Santonio Holmes

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.

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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.

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.

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.