Sunday, December 28, 2008

Being a fan of the Jets is just painful

I'm a passionate fan. I love the Jets. I watch every game, root my heart out for them. I root for them with all my energy every week. When they lose a gut wrenching game, I take it hard. When they win, it puts me on a high for the week. No matter who's on the team, no matter how good or bad they have been I have been there right in front of my TV watching every minute of every game. From watching Kliff Kingsbury start at QB, to watching Brooks Bollinger run for his life, to watching Chad Pennington with half a shoulder I've watched as much Jets football as I can since Age 8 (Im now 21). 1998 the Jets make a magical run to the AFC title game, where they lose to a John Elway led Broncos team. The pain comes in because the Falcons were in the SB, and they didn't belong there. The Jets destroyed them earlier in the season, and the Broncos then proceeded to destroy them in the Superbowl. I have little doubt in my mind that the Jets would have walloped the Falcons had they made the Superbowl. That was the one game that actually brought me to tears. I was a young pup back then (11) but realized the importance of the game. And the manner which they lost was painful.

1999, SB expectations following Elway's retirement and the run to the AFC title game the year before, the energy surrounding the Jets is great. The kickoff before the first game, the crowd was going crazy. Before the first play, I go answer my door as the pizza had just gotten there, right in time. I come back, and there it is. Vinny Testaverde writhing in pain on the ground. I'm just like "..........." I had no words. He was holding his achillies and during the game the news came out. Torn achillies, out for the season. Just..........unreal. 2004, we make the postseason at 10-6, with a top 5 defense. We win an absolute roller coaster game against SD that featured a roughing the passer on Eric Barton that essentially tied the game for them after they missed a fourth down, and then a missed Nate Kaeding FG in overtime that gave the Jets new life. They promptly scored on the next drive to seal the deal and send themselves to the AFC divisional round.

Then this game against the Steelers, which Pittsburgh tried to gift wrap in every way imaginable. The Jets scored a defensive touchdown and a special teams touchdown, while Chad Pennington led us to a whopping three points. With all of that, after one of Ben Roethlisberger's 3 INTs on the game, Doug Brien had a chance to put the Jets in the lead with a little over a minute remaining. The FG hit the crossbar and bounced back, no good. Roethlisberger then threw another INT, and promptly we found ourselves in FG range. We then run the ball twice in an effort to run clock, then we take a knee to run more clock, which made little sense as we were going backwards. Doug Brien promptly missed the field goal by about 25 yards, then the Jets promptly lost the game in OT, in typical gut wrenching, excruciating 'Same Ol Jets' fashion. 2005-2007 were fairly nondescript seasons. Then this season, the Brett Favre trade happened before the season and nearly 200 million dollars were spent in free agency and expectations were at a reasonably high level for this Jets team to go out and prove something this season.

The Jets then sputtered to begin the season, sputtered through the first quarter of the season to a 2-2 season, including a pathetic loss to a Matt Cassel led Patriots team. Then the Jets went on a run after a close win over the inept Chiefs, winning five straight including wins over the rival Patriots and the previously undefeated Titans, where the Jets impressed in an absolute blowout. This then had people talking Superbowl, an all New York Superbowl. Over the last 5 games the Jets have lost games to the 49ers, Broncos, Seahawks and now completed the collapse with the loss to the Dolphins, and then watched the Dolphins celebrate the AFC East title on their homefield. Between Favre throwing stupid INTs like it was going out of style, and Eric Mangini standing there with that usual stupid look on his face, while chewing his gum and watching the defense get no pressure while getting shredded in the process the end of this season was a disaster. Same Old Jets? You bet. Oh the pain.

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