Nick Mangold

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…

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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.

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?).