Tuesday, October 03, 2006
The unbearable lightness of being a Jets fan
The Jets lost to the Colts this week in a game that could only be described as exciting. After falling behind early the Jets charged back and tied the game and then held the lead multiple times in the second half before losing in the final moments because Peyton Manning is clutch during the NFL regular season and the Jets just aren't that good.
Here is what makes being a Jets fan so difficult. At no time during the game did anyone who truly understands the Jets think they were going to win. Yet, at various points during the game, glimmers of hope arose in even the most jaded and cynical Jets fans. (Me and my brother for those keeping score at home) In the end our hearts were broken, yet again.
There was a crucial situation. The Jets had the ball near the Colts goal line. They didn't get it in and soon it is 4th and goal. Eric Mangini, the Jets young head coach decides to go for it on fourth down instead of kicking a chip shot field goal to take the lead. They failed. At the time I thought it was a bad move, but as No Brother pointed out to me that wasn't the turning point of the game. The turning point took place late in the 4th quarter when the Jets defense failed to stop Manning and the Colts offense on two consecutive drives despite yeoman performances by the Jets offense and special teams to retake the lead in critical situations.
At one point in the second half when the Jets took the lead my phone rang. (My phone rings about 20 times a game and 18 of those times NoBrotherofConsequence is on the other end of the line. The other two times are usually telemarketers who get an earful. I have even considered learning Hindi so I can annoy these people in their native language, but that is a different post for a different day) My brother starts to say that if the Jets win this game they would be 3-1 and could really be considered a playoff contender. I stop him mid sentence because it is midway through the 3rd quarter and I can't even fathom such an event and even if it were true saying it outloud isn't something you want to do. Football karma can be a difficult thing to navigate.
When the Jets special teams ran a kick back late in the 4th my phone rang again. All I could say after looking at the clock was that there was too much time left and Manning would beat us. There was and he did. It is the lot of being a Jets fan. Not only do you have very little hope of victory you can almost script your own doom before it takes place.
I remember going to see the Jets play the Patriots with my father some years ago. The Jets jumped out to a huge lead, 21-0 in the first half.
At halftime I turned to my dad and said, "Can you believe this?"
He laughed and said, "They have us right where they want us."
Of course, they did, and the Jets blew the game.
J - E - T - S
No 1 of Consequence