New York Jets

The Decemberists

Football games in December, especially in the northeast, midwest and any place typically north, are well-known to be cold.  We’ve been fortunate in New York this season though.  On days that you would expect to be just cold (not even factoring in “bitter” or “wind chill”), it’s been balmy and dare-I-say “unseasonable” weather.  My dream is to someday live in San Francisco, and we’ve been blessed with Bay Area-like weather.

Of course, not on the day I was scheduled to go a game.  But as you see, my friend and I dressed appropriately.  A few years ago, I read an article about dressing for games during the playoffs at Lambeau Field.  I remember the guy had like 10 different layers, but most importantly, thermals with the butt flap.  We don’t have it that bad, at least, not yet.  But for me, I had thermals on, a sweatshirt, my Jets jersey, jeans, a North Face, a scarf, and I had gloves.  I didn’t really need the gloves, and I had a hat for a break-in-case-of-emergency.  My friend wore her Jets cap though, for reasons other than weather (I’ll get to that in a minute).

Dee, who posts for Metscellaneous, and I met a few years ago.  Brought together by our love for the Mets (and baseball), we realized we had some eerie things in common.  We’re both only children, we like to write (which is technically how we met), we both don’t like raw tomatoes (but we like tomato-products…I have a hard time explaining this to other people, but luckily, she gets it), we love margaritas and chain restaurants (don’t judge), and we’re both born in December.  It’s irony, really, because we are not WINTER folks (though, that is her last name..again, irony), but we can identify with the season and having our birthdays overshadowed by everyone else getting into the holiday spirit.

I never got the whole “this is your Christmas AND birthday gift,” mainly because I’m an only child and my parents never were torn in other directions.  What we did get, though, was the whole nightmare of trying to plan birthday parties that were convenient for your friends, family and kids’ parents.  I have a better appreciation for it now as an adult.  But now since we’re adults, we’re taking matters into our own hands.  We not only decided to have a joint birthday party and “share” our friends and the wealth of having a December birthday (and some people can get territorial about their friends, go figure), we said, hey, we can’t go to a baseball game for our birthdays…but we CAN go to a football game.

So December 11th it was, against the Kansas City Chiefs.  I was so concerned about buying tickets for this game, yet we were told at the tailgate we went to that we could have easily waited till that week and gotten super-cheap tickets in the upper levels.  It ended up not mattering either way, and I’ll get to that later.

So first things first, we meet at Penn Station, me with coffees in hand and we chill for the train to Secaucus, and transfer to Meadowlands.  We’re there before 10:30 am.  That may seem early but when you’re tailgating, the time passes very quickly.

I went to the same tailgate I attended back in October, when I went to the game against the Dolphins.  My friend Kevin is part of a tailgate group, where they basically have a communistic set up of beverages, snacks, real food, and then other wares, like chairs and wood-burning stoves.  Kevin is married to another baseball chick I know, Sharon, and she came to celebrate our birthdays (since this was the birthday game).  Sharon ended up going to the game, which wasn’t part of the original plan, but it ended up benefiting us for several reasons.  One is that we love Sharon and she’s a lot of fun to hang out with…the other is that later on, we got to sit with Kevin and a few of his friends in the 200 level.

 

Dee and I were greeted with a strawberry margarita (courtesy of Kevin’s battery-operated margarita maker), and there were comforts of home such as yummy food and wood-burning stoves.  We didn’t really need it though, since you can see I lost my scarf and had my coat al fresco after a bit (plus I was drinking a frozen alcoholic drink).  The guy on top of the truck was leading us in a J-E-T-S chant, and the dude in the middle of our photo is Frank, the ringleader of the L11 tailgate.  There was also a filming of a television show that these dudes were pitching to Food Network, for I guess best tailgate burger.  Frank was the winner of the golden spatula.

I wanted to get there earlier, after all there were huevos rancheros on the menu there, because two and a half hours does go by quickly.  After all, times flies when you’re having fun.  It came time to go into the stadium and root for the Jets.  It was Dee’s first live football game, after all.  And yes, I’m trying to set a record for the most “after alls,” in one paragraph.

Our seats weren’t terrible, but because they were underneath the lights, we got dripped on! (It rained here midweek, but I guess the sun shining brightly for days afterwards led it to melt any ice that may have formed).  I felt like I was back in the Mezzanine at Shea, when you were underneath the awning, even if it had rained like a week before, if there was a puddle, you got dripped on.

 

 

We had a pretty good view of the field, more so than my first game of the season where I was behind the goal post.  Don’t get me wrong: those seats were awesome on the 100 level, and my friend basically just gave the ticket to me so he wouldn’t eat it.  But the drawback here were the drips…Dee had to put on her hat so that it wouldn’t drip on her head! We had a good view of Fireman Ed here (as evidenced above), but the crowd really wasn’t going strong till later in the first quarter.

Sharon told us her husband had some empties by him, and we should head down there.  Good thing we did!  We stayed there the second half, and for the rest of the game.  Look how sweet these seats were!!

 

 

We had a better view of Fireman Ed, who basically has carte blanche to do anything at JetLife Stadium.

As for the game, yeah, it was a blowout, and as well it should have been.  There wasn’t much to say except Mark Brunell came in the game eventually to relieve Sanchez, since there was no point in keeping him in there.  The Jets are now in control of their own destiny too, as far as playoffs go.  That can be a good or bad thing.  Mostly good, since they don’t have to rely on other teams losing, but then they have to depend on winning and we all know how well that can go sometimes.  I have an impeccable record for Jets games though, and now so does Dee.

When we walked out, we had another post-game tailgate to hit with another December baby, the friend we affectionately refer to as Woooooo because of his greeting on social media networks.  He is the consummate host, offering us beers, different types of foods (rice and beans, london broil, bison burgers, dogs)…there was even a birthday cake, since his is coming up this week. Sure, the cake was half-eaten by the time we got there, but it was still yummy nonetheless, and a great capper of the evening.

 

NJ Transit is ass-backwards as far as game day travel is, but we had a finite time to return which was 5:48, the last train out of dodge.  Of course, they kept us waiting and waiting and waiting, and the train Dee wanted to take back was missed by literally two minutes.  Not to fret, we decided to go outside to get some hot cocoa at Dunkin’ Donuts.  She casually mentions, yeah I’d like to see the tree.  I say, hey, what else do we have to do tonight.  So after the game, we pranced all over the city and did touristy things and made the day even more complete.

 

(Some bears made a special appearance)

As we walked towards the L7 tailgate after the game, I asked Dee what she thought about the game.  It’s a different atmosphere than a baseball game, for sure, she said.  She did say she almost liked it a bit better than baseball.  I can understand.  Nothing will ever replace my love for a spring or summer day game or even a night game, socializing with friends, drinking booze, eating nachos.  But it can get diluted for me, which is sad, but it is what it is.  Like Dee, we go to way many more baseball games.  This has to do with proximity, availability and the number of games.  I get a little jaded at times simply because I go to many games.  I can take it for granted.

Football games are special though.  There aren’t many, but there’s a lot of commitment in going to a game.  Woooooo told us there was a friend of his in the tailgate who drove up every weekend from Washington, D.C.  D.C.!!!!  I bitch and moan about NJ Transit having a pain in the ass schedule on game days.  This is especially dedicated for tailgaters too, like Wooooo and Sports Yenta (whom I met yesterday, oy!) and Frank and Kevin and everyone else.  Thank you all for hosting us and making our birthday game special.

Dee and I were bonded by birthdays and baseball, and always hated that we couldn’t spend our birthdays going to baseball games.  What a crock!  We should have been grateful for what we did have, and that’s football…but then again, we are Jets fans, so that could have something to do with it.  But now we have our own tradition and are making it our own.  So as I’ve said before, I not only gained a baseball friend, I gained a baseball sister.

So happy, happy birthday to my dearest Dee.  May all your wishes come true, and I hope you look back on this game with as much fondness as I do you!

Build It Up (Tear It Down)

There’s that old saying that you build things up to tear them down.  Kind of like celebrities.  Entertainment media spends a lot of time bringing people up to a certain standard, and when they can’t live up to it, people seem to relish in the fall.  It’s almost, like, humanizing I suppose.  Look at Kim Kardashian and her 90-day marriage or however long it was and the backlash from having a ginormous glitzy wedding televised (though in my opinion, she had it coming).

The same could be said about sports and sports figures.  Remember at the beginning of the football season, the Buffalo Bills were the toast of the town, man.  They won their first three games, and prior to their bye week in Week Seven, were 4-2.  Their losses were even razor thin, and could have easily been won.  Pretty soon, they were 5-5 along with the Jets.  Now they’re writing about how this could be their worst “collapse” ever (As a Mets fan, I know a thing or two about collapses).

The Jets, however, were the boners.  The Bills were overplaying to everyone’s expectations, which is always a good thing.  The Jets behind Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez along with Darrelle Revis et al had made it all the way to the Conference Championship game in two seasons…they hadn’t “earned” the right to successfully gloat.  Which I mean, come on, Rex is a blowhard sometimes but he’s funny and always owns up to his mistakes.  If the shit was on the other foot, i.e. I was not a Jets fan, it may piss me off too.  The Jets are boners, apparently, to the masses.  Possibly because of my eclectic sports affiliations and interactions, I find a lot of haters.  Haters don’t piss me off…my philosophy behind them is that you’re doing something right if people dislike you to the point of bashing.

Yet, a few weeks ago, the Bills were the toast of the league, and now the Jets beat them (it was ugly Sunday, that’s for sure) and it’s all, “Well, it’s not that big of a win…it was the Bills.”  Well, fuck that bullshit.  I’m sick of the double-standard.  If the Bills had held on to a lead, I’m sure it would have been about how the Jets suck and they’re horrible and Rex Ryan likes his wife’s feet and blah blah blah.

I was supposed to attend today’s shit show live.  I had a shit show of my own that needed attending to when I was at home and didn’t think it to be a good idea to go a game.  I was sad, I was mad…nothing I hate more than wasting those tickets.  So I just sat home with my green tea, my yogurt and upped my probiotic intake.  And I didn’t drink though for most Jets games, it should be mandatory that I’m stinking fucking drunk.  Period.  End of story.

I know the Jets are flawed.  If ANYONE knows that it’s me.  But back to the haters thing, why not give credit where it’s due.  The Jets and Bills are battling for a playoff spot — if they’re LUCKY — and it’s the JETS who won and who are getting the shit of the end stick regardless.

And what’s worse?  I love taking to Twitter to bitch about them. Yet I was called out for saying “Just forfeit” in jest to someone I follow…a saying, by the way, I’ve been saying for 14 years.  People who aren’t even Jets fans RELISHING in each misplay, misfire, miscue.  Look, I know they half bring it on themselves.  But it’s like they’re the Rodney Dangerfield of football: they get no respect.  Stevie Williams mimes shooting himself in the leg scoring a touchdown, and people defend it.  Plax got the last laugh there, so it’s all good as far as I’m concerned.  Tweeters calling a Jets loss before they even finish.  Do I need to remind them that a few years ago they were all but out and “backed in” only to go almost all the way…and that was a year they weren’t expected to do much!

It reminds me of when the Yankees are in the playoffs.  ALL the haters come out of the woodwork.  Now, I’m not a Yankees fan, but I can respect them and their fans (especially since I’m friendly with many of them).  On the flip side though I understand where the hate for the Highlanders come from.  They’ve at least earned the right to haters, if that makes sense.

So the Jets are a quirky team with a quirky head coach who likes to talk a lot and their QB is a pretty boy with some neurosis (hey, he’s a QB for a NY team that I like…I take the blame for that).  Sit down and shut the fuck up.  I’d like just for once to hear about how it’s the BILLS who dropped the proverbial ball (twice, mind you, against the Jets) and not how the Jets won the game because the Bills decided to lose it.  Fuck that noise.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to sit on the toilet again.

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…

Bye-Week Blues

The baseball season officially ended Friday night.  Congrats to the St. Louis Cardinals and their fans for one helluva ride. What Met fan couldn’t identify with Nelson Cruz and the way the Game Six just kept going and going?  It reminded me of our Game Six, but it was like a 1986 Game Six-lite, since it was so sloppily played beforehand.  I was rooting for Texas, because I’d visited there over the summer, and I thought the area was really great.  The best “heckle” if you can even call it that was “Boo YOU!” when I wore my Reyes 7 jersey to the game.  I even met their version of Cow-Bell Man in “El Rangerdoro.”  Sorry for Texas, I guess everything isn’t as big as they claim it to be.

Moving right along, what is it with the OTHER Rangers, you know, the one I actually root for?  They give up late leads and have to go to shoot-outs and it’s just not cool.  For those who want Sean Avery back, well, I like Avery as much as the next person but that ship has sailed.  He’s not who he used to be.  Christensen isn’t the guy either, but hasn’t it occurred to others that maybe it’s the loss of Marc Staal?  Say what you want about Captain Cally, Staal is the pulse of the team.  Without him, expect this team to fall short many many times.

As for my Jets, they had a bye-week.  It was different for me, because there were games I had a vested interest in like Pittsburgh/New England, and even the Giants game, but my own team wasn’t playing.  So I did what any self-respecting fan did…and slept till 1 pm, and didn’t have “breakfast” till 3 pm.  Don’t worry, I got all caught up with the games later on.  Unfortunately, my husband’s team plays in Seattle (the Seahawks, natch), but their game didn’t make it on at all.  We know places where there’s streaming, but I had custody of the laptop during the games.

Then I started thinking.  Baseball is over.  My hockey team had the night off.   They play even more sparingly than baseball teams.  My team has a bye-week.

What the Hell am I gonna do?

I’m gonna watch my Sex & the City DVDs, catch up on DVR and bitch about not having sports to watch on my blog.

Sounds like a fine Sunday evening to me.

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.

Oy! The Jets Of Our Lives

I have my favorite little niche of Tweeters on any given Sunday (sometimes Mondays, including this week), that I follow for football.  It’s not dissimilar to whom I follow for Mets or even Rangers news, although the frequency of tweets usually increases closer to game time, then of course that Monday Morning Quarterbacking issue we have on Twitter too.

One person I follow is a die-hard Jets fan (who was also featured in Amanda Rykoff‘s EspnW piece on female fans) who calls herself “SportsYenta.”  Her tweets are often hilarious, cutting (she was even in Mass last week for the game against New England, and I believe in Baltimore a week before that!), and she often ends her thoughts with a succinct and elegant in its brevity point to bring it all home.

“Oy.

(PS Follow her, because she’s really funny during games and cool as hell)

That’s essentially how I feel with this surplus of Jets news coming out, about how the team is basically falling apart at the seams due to one thing or another.   Just, OY.  Well, maybe things aren’t that bad, but if the local media had its way, that’s what you would believe, that this team is essentially going to become the next Boston Red Sox, without the chicken n’ beer.  OY.

Two weeks ago, we heard about how Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer caused a rift, specifically how there was a wide receiver mutiny regarding his play calling, which Rex Ryan promptly shut down those reports prior to last week’s game against New England.  Yet you have to wonder how much truth there was to that rumor, as one of the WRs mentioned prominently in Scotty-gate, Derrick Mason, was traded to the Houston Texans.  You can point to his lack of production, as the article states, or that he was a critic of Schotty.  He was benched in Sunday’s game, according to Ryan so they could get a better look at Jeremy Kerley, which would make sense if Ryan knew there was a trade down the pike.  Either way, he was the odd man out of the three prominently featured in the criticism, with Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress.

Oy.

Ryan spent a lot of time downplaying the story, yet this time there were no unnamed sources in the locker room, as Holmes is now attributing his quotes, ripping the offensive line.  Then Brandon Moore came out and said that there are just some things that should stay in the locker room.

Oy.

It’s not like Holmes hasn’t been immune to critics himself; after all, Jets legend Broadway Joe Namath joined in on the fun by criticizing Holmes for complaining to the media after the Baltimore game. Nice little story from a guy one of my friends found lying in a gutter, hungover, before a game in the 1970s…but I digress.

OY!

I think this drama is just going to get worse before Monday night’s game against the Miami Dolphins.  And with good reason. The Jets are on a three game losing streak, but the Dolphins have it much worse…they haven’t even won a friggin game this season.  Both teams will be on edge, or as Ryan calls it, like “Caged animals.”

The Jets certainly have a lot more to lose than the Dolphins this week.  After all, they have higher expectations than the Dolphins, and if the Dolphins lose another game, well, they have just lost ANOTHER game.  No big deal, since they haven’t won one yet.  Imagine going back to Miami, with a feather in their cap, beating the Jets?

OY!

But then the double-edged sword is that if the Jets lose to a defeated team, then all the whispers will turn into loud screams about who needs to go and what needs to be done…till the next week of course.

My feeling is that no one on the Jets right now is immune to criticism but you know what will stop it?  WINNING.  A good old-fashioned beat down that will make the Jets 3-3 and everyone will once again be talking about how wonderful and great they are.

Till then…we’ll be listening to the drama machine.  Like the sands of time, so go the Jets of our Lives.

Oy.

The HATETriots: An East Coast Bias

I really have no idea why I dislike Boston (and Massachusetts, and hell, most of New England) so much.

I don’t *hate* the Boston Bruins, although a rivalry would be realistic between my Original Six team (the Rangers) and their O6 team.

I don’t *dislike* the Boston Red Sox, although my Mets played them in the 1986 World Series, but you know the old saying…”The enemy of my enemy…” Etc., etc.  (And well, I really REALLY dislike the Yankees, for certain).

My mother makes fun of me.  She claims that my bias against Boston and surrounding areas is a “New York Superiority Thing.”  I can’t disagree, although it’s not a conscious thing.  My friend Ms. Chap said it best…when she moved to Boston for three years after spending most of her life in the New York surrounding areas, she said, “I hated it on sight.”  I felt the same way the first time I ever visited Beantown.

No disrespect to my Boston brothers and sisters.  I just don’t care for it all that much up there.

But hey, my dislike of the New England Patriots? Yeah, it’s intense.  And it’s for shizzle.  For realz.  You get the idea, I’m sure.  I certainly have an East Coast Bias, and it has nothing to do with their location.  They’re certainly my Jets’ enemy, and I relish that like no other.  Like I’ve said before, there’s no shit talker like an NFL shit talker, and there’s no bias like an NFL bias.

Look at these two pretty boys!

Possibly because their pretty boy Tom Brady is their star QB.  Although I think he’s kind of like the “Derek Jeter” for lack of a better term QB of NE.  He’s a media ho’, a guy whose likeness is everywhere.  I can’t deny he is talented.  I really can’t.  And yes, I can acknowledge that my guy, Mark Sanchez, is a teensy bit overrated.  That, I think, has more to do with New York-sized expectations, though.  This is the pretty boy bowl, for sure.  And no one likes a pretty boy.  Unless, you know, you root for one.

So the Jets have a huge amount of expectations steeped upon them this year.  Two years in a row, the young-ish team has made it to the Conference championship game, to fall just short each year.  To say there’s a high level expected of them this season is without a doubt an understatement.

Yet, after a strong home start, then falling short two games on the road, people are freaking the funk about them potentially coming back to JetLife Stadium next weekend being 2-3.

Yet, they seem to forget that this is a team that goes through these hiccups each season, that they could just as easily be 3-2 coming back home.  It wouldn’t be the best case scenario, but it’s a decent case and they could make up for the lack of goodwill these last two games by taking this from the Patriots.

It also would intensify the rivalry.  I mean, look at Twitter during these games.  Lots of shit talkers on each side.  It’s fun, and it’s real.  It’s East Coast Bias, through and through.

The Jets are taking this game seriously too.  The Jets know they’ve been knocked around, they don’t need to read the local papers and listen to the Monday morning QBs about it, they are very aware. They also realize how important it is to win against the Jets.  Key to the game this week: Make it Physical.

Nick Mangold has been out nursing an ankle injury.  There was a chance he was to come back last week, but he’s declared himself fit for duty today.  This will certainly change the dynamic of their running game, which happens to be the Patriots’ strong point.  Either way, the dynamic needs to change.  One game can change that dynamic, for better or worse.  Things can get a little hairy, as Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason have voiced grievances over the playcalling (recent whipping boy Brian Schottenheimer coming under fire too for it).

You know what I say about that?  PUT ON YOUR BIG BOY PANTS AND DEAL WITH IT!  You’re playing the New England goddamn Patriots, for fuck’s sake.  Take the bull by the balls, and kick their asses all over Gillette Stadium.

Now, that I’m done with that.  I really really don’t like the Patriots.  So we win this week, and do what you want when you get back to JetLife, as long it means winning.  Kthxbye.

Redemption Factor

Coopie still says “Relax.”  But within reason.  In the effort of full disclosure, I ran my first half-marathon on Sunday morning. By the time the Jets/Ravens game rolled around, I was in the middle of a nap and missed most of the first half.   But I could figure out pretty quickly, with losing 27-17.  Though I didn’t think the lead was insurmountable, all I could gather from my Twitter feed was that the Jets O-line sucked.  I can’t attribute this to anyone, because basically everyone had a variation of that summary.

I had faith, possibly more than I should have.  I said, “My feeling is the #Jets have the #Ravens right where they want ‘em.”  Or so I thought.

Perhaps my friend, “Blondie’s Jake” Stevens put it best in his Cheers and Boos post on his There It Is! website, when he gave a boo for this reason: “the NY Jets offense, which had two fumbles and one interception returned for TDs, negating the special teams and defensive efforts in a 34-17 defeat.”

We can look at a few things.  One is this very fact: that the Ravens have taken seven consecutive decisions from the Jets.  So to say that Baltimore has the Jets’ number is an understatement.  But then there’s Rex Ryan’s history with the team, and while the Jets are clearly one of those teams that preaches defense-defense-defense, the Ravens were able to in a way bite the hand that feed them with their defensive game.

At what cost is the “defensive” game going to tack into the offensive game.  See, that’s what kills me about flawed theories, no matter what sport I support.  Like in baseball, the so-called sabermetrics concentrates on undervalued stats, but sometimes they don’t always translate into wins.  That’s why I think this whole concentration on defense is flawed.  Especially when everyone on Twitter, MSM and everywhere else is saying that Jets’ offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer needs to go.  Yeah, that’s the ticket.  I guess that’s what, I mean even in baseball when there’s a flaw in a team structure, they look to get rid of a coach to think they are doing something.

Or let’s bench Mark Sanchez.  Yes I get that three turnovers contributed to three TDs for Baltimore.  Is that the real issue, Sanchez being a problem?  I’m not averse to benching him but I think that’s the wrong thing, this is the same guy who was an absolute stud in playoffs last two years.

But this is nothing new for the Jets.  After all, Jeff Cappellini at CBS Sports says they are easy marks, Schotty and Sanchez.  Like I said, it’s like that in all the sports I follow.  The fact is, nothing seems to be clicking these last two games, offense, defense, anything.  Perhaps Nick Mangold’s absence is felt more than we could imagine, but he’ll be back soon (I hope, he should return for Game Five).

Now I get why people are up in arms.  I do, I’m watching the same games y’all are.  Even if I miss the first half because I ran a half.  I can see that people are concerned that by their next home game, they could theoretically be 2-3.  OR they could be 3-2, if the same team that wins most of their playoff games on the road shows up.

I can see why we’re so angst-ridden.  We’re Jets fans.  It wouldn’t be a season without minor heart attacks along the way.

I’m not saying RELAX anymore…but just be patient.  This is why football sucks.  The redemption factor isn’t for another week.  We’ll just bite our nails till they’re gangrene anyway (get it? GANG-GREEN?).

Coopie Says “Relax”

Today is Tuesday.  It’s been two days since the Jets had a tough loss to the Oakland Raiders.  My Twitterverse is STILL up in arms about it.

While I was disappointed in the loss…and Hell, I’ll be honest, one of the reasons I like football the least out of my three sports is because the redemption factor is at least a week away…I’m ready to move on and look to next week.  After all, that’s all that can be done at this point too.

My advice to you, besides starting to drink heavily, is to RELAX.

Well, Frankie is telling you to do so, but Coopie says it as well.

1) It’s ONE friggin game. Again, I say RELAX.

2) Did we truly expect for the Jets to go 16-0?  I certainly did not.  The fact is, you win some games and you lose some games.  RELAX.

3)  I guess what people are up in arms about is that after starting the season two games at home, they have three games on the road.  Do people seem to forget this is the same team that had all their playoff victories on the road?  RELAX.

4) I was a little torqued about the defense, defense, defense mantra, then allowing the opposition to score 34 against them.  Also, there were some dumb ass penalties during the game.  You could see it either way: home cooking by the hometown refs, or that the defense just wasn’t doing it’s job or taking unnecessary risks.  My thoughts?  Let this one go.  Certainly, this wasn’t the game for them.  RELAX.

5) My mom thinks he’s cute, but I don’t like Brian Schottenheimer.  Ah, fuck it.  RELAX.

The reality is, I think the Jets are allowed a tough loss every now and then.  Sucks that it could have been a 3-0 start and not 2-1, but that’s the way the turd curls.  You want to know what I am really pissed off about, mostly?  That I have to wait till December to go to my first Jets game…and that due to my half-marathon on Sunday, I can’t take a road trip to Baltimore to see them play.

RELAX.