Mark Sanchez

The Passion of the Tebow

You all know me.

DSCN5633I am not a Tim Tebow aficionado.  I probably make more excuses for Mark Travis John Sanchez than his own mother (or worse, his coach Rex Ryan).  Yet, I’m pretty much done with him too.

But I have to say, I feel bad for Tebow.  He did not deserve to be a part of this green shit show this year, at all.

He has served as a pawn in a clueless management that seeks to win headlines over actual games.

He has served as an icon for a hype-driven market.

But most of all, it’s one that has been completely unfair to him.

Mark Sanchez clearly cannot handle whatever it is he can’t handle (the voices in his head telling him he sucks, or the “death threats” he received on Twitter after Monday night’s loss).

Tebow did not deserve what he’s gotten from the Jets, which is a big gigantic ZERO.  Nothin’.  A turd, if you will.  A big fat smelly turd.

Do I like Tebow?  Look, I’ll be the first to say he’s all hype and a self-promoting media marketing machine.  Does that mean I think he’s a bad person?  Quite the contrary.  I don’t believe he’s a bad guy at all.  And he’s certainly not the bad guy in this story.

What did he do to deserve the treatment that he’s gotten from the Jets?  I certainly think at age 25 it’s unfair to pigeonhole him as “finished,” as the Washington Post said today.

First, John Elway made his role obsolete by “going for it” with Peyton “I-Look-Like-A-Milwaukee-Racing-Sausage” Manning when Manning’s job was obsolete in Indianapolis.  This was AFTER Tebow had given the Denver Broncos the chutzpah to make it in the playoffs last year.

Second, what the frigg was Mike Tannenbaum thinking?  Whatever warts and all Rex Ryan has as head coach, clearly he is Mark Sanchez’s number one supporter.  I’m sure it was with a heavy heart he decided to go with Greg McElroy in this week’s game, rather than Sanchez or Tebow for that matter.

Which leads me to this.  I’m not a Tebow fan, but I was of the frame of mind that if he was capable, he should certainly be in there, at least when Sanchez was floundering.  Which is entirely possible, as we’ve seen.  Talk about mixed messages.  First, Sanchez was given an extension, THEN Tebow was traded to the Jets.  What the hell were they thinking?  I don’t even know if THEY know what they were thinking!

All at the expense of a man’s career.  Beautiful.

Look.  You all know I am a Mets fan, right?  (If not, whose blog have YOU been reading??)  It reminds me of the situation with Aaron Heilman (before you laugh, I happen to have some Stockholm Syndrome going on with him, deal with it).  Remember he was a starter?  Typical Mets story when they rush a prospect, only to see him fail, then not know what to do with him.  They brought him back for a start, and he rewards them with a shutout one-hitter.  How do they pay him back?  By putting him in the bullpen, a role he was NOT suited for, with the carrot dangle of “If you do well, you’ll be a starter again.”  Well, guess what?  He becomes too valuable in the ‘pen, which didn’t say much because the Mets notoriously NEVER have a good bullpen.  Then what happens?  Heilman ends up blowing some significant games, and cannot gain the confidence coming into a game.

Sure, I can call him a pussy, but the moral of the story is, just another one biting the dust of Mets mismanagement when they don’t know what the hell to do with a player.

I can adapt that story to the Jets.  Why ruin a team when you can ruin the career of a decent guy who is talented and can succeed and do so much more?

Look no further than Tim Tebow.

As I’ve said, I am no Tebow fan, but he does not deserve this smear of his young uprising profession this soon in his career.  Shame on the Jets for making him a pawn in this situation.

Smells Like Green Spirit

My husband and I get around.  We are sports fans and we LOVE to travel, therefore, we are traveling SPORTS FANS.

In the middle of all this comes the advent of social media, and we have friends in most of the states we visit.

Two baseball seasons ago, we visited Arlington, Texas, and we met some Mets fans from the San Antonio area.  When I told them we wanted to make it to a San Antonio Missions game simply to meet Ballapeño, their pepper-inspired mascot, they made it a point to mail us a stuffed critter replica.

Since then, Ballapeño Pepe Sanchez Gomez has taken a life of his own.

You won’t meet a bigger Jets fan than him.  He’s not only green but their quarterback is a Sanchez, a fellow Mexican-American.

Speaking of being a Jets fan, I often say that out of all the sports, I like football the least.  It doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a game every now and then.  It’s just that I prefer baseball and hockey, and well, with hockey not being played any time soon…football is going to have to suffice.  Of course, the New York Rangers were my closest team winning a championship anytime in the near future.  But my football Jets…uh…yeah.  The furthest thing from it.  And it doesn’t seem like they’re interested in winning anything, let alone a stupid game, at all.  Just to, you know, torture me.

My husband, though, is a rare one.  He’s a Bronx boy who roots for the Mets, and his other two teams – basketball and football – have nothing to do with one another and have to do with serendipitous circumstances.  He happened to like John Stockton and Karl Malone, and roots for the Utah Jazz today as a result.  (True story, is that I also used to root for the Jazz, since they were the only team to play the Bulls it seemed when I really wanted Chicago to lose).

He happened to catch a playoff game in 1983 featuring the Seattle Seahawks.  It turns out it was their first.  He’s rooted for them ever since.

He also celebrated a milestone birthday this year.  Coupled with the Jets visiting Seattle to face his Seahawks this year, which like never ever happens, his birthday and me completing the marathon a week before (which did not go down, obviously), we figured a quick getaway to Seattle was in order.

I told Gal for All Seasons podcast regular “WHOOMP!” ThereItIs Jake that I wouldn’t mind if the Jets lost the game we were going to — I mean, a team HAS to lose right? (no one told that to San Francisco this weekend though) — but that the Jets would probably win just to fuck with me.

Well they didn’t, and even the TD they scored was completely by accident.  In fact, good friend Wooooo was nice enough to send this picture to remind me of how annoying this game was for a visiting Jets fan.

I digress.

When I was in high school, a music movement called “grunge” infiltrated our vocabulary and our ears.  This movement was based in the Pacific Northwest region, and most importantly, Seattle.  Being a huge music fan, I always made it a point to want to travel to Seattle, I just never had a reason to go.  I guess that it’s unfortunate that there will be a few states in the Union that I’ll never visit, simply because there is no baseball or the Mets won’t be visiting that year.

I’m weird.

But Seattle has baseball…so that I haven’t made it to Safeco Field at least just once yet surprises even me.  But I had no reason not to go this time.

I had never followed my football team on the road.  I had never been to Seattle.  My husband will only turn 40 once.  Therefore, it was on.

On Friday, our first full day in the caffeinated city (where I had a hard time finding a place that was non-Starbucks), we decided to do stadium tours of both Safeco and CenturyLink.  On the light rail over to the stadiums area (they are little spitting distance from one another), we met some other Jets fans in from out of town.  Though they lived on the west coast now (California), they were from Long Island.  And up to see the Jets play.

On the CenturyLink tour, we met another couple from New York where the wife was a Jets fan and the husband was a Seahawks fan.

I thought…it was nice to see others traveling to see their teams play.  No matter what side of the fence they were on.

But people were still surprised we traveled that far.  Especially with the chance of one of our teams losing.  Here’s my thoughts on that: one will have to lose.  I travel all over to see my teams play, and there’s a 50/50 chance they may lose.  I make my peace with it before I travel.  There’s more to it than just my team winning at that point.  It’s not like the Jets are going to the playoffs or anything that this game was a must-win.

So I got a drink out of it.  A few, actually.

Jets fans are known to be a little bit on the uncouth side,  a tad rowdy, and lots of fun.  I know there’s also a bit of a reputation of us being douchebags (it’s true, but let’s be fair – ALL fan bases have them), so I was curious to see how we’d be on the road.

One of the things I noticed first off, though the stadiums are in an industrial and underdeveloped area of what is known as “SoDo” in Seattle (technically borders the area), there is not a lot of parking available.  I remember reading a few years ago that Seattle is the worst state for traffic in the 50…I didn’t drive, but I can attest that it didn’t look pretty to drive around in some areas.  Kind of reminded me of Boston, essentially one highway in and out of the city.  Anyway, the next time New York fans complain about how expensive it is to park for baseball games will get smacked upside the head by me.  Parking — not even in PRIME LOTS — can cost upwards of $40-50 for events.  Talk about price gauging, hubby noticed that any other days (since we were there two days before the game), it’s like EIGHT BUCKS.  Plus, much of the prime location parking lots are covered.  Therefore, that means not lots of tailgating.

Part of the charm of going to a football game is the tailgating.  In fact, when the city talked about moving the Jets to the West Side Stadium (that was never built) a few years ago, I was dead set against it.  The traffic for game days would be abominable but also, where would we tailgate?  It would be a travesty, really, because even if the team loses, the tailgates really are a lot of fun.  Losing that is like losing the green in our team colors.

But on game days, they do make accommodations for tailgating…they actually OPEN Safeco Field on the Center Field side to the Left Field concourse and have concessions open and sell beer for “happy hour prices.”  The admission is free, but of course you pay for food.  Keep in mind this is also west coast time.  By the time this game started, many of the east coast games had finished or were finishing.  There were TVs on the games around the horn.   It was a great atmosphere.  We were disappointed we were not aware of this soiree, as we would have LOVED to show up earlier to experience some of the charm.

Jets fans were there.  We were politely heckled, but mostly, everyone kept their cool.  I can’t say it would be like that in New York/East Rutherford.  I remember seeing the Jets play the Vikings in 2002, I think, and some dude wore Helga braids and Viking horns.  I thought he was cool, but the rowdy drunk Jets fans heckled him mercilessly, to the point where I thought the dude was going to punch someone.

   

For the most part, the fans were very chill here.  On both sides.  I introduced myself to other Jets fans, and got some pics as evidenced above.  It was like we survived a war or something, traveling to follow our teams even though there was a good chance they’d lose.

Of course, they did.  Which leads me to Mark Sanchez.  I have made no bones that I am a Sanchez chick.  He’s my guy, and I don’t get why the blame gets solely put on him.  Yes, there was that funny pic of the interception which in essence changed the game dynamic.  Yes, they scored on defense, and it was a complete accident.

He’s kind of like the David Wright of the Jets, if you think about it.  The kid with talent who is completely misused, but is a complimentary player, not necessarily the “star QB.”  That’s the difference between a Sanchez and say, a Tom Brady.  Brady can carry a team, even with shitty defense.  He’s that talented.  Sanchez is talented, but if you remember two years in a row, he helped bring the team the conference championship game two years in a row.  To paraphrase President Obama, he didn’t build that.  He didn’t do it on his own.  As quickly as the Jets rose to stardom, ownership was just as quick in dismantling it by letting key players leave and injuries.

Being a Mets fan, I guess I am a little sensitive to dismantling after a successful run with no reason or rhyme

Once the game was started, we sat in a section called the Hawks’ Nest.  This was in the end zone, and I guess I was expecting a bit of a louder more rowdy crowd.  You see, CenturyLink is called the “loudest stadium,” and holy shit, when the “12th Man Flag” was raised prior to kickoff, it was deafening.  I don’t know if the blowout was the reason or just maybe I got used to it.  But while passionate, the fans were also very laidback.  There were two Jets fans sitting in front of us — we were dining our guts, meanwhile Seahawks fans were talking us down from the ledge.  It was pretty comical.

 

The first pic of the Hawks Nest is from our tour.  On game day, our weather karma ran out and it misted most of the first half, to rain-rain-rain the second half.  When we left, we walked in the rain to Chinatown, the next neighborhood over.  It didn’t let up, even as we left that evening.

Another thing I learned on the tour was that being that CenturyLink is considered the loudest stadium, and trust me, it was, some players complain about playing there.

As I got on the elevator with some other fans (Jets fans also took the tour), I was like, “I’m sorry, but aren’t these guys professionals?  ‘WAH! It’s too loud! WAH!’ What a bunch of pussies.”  That got a good laugh.  But it’s true!  Don’t go into pro sports if you can’t take a few loud fans.  /RANT

So there’s not much else to tell.  The Jets lost, and looked awful in the process.  The Seahawks won, and the Jets fans around me all talked about how their defense was sick.  Which is funny – wasn’t that supposed to be the Jets’ MO?

 

We had hoped that after the game there would still be tailgates open, but I guess like most stadiums, they close down concessions after a certain time.  Most importantly, stop serving beer.  So we hung out in Chinatown for a few hours, had some food, had some beer, and then went home.

Experiencing a road football game was something different for me.  I’ve only gone to see my baseball team on the road, and even have gone to games for the hell of it, even if my team wasn’t there.  It never occurred to me to go to a football game.  Hell, even my hockey team I didn’t follow around all that often.  Just across the river to Jersey.

In any event, I’d definitely do a trip like this again.  I’ve heard great things about M&T Bank Stadium, where the Baltimore Ravens play, and I’ve wanted to check out Heinz Field.

All I can say is CenturyLink was a great place to watch a game – very spirited, fun stuff to do pregame.  Doubt I’ll be going back to Seattle anytime soon though.

I was disappointed though in the coffee and the music.  I didn’t find a good cup of coffee nor did I see any places to review local bands.   However, I was one of those late bloomers who didn’t appreciate Nirvana till it was too late, but I still love me some Pearl Jam.  We were also greeted by the voice of Jerry Cantrell from Alice in Chains at SeaTac Airport.

I came as I was, but forgot my flannels at home.

The Holy Sheepshit and Balls Videocast: Tim Tebow Is a Jet (And Others)

Hellloooooo everyone, and thank you for your patience.  I’d blown off my first v-log for over a week, and I have two parts to the Holy Sheepshit and Balls video of the week.

Topics: My Nolan Ryan interview with the lovely folks at KinersKorner.com (The Kult of Mets Personalities podcast) was a Holy Sheepshit and Balls moment for me.  Please go the interview and listen for yourself!

Tim Tebow is a Jet.  I try to wrap my head around it.  And I can’t.  But I applaud Mark Sanchez for taking the high road for a guy who can potentially take his job.

Watch and pass around…and enjoy! (And here’s the link from YouTube)

Just Pey No

I know it’s been like a week since Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts announced they have agreed that after a storied career with the franchise, Manning would no longer be a Colt.  It’s sad, since he’s been very successful, but he’s also been what we call “hurt” and at the end of the day, we know this is a business.

Yet, I had people asking me to weigh in on it.  I thought since I’ve said it on Twitter that my position is clear on the idea of Peyton Manning on the Jets.  I mean, I am a Jets fan first, but there are players who deserve my respect, and I always respected the shit out of Peyton.  Thought it was a shame that if his career were to end, it would be this way and not via a retirement road show like he deserves.  That’s about the extent of it.

Meaning, don’t even bother asking me if I want him on my team.  The short answer is no.

The long answer – are you fucking crazy? Why the hell would he be a good fit for the Jets AT ALL in this lifetime?  Like, I don’t know why this is even a discussion.  Hell-to-the-NO is more like it for the long answer.

Besides, this was written on Friday afternoon, and by Friday evening, it was announced that the Jets had extended Mark Sanchez with a three-year deal.  So a lot of this is moot now.

Yet, I had some people try to argue with me why it would be a good idea for Peyton Manning to be a Jet.  I listened, since I like to think of myself as a compassionate version of Mike Francesa (ok, that’s a bad example, since I’m comparing myself to a know-nothing blowhard radio guy), but I don’t want to be abrupt or condescending.  If someone brings up a good point to me, I’ll acknowledge it but tell people how I feel afterwards.

Someone suggested to me that Peyton could help the Jets bring home a Super Bowl.  And if I eat broccoli today, I could take a dump tomorrow.  Look, maybe five years ago Peyton could win a Super Bowl in New York.  With his injury history and obvious deterioration, it’s not the best idea, especially when we already have Sanchez here.  Hiccups and all, Sanchez is our guy, as I discussed with Jon Presser on my podcast a few weeks ago.  Even Eli Manning has two Super Bowl titles, and he led the league in interceptions not more than two years ago!

I know Peyton Manning will end up somewhere.  But if anyone merely suggests that he could cure what ills the New York Jets at this point, they’re sorely mistaken.  Like, didn’t we just go through that mess with Brett Far-ver-uh in 2008?

Here’s where I think Peyton would be a good fit:

1.) Seattle Seahawks

2.) Miami Dolphins

3.) ….Yeah, that’s about it.

I know it’s a longshot, but you come here for my opinion, and I’m gonna give it to you.  I like and respect Peyton Manning, but to suggest he could do better or be better than what we have is a massive overstatement.  Sanchez is our guy and the sooner we realize that, the better off we’ll all be (and the Jets took care of that for us today).  But, you know, best of luck to Peyton on his job search.  He’ll be employed in no time.

Plus, I wouldn’t want that Sausage Race looking mother fucker on my team anyway.

 

Uncanny resemblance, right?

Meet The *New* Jets (Same As The *Old* METS)

Perhaps The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” is one of the most plagiarized songs in sports.  If you think about it, the whole “Meet the old boss/same as the new boss” line gets rehashed over and over…and over and over…and over some more, and once again, in the sports lexicon.  No matter what sport, team or pro/amateur, whatever, we can always use that line to describe how a team we follow has performed.

I promised myself never to do that, since I believe it to be cliche.  Yet, I haven’t weighed in on the whole Jets performance at the end of the season for that very reason: it’s a cliche.  You have a semi-new “boss” who has talked a big game and practically predicted a championship  each year since his hiring.  You have a young stud hotshot whose hopes for the future have been pinned upon.  You have a bunch of mercenaries playing on a team that really just care about personal performance, but aren’t “team” guys.

Factor in a New York (“big market”) team facing a Miami (“small market”) team on the last game of the season with playoff implications for the big team and what do you have?  A recipe for disaster.

You may think I’m talking about the Jets, but I’m not entirely.  You see, I’ve read this story before.  It’s happened to the Mets as well.

I’ve often argued that 2006 for the Mets was the aberration: the year that should have never happened.  Yet, at the time, I was drinking the Kool-Aid like everyone else, or rather, I was just enjoying the time and place in front of me.  But who believed they wouldn’t at least *MAKE* the playoffs that year?  I can say until I’m blue in the face that the last series of 2007 for the baseball Mets was not the killer — we could point to any series lost against the Phillies after All-Star Break that year, not to mention the series before against the Washington Nationals where if they only won just ONE goddamn game, we wouldn’t be even blinking an eye about their floundering now — but rather it was indicative of the whole season.  The giant falls, and we’re not talking baseball or football giant, we’re talking a big market team, no matter what the pro sport.

But look at the Jets.  A team that simply got too big for its britches.  A team that believed everything its big talking coach told them, a team that believed its young stud quarterback wasn’t actually overrated.  Hey, you know what, I don’t apologize for liking Mark Sanchez.  He’s young, and may even be successful without the fish bowl of New York media.  But I’ve gotten attacked on Twitter for saying Eli Manning was overrated (so the fuck what about a Super Bowl title), but I was also saying that the Jets aren’t much better in that department.

Then look at how the Mets floundered in 2007.  I’ve often said the denouement of that quasi-dynasty was Carlos Delgado.  And he was barely a Met.  Yet, he came to the team, and they rode his confidence.  Yet, the second he started to slump, so did the team right behind him.  Perhaps Billy Wagner put it best when he looked to his locker after a game in 2008 and said, “f**kin shocker” in response to being interviewed in a game where he didn’t even play.

Substitute Santonio Holmes on the Jets for Carlos Delgado on the Mets, and you have yourself a good comparison. I have to admit that I like Holmes, and even past tense, especially when he was on the Steelers (for some reason, I have a lot of friends who are Steelers fans).  He’s been criticized by Joe Namath, but also by his own teammate LaDainian Tomlinson.  Injured reserve rookie QB Greg McElroy didn’t name names, but didn’t really have to when he said that the Jets locker room was infiltrated by selfish personalities.

If you look back to the reasons why the Mets faltered late in the season in both 2007 and 2008, there were rumors that a faction led by Carlos Delgado kind of undermined their “boss” Willie Randolph.  To be honest, I was not a fan of Willie Randolph, but it seemed like a bit of a longshot that Delgado or anyone on the team woud have tanked on purpose just to get him fired.  On the flip side, there was almost a direct correlation to the team doing better (especially specific players) after Randolph’s midnight firing.

So does this mean that the rumors were true — that Holmes, among others, were just tanking to get Brian Schottenheimer fired?  If that’s the case, then fuck ‘em, these are professionals who should be playing to win.  Not lose to spite a coach they are not fond of IF IN FACT that is the case.  Yet, it’s doubly wrong and implies that Holmes, a team captain, wasn’t even trying for whatever reason, mostly selfish.

Back after the 2006 season, the Mets came out of nowhere to come within a game of making the World Series.  Each year after that, their performance has gotten worse and worse, and more embarrassing by the season.  Now, they are almost in a rebuild mode (a hybrid of cutting ties with “dead weight” and ties to previous losing seasons, and letting the young guys play, whether they win or lose).  Taking a cue from the public service announcement that “It Gets Better.”  For the Mets, though, it’s gotten progressively worse, and should continue to get worse before it ever gets better.

In 2007 and 2008, the Mets had respective season-ending series against the Florida (Now “Miami”) Marlins that could have swayed their playoff position.  I’ve argued that there were games each season that they SHOULD HAVE won and COULD HAVE won but DID NOT.  So when those series were lost, yes, it sucked, but I just took it.  The same goes for this big market football team, losing to a subpar team located in Miami, in a game where a win could have changed everything.  By the same token, a win anywhere else in the preceding three weeks could have changed everything too.

I root for three major New York teams — the Mets, the Jets and the Rangers.  Each one incompetent in their own special way.  But the Mets and Jets have more similarities than I care to admit.  And yet, I have to wonder if after a taste of almost success in making it to the conference championship could have been just enough of a taste for a team that didn’t make it quite as far as they should have.

The Jets are in a bind.  They believed their own hype and became too big for their britches and then what happens? Players start to quit.  And it becomes a bigger story than the team itself.  They lose games they should be winning by considerable margins.  But that’s just it: THE ENTIRE FUCKING SEASON WAS LIKE THAT.  I could go back to when they started 2-3 after losing three straight on the road.  Winning just ONE of those road games would have made a difference.  The shitshow back in November after Thanksgiving.  All in all, the Jets have no one to blame but themselves, since it’s a team loss.  But if you are having individual players making individual decisions about how the team should operate…then expect more of the same, as long as Mark Sanchez, whipping boy du jour, is around.

Kinky Kelly and The Sexy Stud

You fucked up! You trusted us!

Such is life for a Jets fan.  After the horrific loss to Denver on Thursday, I was basically in the acceptance part of my grief process.  I was detailing how I would be able to start my detox earlier this year, not to be interrupted by going to bars or drinking and eating poorly during football playoff games. Till then…I have two games that I am attending live.  I’d hate to think there is nothing to play for.  Then again, in previous years, many things have fallen into place, with the Jets quote-unquote backing into the playoffs, or perhaps the schedule will bear out.  Oh, and there will no margin for error.  Something, at which, the Jets have been acutely inept at this season, that whole low-margin-of-error thing.

My advice to you is to start drinking heavily

“My advice to you is to start drinking heavily,” said my friend, whom I refer to as WOOOOOOO, over on Twitter the other day. This was mostly in response to me bitching there about the games I am attending live in the future, money spent, hopes dashed, disappointments met, and about cleansing myself of this sports hex I have put on myself.

In my life, there have been a few constants.  One is my sports fandom and its affiliations: Mets.  Jets.  Rangers.  The other are my love for John Landis films.  Blues Brothers.  Trading Places.  Coming to America.  Animal House.  Besides sports, perhaps music and film draws people together in the same way. Sometimes, they collide and I can quote movies and enjoy sports at the same time.

When I was on the West Coast last week watching the Jets play the Patriots, I had to speak my tweets because my phone was charging.  Meanwhile, the other three folks I was watching the game had no vested interest in the game conclusion (though they seemed to want to the Jets to win, since I was rooting for that conclusion).  So they started talking about movies, like Kevin Smith films.  Clerks.  Jay and Silent Bob.  Mallrats.  Understanding these movies is cult-like.  We throw around quotes like it’s Shakespeare.

When the conversation turned to Clerks II, I started going nuts.  I HATED that movie, and thought it was better off not made.  My husband and our friends disagreed. They loved it, especially the part about “ass-to-mouth.”

I guess you have to watch the movie to understand the context.

Meanwhile, when I say, “Jets 2011: Ass to Mouth,” you can get the drift.  It’s roots are in a Kevin Smith movie, but the ramifications are far spread.

Think about it.  The context of it in the movie was just for gross-out humor.  Not that I’m not up for that.  But this is what the Jets have been doing all season.  This highly unsanitary and unorthodox of way of conducting themselves, when it should be easy.  YOU NEVER GO ASS TO MOUTH.  AND YOU DON’T DO STUPID SHIT AGAINST TEAMS LIKE THE BRONCOS.

See, I almost wished they lost that game I went to against the Dolphins.  Maybe they would have snapped out of it.  Then again, they are doing all the wrong things.  They’re entitled to lose games, but they games they lose to are even messed up.  Like losing to AFC teams that could potentially be a “tie-breaker” when it comes to playoff time (though, I just have to wonder if this is just not the year).  Special teams being atrocious.  Brian Schottenheimer convinced that as offensive coordinator his job is to fit the QB to the offense, not the other way around (as @metsjetsnets88 and @robzloto discussed on Twitter, this isn’t anything new…he’s done this was THREE QBs). I don’t think Schotty is the only problem (like, where is the backlash against Westhoff, as an example), but it’s clear that it’s PART of the problem.   The problem being consistency.

And yet at the end of the day, the people taking it up the ass with the mouths of the media are Mark Sanchez, the “pretty-boy quarterback,” and Rex Ryan, the only man documented to have a foot fetish, because they are visible.  Because they are the quarterback and the head coach.  Hey, I’m not saying Sanchez is completely blameless.  It seems like he almost has to trust himself to get the job done because of the way things are going.  It’s not good.

Like when I watched the Mets faltering in 2007, I said losing games to the likes of the Washington Nationals in August (that they could have easily won) leaves no margin of error. Good teams find a way to beat the teams they are supposed to beat.  The Jets of 2011 are making me feel the same way.  Ass-to-mouth might have been funny in the context when my friends and I were discussing quotes from Clerks II.  When talking about the Jets 2011 play, it’s certainly one that’s as unsanitary and undesirable in the short- and long-term.

Stand By Your Man

“So…who wants to watch Blues Brothers?” I said in the fourth quarter last Sunday, when it just seemed painfully obvious that this was clearly not the Jets day.  Nor was it their night. (Operative word there was “painfully”).

A few things to go on that background.  First, I was on the West Coast, with a Seahawks fan (my husband), a Giants fan (Solly) and a 49ers fan (Mrs. Senor Solly).  I was still on East Coast time, since I was basically there for what amounted to a long weekend.  I was in bed most nights around 10 pm PST.  Yeah, I’m lame. But also since the game was on East Coast time, we were done around 8 pm watching the game.

Oh and I had done a Petco Park tour in San Diego earlier in the day, and while walking out of the stadium, I ran into two Jets fans, presumably on their way to watch football somewhere.

Jets fans meet in downtown San Diego

They admitted they were both Yankee fans, but I let them get away with it…Nobody is truly perfect after all.

My phone had died out at one point.  So I made a conscious decision to not live-tweet during the game.  So I did the second-best thing: I talked to the TV as if, you know, the team could hear me (they can, can’t they?), and said some pretty Coop-tastic things.  Such as “Fuck you and your mothers.”  “Kiss my ass.”  You can see where I can pull some of my most primal thoughts on Twitter.  My thoughts were being tweeted anyway, even though I wasn’t doing it myself (Be sure to follow @Fsolomon75 for more info on that).  Love modern technologies. And the power of outing your friends on Twitter.

To say I was giddy with anticipation for the week’s game would be an understatement.  I was ready for payback, especially when it comes to the New England Patriots, or as I like to call them, the “HATEtriots.”  The first game really left a bad taste in my mouth, but I figured this team has faced Tom Brady and his crew a gajillion times, we can take ‘em.

Anyway, I make no bones about whom I love on the Jets this year.  And the constants of course.  Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis, Plaxico Burress, Mark Sanchez are my big four this year.  The obvious choices.  I don’t care if Burress shoost himself in the foot, uh, literally.  If he wants to audition for the Darwin Awards on his time, far be it for me to stop him.

Moving right along, people get on Mark Sanchez for not being an “elite quarterback.”  Well, let’s take a step back and think about what an elite QB is.  Look at the Colts, as an example.  Their “elite” QB, Peyton Manning (the human Milwaukee Brewer Sausage Race Sausage) has been injured this season…guess what?  His team is probably going to get the first-round draft pick this year.  Right?  Then there’s Tom Brady, the *barf* “elite” QB.  Look I can give credit where it is due, but I don’t like Brady because he’s the enemy.  But yet when he was hurt a few years ago, the Patriots were hardly the vaunted threat they usually are, and didn’t make the playoffs.

So to say “Mark Sanchez isn’t an elite quarterback” is a very loaded accusation.  For one, the Jets are seriously not a one-man team, like say the Colts are constructed to be or were.  Now, I don’t pay close attention to Colts games, just basically follow them on game trackers or whatever, so if there’s something else going on there feel free to clue me in.  The Jets are constructed to have a heavy D (RIP…wait, wrong D), so when that fails, Sanchez’s errors are more glaring.

That’s not to say, on the other side of the coin, Sanchez’s idiotic move (what Rex Ryan coined as being one of the dumbest moves in the history of football) of calling a timeout too soon during the first half wasn’t to blame.  Yet, the defense can’t keep giving opportunities to a seasoned team like the Patriots.

I feel like Sanchez doesn’t make “rookie mistakes” per se, but I feel like his own hype can get in the way at times.  Meaning, I could tell he was getting rattled during the game.  That might seem like rookie nerves, but who knows what happened in the locker room during the half…Ryan could have put his fist down his throat, and made his asshole into a pinky ring.  I could see that rattling someone.  Yet, they are still professionals and should know better.  So play better, you tools.

Lastly, at the root of it, is a team effort.  I saw just overall the team making mistakes that could be construed as “rookie,” but since Sanchez is the “face” for better or worse (I mean, it can’t get better…he’s seriously cute), but this was a team loss.

Is it the end of the world?  No.  Yes, as a fan I would prefer beating the Patriots on any day of the week, let alone on a football Sunday.  I still have faith, as blind as it may be.  I believe in my heart of hearts that the Jets are going to come up huge this season.  Just unfortunately, it didn’t happen on a national platform, against the hated Patriots.  The schedule bears out for the Jets for the rest of the season…so just man up and play better.

After all, they’re just a team…

Stand by your men

And if you love them…Oh be proud of them…’Cause after all, they’re just your men…

Stand by your green men…

Jets Charge with Their Best Foot Forward

The Jets enter Week 8, coinciding with their “bye” week, with a bang, a victory over the San Diego Chargers of 27-21, and a winning record to boot (4-3).

That “WHEW” you just heard came from the collective Jets fan base. Notice that you didn’t hear anything about Brian Schottenheimer or the defense or Mark Sanchez either.  I guess it’s easy to forget all that stuff that Monday Morning Quarterbacks like to discuss, especially when they win.

If you had listened to the media prior to the game, after Rex Ryan had off-the-cuff said something to the effect of, he had interviewed for Norv Turner’s job in 2007, but also made a little dig about their lack of championships in that time period.

Well, I think I would have had a couple rings. I’m telling you, those teams were loaded.

Sigh.  I mean, Rex couldn’t have possibly said something that was taken out of context, nor something that would potentially make him look bad.  He hasn’t exactly won anything with the Jets, but then his team has made it to the Conference Championship two years in a row, mostly on guts and the back of a young quarterback.  Not too shabby, but of course the media ran all over it.

The Jets didn’t have much of a chance against the real-deal-holy-feel Chargers, who got off to a 4-1 start this season, while the Jets infamously lost three in a row on the road.  The Jets are now undefeated at home.  Of course, in the first drive of the game, it seemed like it was practically right after kickoff, Chargers returned a “fumble” for a TD.

I had a bad migraine at that point, and I told my husband, “I’m going out for coffee.  If this team expects me to watch this crap, I need to have caffeine.”  When I returned, things didn’t sound much better.  Nick Mangold had a penalty that nullified what should have been a clean TD. This would be the theme of the day, lots of flags that made the game almost painful to watch at times.

William Perlman, The Star Ledger

It seemed like the Jets were predestined to lose, especially with all the experts coming out against them.  After all, with Rex doing a lot of talking, the only game they’ve won in four weeks being against the Dolphins, and a bunch of pissed off Charger players who thought they were being dissed, it looked so.  Of course, it was then I remembered this was the Jets, and they never make anything easy (kind of like my other two teams), and our ace in the hole was Plaxico Burress.  I happen to like Burress a lot.  I’m happy he’s in the Jets’ end zone when it matters (but mostly yesterday).

The Jets won a game against a “legit” team, though, and it seems people still don’t want to give them any credit.  I am a fan, they frustrate me to no end.  They may be a little rough around the edges in some places, but it should not surprise any of us to see that they had a bit of a slow start.

There was no cap-tipping or rather helmet-tipping to the Jets by the Chargers, who had a bunch of BMW (bitchin’-moanin’-whinin’) going on after the game.  For one, I was just as annoyed with all the flags (even those in the Jets’ favor), but it’s nothing but sour grapes when San Diego cornerback Quentin Jammer says that the refs gave the Jets the game.  This is a team most others want to beat, and you couldn’t.  I get it, Jammer.

That’s not to say that bad calls went both ways against both teams.  I thought they were all getting a little ridiculous.  Yet, each Jets win is discounted by some “factor.”  A game is a game, and a win is a win.  People were ready to discount the win against the Dolphins on Monday simply because they hadn’t won a game this season.  Now, it’s because of the calling.  Even though they won, they can’t win.  Rex Ryan probably had the last laugh here.

You Stay Classy, San Diego.

By the way, what the hell was Philip Rivers doing at the end of the game there?  I swear, he wasn’t even trying.  It looked like at points, Norv Turner was going to have a conniption, but mostly, it worked out to our favor.  I was surprised that even though it looked unlikely, he didn’t even try to really keep the team in the game at the end, even throwing it out of bounds.  I think that was the last play of the game, if I’m not mistaken.  Ryan alluded that he expected to see the Chargers again in the postseason, and it’s quite a possible scenario.  Maybe the Chargers were saving their energy for that game, if it comes to that?  I suppose time will tell.

Turn The Beat Around

There are two parts to every football game.  There’s the football game itself, and there’s the tailgate preceding it (sometimes, if you’re lucky, especially on a Sunday afternoon, you get a postscript to the tailgate, by tailgating afterwards).

I attended my first Jets game of the season Monday.  It was last-minute, as a friend decided he wanted to go to the tailgate party, but didn’t want to stay for the whole game.  Since I’m not working full time now, and I’d never been to a Monday night game live, I figured, what the hell?  You only live once, right?  So off to the Meadowlands I went Monday afternoon.

Tailgating is some serious business at any football game.  On a Monday though, I spent a good four hours before the game preparing and doing the pregame before actually ENTERING the stadium.  When all was said and done, I left my house around 4 pm yesterday, and didn’t get home till around 1 am.  All for the Jets.

Good thing they won.

 

Few notes about the tailgate process.  You have to admire football fans for putting so much thought and effort into having the comforts of home and being able to somewhat beat the system by bringing your own food and beverage, so that you don’t spend money in the stadium. As I walked around, I saw $11.25 large draft beers…seriously?  That’s more than a six pack!  Although to me, the preparation and expenditures for a football game is a small fortune, but I guess you can justify it for a few reasons.  My friend, as an example, joined a tailgate “group” in parking lot L11, so each of the crews provides a cooler of beverages, different types of food, each person brings something and it’s all shared.  It’s not a bad idea.  Plus it takes the pressure off one person who is trying to do it by themselves by having back-up.  So within a half hour, I had some deep fried buffalo wings (brought to you by a guy who brings his own DEEP FRYER), Mike’s Hard Lemonade (for some reason, I don’t like beer anymore…and my friend who invited me has a margarita mixer that’s battery operated…but made pina coladas…blech), chips, homemade chili with cornbread (that was some serious chili), then they broke out the dogs and sausages, and I had seriously the best sausage sandwich ever (it was the bread that did it, yummy crusty Italian bread).  I had about three dinners and two desserts.

Bad news?  The day before was the Giants’ home game…and whoever is in charge of clean up neglected to provide us with clean port-a-potties.

#FAIL

If this was an oversight, it’s a bad oversight.  For one, if you can’t handle the facility issue at your grounds, perhaps you should rethink scheduling back-to-back games in the future.  Especially for events where tailgating is encouraged.  Luckily, after some sleuth work, I found a non-overflowing latrine, and did my business Austin Powers-style, then resumed my pregame festivities.  That doesn’t excuse that horrific oversight though.  I’m not a guy.  I can’t just point and shoot.

Anyway, our DJ for the festivities in L11 brought me back to my high school and college days.  I heard some Nirvana, 311, Bush, and a host of other 1990s music.  It set the mood right, and made me think that I really underestimated the music that came out during that time period.  No Backstreet Boys or Hanson, thank goodness.

I kept going around there, getting myself pumped for the game.  It’s kind of hard, when you’re having such a great time at a party, to get the motivation to go into the stadium and go to the game.  I know, it’s the primary reason you are there, but if you haven’t noticed, the Jets weren’t doing that great, on a three-game losing streak.  One vote in their favor was that the Dolphins were their opponent, who hadn’t won a game yet this season.  The bad thing was that a loss to them would have people jumping off the rafters.

Around 7:30, I decided it was time to head in, so I bid my friends, old and new, farewell, and went into the new Meadowlands Stadium, now christened MetLife Stadium.  It’s better than the old Giants Stadium in several ways, but most of all that the Giants name wasn’t plastered all over the place in this one.  On Jets game days, it’s Jets-Jets-Jets stuff, and at night, there is green lighting surrounding the stadium.  I’m sure it’s something similar for Giants game days (which, by the way, if you know anyone who ever needs an extra hand in taking a ticket, I’d love to see the differences between a Jets home game and a Giants home game at MetLife).  But the Jets have the slight edge there, since you can just call it “JetLife” Stadium.

 

I still had about an hour to kill till the game actually started.  But this is where things started to get a little weird, as I ran into a Mets buddy of mine, Metstradamus, who was in disguise as Jetstradamus.  I saw him as I walked past a stand for the Food Network, which had a noteworthy item on their menu called Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese.  Yes please!  I did order it later, but I have to say I wasn’t all that impressed.  It sounded better than it tasted.  Worlds also collided when I found out a friend of mine, JDR, from the Rangers world of my life, was there celebrating her birthday, looking all cute in her Dolphins gear…We’re all Marino fans, at heart, I believe.  Don’t be fooled…she’s really a Giants fan (sorry that I outed you babe!).

I walked around the lower-level concourse for another few minutes, then headed back to my seat.  I was in the 100s level…I probably would never opt to sit there on my own, but these were pretty nice.  Many thanks to my friends who offered me the seat to begin with!  Here are some miscellaneous views from before and during the game, thanks to the killer zoom on my camera!

 

Because of the build up to the game, the downfall is that it could actually be sort of a let down.  This game was not, though the Jets were really testing our patience after a particularly slow start.  Then for anyone who watched knows that Darrelle Revis turned that beat around, took an interception all the way into the end zone for a TD…that set off the chain of events that led to their win.  You should have also heard the ovation for the first down of the game…it was almost like they won the Super Bowl!

There were some significantly ugly turns in the game, but the good news is the Jets still have “it,” and that “it” is they can beat the teams they are supposed to beat.  The Dolphins are a team you need to beat…I’m sure they’ll win a game eventually, but to make the Jets legit, they needed to take no prisoners.  A win is a win is a win, so we should take pride in that.  Till next week of course, but momentum is a many splendored thing.

Perhaps we can look back at this game and see that Revis play and point and say, hey that’s where the season turned around.  It’s also at a point where it could be a footnote to an otherwise blah season.  Trust me, I’m used to that with the Mets.  I have had high hopes for this Jets team for awhile, and I hope they prove me right.  The good news is, they responded favorably to a good play and turned around quickly.

So the game was the capper of an otherwise fun party before the game.  Of course, I ran into Metstradamus on the train going back home.  Leave it to NJ Transit to stick it to us and pretend to be an efficient organization.  I can dream, can’t I?

Moonstruck

Hey Jets!

SNAP OUT OF IT!!!

This team is driving me nuts and not in a good way.

How shall I count these ways?

A 2-3 start/record and a three game losing streak isn’t totally insurmountable.  It’s just the way it happened, and against the Patriots of all teams, that makes me upset.

After a loss like this, you just get the questions about “who is to blame?”  The fact is, this was a team loss if there was any.   At the end of the day, the Pats didn’t beat the Jets, the Jets beat themselves.  Period, end of story.

Mark Sanchez’s game was reminiscent of the conference game last year against the Steelers, when he got his act together too little, too late.  Stupid f’ing penalties.  Brian Schottenheimer third-guessing himself.  Prior to the game, there was news that WRs Plaxico Burress, Santonio Holmes and Derrick Mason complained about Schotty’s play calling.  Of course, they all get on the defensive and deny, deny, deny afterwards.

Rex Ryan claims he still has faith in this team, and you know what, I do too.  It’s not unrealistic to lose three in a row: we were just hoping they wouldn’t have done that so early in the season.

Again, it just sucks it was against the HATEtriots.  Oh, and there was some serious home-cooking going on with the officiating there (and basically readjustments of jock straps by the officials of certain Patriot players…I know I was not alone in this, and this is not “Bitter Jets Fan” talking…it was for realz).

So now, we’ve got players trying to outplay, out-think and outdo each other.  You know what I have to say about that?

SNAP OUT OF IT!!!!!

And quit pissin’ me off!

OK so here’s my conclusion: if you can’t blame Rex 100%, can’t blame Sanchez 100%, or Schotty, or defense or the offense…blame everyone.

I guess the good news, as Jon Presser pointed out to me on Twitter, is that they haven’t played their best ball yet…they’re trending upward.  Blah blah blah. I guess I can take that with a grain of salt, especially playing the Dolphins at home next week as well, that can be a very good thing for the team, to beat a bad team.  Perhaps they’ll take the week to sit in the corner and think about what they’ve done.

In the meantime, though, we’re having a full moon upon us, la bella luna, la pazza luna, and the Jets will be playing Monday night against Miami, in full moon territory.

Stranger things have happened.  As long as the hope that Rex Ryan has for his team comes out, they’ll be okay.

They just need to snap out of it.