At first I questioned, how dare the Jets, of all teams, with an overrated rookie quarterback, brick-handed receivers and little historical significance, play their way into the playoffs? But then I sat back and thought about it a little more, and I came to realize, these Jets did in fact play their way into the postseason.
Make no mistake, yours truly isn’t a fan of anything New York.
From the hassle of driving into, out of and around the city – the George Washington Bridge is a nightmare at any time of day, although I will concede that the city skyline from the bridge at night is something everybody should see at least once – to the way New Yorkers have a sense of entitlement to everything, the Big Apple is a huge pain.
That includes its sports teams.
The Yankees, although I cannot fault Steinbrenner for doing what works, have all but killed my interest in Major League Baseball. The Mets may be awful, but they certainly like to throw money around, too.
My hatred of NYC sports teams extends to football, too, although the Steelers have so little to do with the Giants it’s hard for me to care about them.
Making it easier to dislike the G-men though is the fact that the organization played a huge role in the Eli Manning/Phil Rivers debacle in the ’04 draft that should never have taken place.
Of course, both organizations -- San Diego being the other in this case -- should be thanked, I suppose, for their shortsightedness that allowed Ben Roethlisberger to fall in Pittsburgh’s lap and change the franchise’s future forever.
Anyway, lost in the NYC sports scene – along with the Knicks, which somehow remain awful despite their prime location – is another football team, the Jets.
Due to the other gridiron squad playing in the Meadowlands’ lack of success in my lifetime (did you know the Jets haven’t made it back to the Super Bowl since Broadway Joe’s guarantee?) I really never thought much about them.
Sure I remember a few things, the Jets somehow sneaking into the playoffs at 8-8 not so long ago being one, but there hadn’t been much reason to think about this franchise recently.
That was until this season, when the Jets at 9-7 squeaked back into the postseason at the expense of, among others, my beloved black and gold club from the great state of Pennsylvania.
And you know what, initially I hated the Jets for that.
At first I questioned, "How dare they, of all teams, with an overrated rookie quarterback, brick-handed receivers and little historical significance, play their way into the playoffs over the best NFL franchise of all time?"
But then I sat back and thought about it a little more, and I came to realize, these Jets did in fact play their way into the postseason.
Is it their fault the Colts, which gave up a chance at history with a 15-10 lead in week 16 over them, pulled their starters and set the ball in motion?
Shouldn’t I blame the Bungles (Bengals) for rolling over against the Jets in the season’s final week in an attempt, in my opinion, to keep the Steelers out and let New York in for a playoff rematch?
The answers, in my mind, are no it’s not their fault Indianapolis laid down, and yes, I do blame Cincy for being cowards.
So, I was happy when the Jets knocked off those Bengals a week later, and although it cost me my Super Bowl pick when New York beat the Chargers, I’m OK with that, too.
And so, here I am, a few days before what many consider the best NFL day of the year, and for at least this week, I’m a fan of something New York.
Not only do I hope the Jets defeat the Colts, I hope they do so in lopsided fashion. I’m talking running up the score, something along the lines of what the Vikings did to Dallas last weekend, only worse. I want to see Green, Jones, Keller, Edwards, Faneca and the rest of the impact players in the lineup with the Jets leading 106-0 and two minutes on the clock, going for it with a playaction pass on fourth-and-three from deep in Indy territory.
If that happens, I’ll be a Jets fan again in the Super Bowl, too, and maybe, just maybe, outside of them impacting the Steelers’ season, I’ll pull for them a little in the coming years.
My justification, of course, will be the fact that they are in Jersey anyway.
Jeff Mitchell writes for the Sussex Countian. This column is the opinion of the writer and not of the newspaper.