Why am I a New York Jets fan? Why have I suffered through years upon years of pain, losing, failure and sports torment? I would like to thank my grandfather, Mario Garofolo for that. He was a die hard Jets fan, passing that trait to my father, which in turn was passed onto me. My dad always apologizes to me for making me grow up in a Jets household, having to endure years of losing and failure. If my grandfather knew how horrible the Jets would be after Joe Namath led the team to their first and only Superbowl win back in 1969, I am certain he would have rethought his allegiance. Why is it so tough for me being a Jets fan? There are many reasons for my football pain.
1. Grew up in Giants country- I know way too many Giants fans. My mom’s family are hardcore Gmen fans, and every time we have a family gathering I get to hear about Big Blue and all their amazing accomplishments. I have one uncle who supports the Steelers , and all he talks about are the six Superbowl wins, numerous winning seasons, and about how storied the Steelers franchise is. Many of my friends are Giants fans, and almost everyone who I went to school with rooted for the Giants. When the Giants played the Patriots in 2007, it was so bad I actually rooted for the Patriots to win! I thought to myself, “Well I’ve seen three Patriots Superbowls already, how could a fourth one hurt?” Well the Giants went on to knock off the 18-0 Patriots in the most dramatic of fashions, and going into school the next morning to smiling and gloating Giants fans was torturous. I got heckled like it was my team that lost the Superbowl! The talk is all in good fun, but this is a main reason I root against the Giants.
2. The Jets are the little brother- The Jets are on par with the New York Mets/New York Islanders/Brooklyn Nets…they are the red headed step child, the team that has loyal, die hard fans but the majority of the Tri-state area roots for the other New York teams . The Jets played in Giants Stadium for so many years, and even with the new MetLife stadium built equally by both the Jets and Giants owners, Giants fans still have the nerve to call it Giants Stadium even though the real Giants Stadium is gone forever! Whenever the Giants and Jets play each other, the Giants always seem to be the home team, having more support and creating a hostile “away” environment for the Jets to play in. Of course, you need to remember the fact that the Giants fans got to watch TWO Superbowl victories in 2007 and 2012. As a Jets fan you see all that success so close to home and you cant help but feel jealousy. Oh well, I’ll go back to watching highlights of Superbowl III and the HBO documentary about Joe Namath!
3. Poor Jets Drafting: If you want a good video to make you laugh, Youtube “New York Jets Draft Blunders”. My personal favorite part of that video is when it is the announced the Jets were selecting a fullback with their first round pick, and you can hear a Jets fan scream “OHHHH NOOOOO” in the background. To add to the hilariousness, this is a team that passed over Dan Marino in 1983 for Ken O’Brien. Two years later the Jets passed on Jerry Rice for Al Toon! While Al Toon had a great career with the Jets, imagine Marino throwing to Rice?! The Jets follow up with even more blunders in 1995. There was Warren Sapp, a consensus top five pick, right there for the Jets to take with the ninth overall pick. The fans chanted “We want Sapp. We want Sapp!”. The Jets selected Tight End Kyle Brady. Let me repeat, the Jets selected Tight End Kyle Brady over first ballot hall of famer Warren Sapp. Unbelievable. Follow that up with Keyshawn Johnson being selected number one overall in 1996 by the Jets. Keyshawn is here because as a number one pick for the Jets, overall he sucked. The Jets could have drafted Eddie George, Simeon Rice, RAY LEWIS or Marvin Harrison instead. But nope, we got a crybaby wide receiver who complained all of the time and rarely put up number one overall worthy numbers. Quickly, we can look at more recent blunders such as drafting Dewayne Robertson 4th overall in 2003, or drafting Vernon Gholston in 08 sixth overall (despite Rex Ryan, then the Ravens defensive coordinator, warning head coach Eric Mangini not to). Finally, in 2009 the Jets drafted Sanchez, will we look at Mark Sanchez as one of these busts? Only time will tell, but his time is quickly running out.
4. The Current Jets- Let me tell you, I have seen a ton of poor Jets seasons, but the 2012 season was one of the most painful seasons I have ever endured. Many of the players on the team are very unlikeable, and the constant news stories about anonymous players ripping each other is just flat out annoying. Jets fans had to wonder why Tim Tebow was bought in if he wasn’t going play at all! Jets fans had to watch as Tony Sparano somehow led an offense that was WORSE than the year before (Hey Jets, didn’t you see Sparano do a poor job coaching your rivals, the Miami Dolphins?). Mark Sanchez continued to play, despite the fact that he made mistake after mistake, turnover after turnover and never stepped up to make anyone on the offense better. But that is why Tebow was traded for right? To come save the franchise! Oh wait, he was riding the bench because the Jets didn’t have faith in his ability to play the game.This is the same coaching staff that watched Tebow beat them in Denver the year before. The offensive line kept failing and letting Sanchez get sacked all the time, so why not put in a QB who could make plays on the run when the line was failing?While you can’t blame everything on Sanchez, you have to look at the fact that the team really did an absolutely poor job getting talent around him. He was surrounded by unproven wide receivers and cast offs, coupled with mediocre running backs leading to a disastrous season for Sanchez and the Jets. Only the Jets can go from a Superbowl contender in 2010 to two straight seasons of constantly losing talent and literally having no one on the offensive side of the ball in 2012.
5. The Front Office and Coaches- Many Jets fans don’t know this, but Bill Belichick was actually the Jets coach! He was hired in 1997, but he was only our coach for four days. He scribbled his resignation on a cocktail napkin. Belichick went on to coach rival New England a few years later, and the rest is history. Since then, Jets fans endured many coaches, from Bill Parcells to Herm Edwards to Eric Mangini. Now the Jets have Rex Ryan. Ryan came into New York with a bang. He was loud, confident and made the Jets relevant. Jets fans pounded their chests during the 2009 and 2010 seasons, with the Jets getting so close to the Superbowl both times (2010 I do not want to talk about. The 2010 AFC Championship game will depress me for as long as I live). After 2010 things unraveled in a hurry. Rex makes headlines for all the wrong reasons, whether its his obsession with uhm, “footwork” , cursing out fans, having a tattoo of his wife in a Sanchez jersey, or saying he didn’t know what was going on in his locker room in 2011. In 2012, Rex showed he had no clue how to coach, and kept insisting Sanchez go out there and be the starter no matter how bad he played. If Sanchez was on any other team, he would have been benched by game five. Many fans saw Sanchez as the weak link, and even I called for him to be benched early on. Well, Sanchez wasn’t benched, for the most part, and he single handily ended our season with a loss in Tennessee. Sanchez threw four interceptions and fumbled the ball at the end of the game right near the endzone. Did Tebow get a chance to play? Did Greg McElroy, the man who won a game for the Jets weeks earlier, get a chance to play? Nope, it was all Sanchez, and Sanchez killed us.
6. The Buttfumble- Sanchezs’ buttfumble against the Patriots will go down in history as one of the funniest and dumbest plays in all of sports. Check out ESPN.com’s polls, where you can vote for the “Worst of the Worst”. The Sanchez buttfumble play still is number one since Thanksgiving! This play sums up the 2012 Jets perfectly, as the entire organization is running with their head down right into each others asses! I feel bad for Sanchez, I really do. I had so much faith in him, but the Jets destroyed his career after this past season, and they didn’t do any favors for Tebow either. Sanchez continues to show he was not worthy of going fifth overall back in 2009.
I can continue endlessly about the Jets, but this post is already way to long. I love my Jets, and I will be a loyal fan until they put me into the ground. People ask me all the time why I am a Jets fans, and why don’t I switch? I’m a Jets fan because when they do finally win the Superbowl (hopefully in my lifetime) it will be epic! This team may piss me off, they may torment my sports life, but I will be a Jets fan forever. Now that Fireman Ed is “retired” maybe I can one day take over the best chant in sports, the J-E-T-S chant. But for now, I will continue to support my team and anxiously await a new year, hoping this can be the year we break the curse. I will stay loyal to my grandfather, so I will always bleed green and white. Now when I eventually have a kid, it is already determined he or she will be a Yankees and Rangers fan. What NFL team my child will root for is up for debate.