all manner of vulgarity before they battled my beloved black & gold. After questioning my heritage, intelligence, and sexual orientation, he cleverly sketched a middle finger using dashes and slashes, before concluding with “Congrats, B@tch!” after Pittsburgh registered its first win.
Then, Tuesday morning, I heard Craig Carton, another loquacious Jets aficionado, say the Jets were “one loss from hockey talk.”
Jets fans don’t realize that verbosity comes with victory. But even sans the semantic filters that most humans grow after adolescence, it’s alarming to see even the most frothing Gang Green groupies fly the white flag so soon. Fans from the five boroughs and beyond are snapping limbs falling off the bandwagon, like the opening scene from the horror film, “The Happening.”
Had anyone told Carton, or any Jets junkie, that they would have won three games before Halloween — a total many of us gave them for the entire season — you would have signed up in fake vampire blood.
Just last week, Jets fans were brooding over their smartphones, planning their playoff ticket plans, thumbing their nose at the cognoscenti, Vegas, and ESPN for giving their Jets such a microscopic shot at contending.
Now the season is over?
No doubt the Jets’ penchant for harrowing performances has added to the collective neuroses of their beleaguered fan base. But as we approach All Hallows, it would be wise for Jets Nation to take a breather, back up, and count their blessings. The Jets really did dress a real football team this year, against all probability.
Had New England lost to New Orleans on Sunday — a reality with 10 seconds left in the game — the Jets would be playing the Patriots for a share of first place in the AFC East.
Now we’re on the brink of the rink?
Jets fans suffer mood swings that would make Sybil blush. On some level, we all relate. Since childhood we have devoted years of our lives to watch, wave, whine, and wail over padded jocks we’ve never met and, if given the chance, would blow us off at the first autograph request.
We are, at our core, masochists. If that weren’t enough, we risk money, manhood, and our marriages by building fantasy teams, speed dialing bookmakers, and calling in sick every other Monday after a few too many adult beverages.
Fandom, fanatics, fanaticism, by definition, are not prone to logic, no matter a team’s place in the playoff race. But, forgive the nauseating cliche, Jets fans are playing with house money. That’s a powerful position, even if not the pole position.
Besides, the local hockey is pretty horrific this year. So I’m told. At least the Jets are relevant. That’s more than the Giants can assert. Certainly more than my beloved black & gold can claim. It’s the rare time the Jets can show up in costume and not be embarrassed to say who they are for Halloween.
At least give them until then.
Please follow Jason on Twitter at @JasonKeidel
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