10 Reasons to Overlook What Will Be A Bittersweet Sunday

They say December is the month of miracles and there is no one that believes that more than the New York Jets faithful right now.

For the past three weeks, the Jets have been the recipients of many early Christmas gifts. Just when you thought the playoffs were out of reach, the football gods became Jets fans.

While many of us felt that these December Jets wins were too little too late, AFC teams started to fall all over themselves.

The Dolphins, Jaguars, Broncos and Ravens have done just about everything they can to give the Jets a playoff berth.

Then, of course, there are the formerly undefeated Colts, the team that provided the ultimate doorway for the Jets to walk through toward the postseason.

Real quick on that game, I don’t care if Peyton or Archie Manning was playing quarterback; the Jets beat the Colts, still made all the plays they had to make. Yes, the naysayers busted out their soap boxes, but I say tough. The optimism meter is now spiking across Jets Nation.

So the outcome of this weekend’s game against the Bengals will determine if the Jets go to the playoffs. How fitting is it that it will also be the last professional football game played at Giants Stadium? Looking back over the years the Jets haven’t exactly had much success playing there. I wonder if the “Curse of Sonny Werblin” has had anything to do with it.  Many Jets fans can’t wait to see the place torn down.

I mean, think about it: The Jets are just 102-104-1 all-time in the regular season at the “home” they commandeered in 1985.

David Abraham “Sonny” Werblin bought the AFL Titans of New York in 1963 and changed their name to the Jets. On the eve of 1968-69 Super Bowl-winning season Werblin’s very own money-hungry partners (Leon Hess included) forced him out of the organization. Some believe that because the Jets, for all intents and purposes, fired Sonny, a curse was bestowed upon the franchise.

Subsequently, in 1971 Sonny built the Meadowlands Sports Complex and, 14 years later, the Jets moved into Giants Stadium.

Since then, even though the sheer number of wins and playoff games suggest otherwise, it has been a place that has provided me many great memories. Throughout this season I have been dreading this last home game because, as a creature of habit, it’s hard to see the tradition of going to every home game, sitting in the same seats, and seeing the same familiar faces come to an end.  While I'm excited for the Jets to have a new home, it will take a long time to develop the rapport with my section and the stadium the way I did over God knows how many years at the old place.

As I think about going out with the old and bringing in the new, there were certain games and moments at Giants Stadium that stand out in my mind.

These games were the ones that made me proudest to be a Jets fan. They are the moments that I remember being at my happiest, cheering as loud as I could for a team that has always had my full devotion, despite its penchant for letting people down. Please note: if you are looking for the 51-45 win over the Dolphins or the Al Toon-inspired 62-28 win over the Bucs, you won’t find them here. I was in diapers.

With that, I give you the greatest Jets moments I ever witnessed at Giants Stadium. Do you remember?:

Dec. 3, 2000:  Jets 27, Colts 17
The Colts scored 17 unanswered points in second-half and led 20-17 in the fourth quarter, but Bryan Cox recovered a botched snap, setting up Curtis Martin’s TD run. Martin breaks single-game franchise rushing record with 203 yards.

Jan. 10, 1999:  Jets 31, Jaguars 24
Make the red-letter day in modern Jets history. In the AFC divisional playoff, Keyshawn Johnson had a TD reception, TD run and went in as safety and added fumble recovery and interception as the Jets advanced to the conference championship game

Sept. 11, 2000:  MNF: Jets 20, Patriots 19 “Tuna Helper Bowl”
The Jets trailed Pats 19-7 in the fourth quarter, but Wayne Chrebet caught two TD passes from Vinny Testaverde in the final 6:25.  John Abraham & Shaun Ellis (both first-round picks as compensation for letting Bill Belichick leave to coach the Pats) combined on two sacks that ended the New England’s final drive. The Jets didn’t beat the Patriots at home for another nine years.

Nov. 18, 2007:   Jets 19, Steelers 16 (OT)
The Jets were 2-7 and the stadium was filled with waving yellow towels. Gang Green ties the game with less than a minute left. Then in overtime, Leon Washington returned a punt 33 yards to set up Mike Nugent’s game-winning field goal.

Dec. 14, 2008:  Jets 31, Bills 27
The Jets were down by 3 in the fourth, but with just under two minutes left Ellis picks up loose football after J.P. Losman fumbled, knocked down tacklers and rumbled into the end zone to give Jets the win. What followed was one of the loudest J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS chants ever.

Sept. 20, 2009:  Jets 16, Patriots 9
Jets live up to their talk; Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan make their home debut.  Sanchez to Keller in end zone in third quarter to give Jets 10-9 lead. Fans force Brady into consecutive delay of game penalties. Revis shuts down Moss, Feely hits 2 more FG’s – end of story.

(The next three games are what I call the “pinch-yourself-is-this-really-happening-games)

Sept. 28, 2008:   Jets 56, Cardinals 35
Jets fans welcomed Brett Favre to his first home game and watched in amazement as the ageless one threw a career-high 6 TD passes in a lopsided win over the eventual NFC Super Bowl representatives.

Dec. 29, 2002:  Jets 42, Packers 17
After 1-4 start, Herman Edwards and the Jets’ playoff hopes came down to the last game of season. The Jets needed the Patriots to beat the Dolphins at 1 p.m., which they did, and then the fans enjoyed a rare laugher as Gang Green beat the crap out of Favre and the cheeseheads to win the AFC East.

Jan. 4, 2003:  Jets 41, Colts 0
(This is the game I learned it’s always important to send in your money for playoff tickets well in advance) Santana Moss, Chris Baker, Chad Morton, LaMont Jordan and Richie Anderson scored as Chad Pennington tied team record for TD passes in playoff game. To this day I’ve never seen fans happier after a playoff game.

Oct. 23, 2000: MNF: Jets 40, Dolphins 37 “Monday Night (Midnight) Miracle”
In a battle for first place, the Jets found themselves down 30-7 with 12 seconds left to go in the third quarter, but somehow put up 30 points in fourth. Jumbo Elliott’s touchdown with 42 secs left sent the game into OT. John Hall’s field goal at 1:22 a.m. sent Jets fans home smiling, and Dolphins fans to bed in tears.

This Sunday will definitely be bittersweet. The Jets control their own destiny and will have thousands of optimistic fans there supporting them in their playoff hunt and to help say goodbye to Giants Stadium. While I’ll be sad to see the end of a tradition, it could mark the beginning of a new era of Jets football -- one that hopefully features many more wins than losses.


Smitty gets the start

With the Jets coming off their third straight loss, news of change has come from Florham Park, N.J. Earlier in the week, Rex Ryan announced that he would be taking a larger role in the Jets offense by increasing his participation in offensive meetings and on the practice field. Now, it appears he's going to send a message to his defense as well.

Early Wednesday morning, Jay Glazer, the Senior NFL Writer for FOXSports.com, reported on Twitter that Jets safety Kerry Rhodes would be benched against the Carolina Panthers this weekend and replaced by Eric Smith.

Many fans have been critical of Rhodes' lack of aggressiveness and play-making this season. Through 10 games, Rhodes' stats are all zeros except for 54 tackles (48 solo/6 assisted). After his spotty performance against the Patriots last week it is not too surprising that Ryan would make this move. Throughout the game Rhodes showed hesitation, dipping his shoulder, for instance, instead of full out tackling Wes Welker in the second quarter. Rhodes seemed to show up just a few seconds late on every play, let Laurence Maroney run all over him and his lack of big plays the previous weeks may have finally showed Ryan that a change needed to be made.  We don't know for sure if this is the reason, but we'll hopefully know soon enough.

Not to worry though for Rhodes' replacement this week is Eric Smith, an exciting player out of Michigan State. Drafted in 2006, Smith has played a big role on special teams over the past four seasons. Last season, Smith was best known for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Cardinals wideout Anquan Boldin, a devastating blow that left Larry Fitzgerald's sidekick sidelined for several weeks with multiple injuries, and cost Smith $5,000.

This spring at OTAs and mini camp, Smith caught Ryan's eye. After playing traditional safety under Eric Mangini, Smith was asked to take the role of a hybrid safety/linebacker, seeing much more movement around the field. After a disappointing performance to start mini camp and feeling he had lost his position to newly acquired Jim Leonhard, Smith came to the second mini camp ready to impress.

In the spirit of Channing Crowder, if the Jets were the OTA Super Bowl winners, then Smith was the MVP.  In three days Smith had five interceptions, leaving Ryan stating "Ed Reed ... that's what that reminds me of." Linebacker Bart Scott, whose locker is next to Smith's,  helped him with the new defense and noted Smith's performance, saying "He's making big plays. When you make big plays like that Rex will find a spot for you on the football field. It's testament to him, his work ethic and his play making ability."

This season, Smith earned the game ball in Week 3 against the Titans after recording his fourth career interception, six solo tackles and two passes defended. While playing primarily on special teams, he's recorded 30 tackles and one interception and blocked a punt against the Pats that turned into the Jets' first return TD of the season. For the most part, his statistics are not staggering by any stretch but he has one more pick than Rhodes and No. 25 has started at safety each and every week.

While I still believe that Rhodes is a talented player, I'm looking forward to seeing Smith back on the field with the defense this week. He is one player that gives his full effort on the field. His style of play gives you the feeling he's a "Rex Ryan kinda guy." He's shown some nice one-on-one pass rushing skills, is aggressive and makes plays. I think we could expect to see him up his game this weekend because no guy likes to see their name go down on the depth chart.

It's obvious that motivation and believing in your players' talent alone does not guarantee that they will motivate themselves. Ryan knows what his players are capable of and has given this defense every opportunity to showcase its talent. If this "benching" is truly due to lack of performance, we can only hope that it will be enough to wake up Rhodes and have him realize that no one gets to the Pro Bowl by sitting on the bench, even if you have 193,919 Twitter followers.


Growing Pains

Last week’s loss to the Jaguars hurt.  All week I was consumed with thoughts of disappointment in the Jets organization. Watching this team lose five of six left me with not only nothing to say, but also nothing to hope for.

As the week went on,  I began to forgive and forget.  I tried my hardest to find it in me to stay positive and tackle the Patrriots game with 100 percent of me supporting my team. While I knew that a win over the “vengeful” Patriots would be difficult, my real hope was that the Jets would play to their capabilities and showcase the talent that I know they have.

Well, the much-anticipated game has come and gone. An agonizing four hours have passed, and the Jets are now 4-6 and the notion of a playoff spot a fleeting memory. Disappointment is dead and gone, replaced by anger. After surviving many Jets losses through the years, I know how to take a loss.  I can accept losses when the Jets lose to a team that is more talented.  I can also accept losses that purely don’t make sense and just “happen," but what I refuse to take lightly is when the Jets lose a game purely because of poor coaching, poor preparation and self-inflicted mistakes, like they did Sunday in the 31-14 defeat.

It was inexplicably awful.

Yes, the Patriots that showed up Sunday were a very different team than the team the Jets faced in Week 2. Regardless, the Jets have the talent and skill to hang with them, or to at least avoid embarrassment. CBS analyst Jim Nantz was being kind at the end of the game when he stated “sometimes you’re just not better than the team you are playing against."

I simply do not agree.

Even the worst teams in the league will beat you when your quarterback has as many interceptions as completions in the first half, and finishes a game with five turnovers. Mark Sanchez has now tossed 16 picks, second most in the league.

As a rookie quarterback these mistakes are expected, and as fans we’re supposed to be tolerant. The rookie excuse works only for so long. At some point all the mistakes need to disappear and the learning curve has to shrink. To see the same mistakes week after week is not fair to the fans, not fair to the rest of the team and most importantly not fair to Sanchez.

With only 26 games -- counting college -- under his belt, how can we expect him to know what needs to be done in order to improve and progress? Every aspect of the Jets has had its ups and downs in this season, but you have to admit the team would be in the neighborhood of 7-3 if this rookie had played better. It’s the responsibility of the offensive coordinator to help his young QB develop.

Brian Schottenheimer has engineered basically a non-productive offense this season. He has shown that regardless of the talent level of his receiving corps and offensive line, he is incapable of calling the type of plays that, when executed properly, can turn into points. I’ve referred to Schottenheimer's play-calling numerous times as erratic and nonsensical. Forget the monotony of his neverending “run-run-pass” calls, his play-calling is nothing else but predictable.

Schottenheimer's occasional attempts at being “cute” always seem to be at critical points in a game. The last thing I want to see on 3rd and 2 is a wildcat formation with Brad Smith taking the snap. Why give a fullback the ball in short yardage when that fullback hasn't touched the ball much in the game or is not agile enough to find a hole, to insure that the team gets that needed first down? It's as if the cocky Schotty takes over, like he's suddenly smarter than everyone else. The results don't justify the mindset. Where's the creativity? Why have Sanchez throw another pass just because he completed one on the previous play? The Jets are a run-oriented team, but why be so predictable when calling running plays?

Schottenheimer has shown he's incapable of helping a rookie QB thrive. His playbook is making this offense somewhat one-dimensional, and does not play to the strength of Sanchez. Anyone who looks at the history of the quarterbacks who have played under Schottenheimer will see that they have all been much more successful once they have left the organization. If that doesn't raise an eyebrow then I'm not sure what will.

There are many other areas on this team that need to be addressed,  Schottenheimer is only a piece of the problem at this time.   Defense has its own issues...but I'll leave that one for another post.

One main goal for the rest of this season should be to help develop Mark Sanchez, overcome these rookie mistakes and give him a chance for success next season.  My hope is that the organization realizes this and supports him with the proper personnel needed before we find ourselves in the same predictament in 2010.


Acceptance is the hardest part...

In a blink of an eye the season is now half over. But it feels like just yesterday that the Meadowlands was roaring, the ground shaking as the Jets pulled off a win over hated rival New England. Gang Green fans were so happy then.

But my how things have changed.

After three straight wins, the Jets have dropped four of their last five and the mood has definitely gone from optimism to that familiar notion of dread and despair. It’s like a relationship gone bad: you look back at the good times and say “remember when we 
were happy?”

The past few weeks have been a brutal assault on the senses. I’ve gone through a plethora of emotions and have exhausted myself due to a constant struggle within.

Is this team going to make me sick in the final analysis or will I be pleasantly surprised? That, as usual with the Jets, is the million dollar question.

After the loss to Buffalo – one of the worst defeats in recent Jets history -- I fought to remain optimistic. I knew things were bad but still managed to find some solace. In my opinion, the win in Oakland was really a tease. I knew that to keep my sanity in the face of reality I had to look at the 38-0 victory as nothing more than the Jets beating up a franchise in more disarray than my favorite franchise. It was a game that reminded me what winning felt like, but also was a bit of a ruse. It gave us hope, but we all know that “hope” in Jets circles is often another way of saying false hope.

Then there was the much-ballyhooed rematch with the Dolphins last Sunday. All I wanted was for the positive momentum to continue, to taste sweet revenge against a team we should have spanked the first time around and prove to everyone that the Jets were not the same old hapless team we’ve seen far too many times to remember over the last few decades.

Well, as the Rolling Stones say, you can’t always get what you want. I stood there during the final drive of the game with my fingers and toes crossed, praying as hard as I could that I wouldn’t leave that stadium disappointed for the umpteenth time. My favorite player had just caught a ridiculous pass on fourth down to keep the drive alive and part of me thought a win might actually be in the cards.

But before I knew it I was standing there frozen staring at the empty end zone. Reality slowly crept in. Once again the Jets had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

I couldn’t help myself. The meltdown ensued.

I’m glad the bye week is this week because I desperately needed a little break from the Jets. Entering this week all I could do was come up with countless reasons (a.k.a excuses) to convince myself that the Jets should in no way be in this predicament, sitting at .500 when they should be at worst 6-2. I literally have played every scenario out in my head and have found a way to find blame for every aspect of their play of late that has led to or directly caused a defeat.

I went from blaming Rex for going for the 2-point conversion in the third quarter of the loss to Miami, to finding fault in the fact that Carroll, Cole and Murrell weren’t on the field during Ginn’s ridiculous kickoff returns. I even, if only for a second, blamed the Jets front office for trading away special teams ace Jason Trusnik. Call it heat-of-the-moment reasoning. It took me a second to realize, of course, that I want Braylon Edwards on this team. Trusnik is just one guy. What happened to the other 10 clowns who couldn’t make a simple tackle?

I lost sleep as I analyzed the loss in my head and tried to make sense of Schottenheimer’s irrational play calling. If only we had run on that play and passed on the other one; If only Sanchez had gotten rid of the ball quicker; If only Jay had made that field goal.

Finally I came to the realization that I’m sick of it – all of it.  I’m tired of making excuses for losses that are just plain inexcusable. There is no way to truly pinpoint why this season has gone south following such a start of promise. I wish there was an obvious reason for the team’s current slide, but you can’t fix something that’s not broken. The Jets should be better. They have stars all over the field. They have a coach that should be getting results.

Forget about the players needing the bye week to get their minds right and recover from various nicks and bruises. I’m the one who needs this week to get my head right.  I guarantee you that the majority of the players aren’t beating themselves up trying to find the answer to what has gone wrong, so why should I?

Call me defeatist if you want, but I look at it more as being a realist.

The light has finally gone off after years of going through thick and thin with the Jets. There are no explanations, no easy answers. Wins and losses come in bunches and are often illogical. Statistics do not apply to this team. While nothing has changed with regards to my support and devotion to this team, the days of trying to make sense of things are over. I’ll let the little angel and devil on my shoulders duke it out on Sundays and decide whether optimism or pessimism wins. I’ll take each win and loss for what it is and always remind myself that there must be some master plan from up above for the Jets, some predetermined destiny that we just don’t know about yet.

I’ll keep the hope that someday – and who knows how far away that day is -- it will all make perfect sense.

So I’m going to enjoy what’s left of this bye week, as should all of you. Look on the bright side. The Jets can’t lose this week.

No matter how you spend the next few days, remember this: You have to savor the time off because next Sunday will be here before you know it.  

The art of sarcasm - by Bart Scott

Ask any of my friends or family members to describe me and one thing you’ll hear across the board is that I’m quite sarcastic and known to be quite passive-aggressive at times.  This may help explain why I find Bart Scott’s personality so damn infectious. Sunday night after the Jets loss to Miami I sat in awe in front of my TV when I heard his comments during the post game press conference:

"They’re a great team," Scott said. "They’ll probably contend for the Super Bowl.  They have a hellacious offense, great running backs, great quarterback, great tight ends. They're stacked across the board. I’m serious. They are great. “  
"Like I said, they have a great team. They have a tremendous offense and they showed it today. They are Super Bowl contenders and they will probably take it all the way."

I couldn’t help but laugh and totally agree with Bart after hearing those comments.  Not one ounce of me saw it as a stab at the Dolphins but more stating his obvious disappointment with his own team.

The fact is every player on the Jets defense should be angry and upset more than anyone about that loss.  Three weeks ago on Monday Night Football, the Jets defense let the team down.  They let the Dolphins run all over them, and take away the high status that this new defense had gained during the first three games of the season.   Despite the offense being inconsistent that night,  the game would have been won had the defense played with half the intensity they showed in the weeks before.   

Last Sunday,  the defense wanted nothing more than to come out and prove themselves.  You know that Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine didn’t rest until they found a solution to stopping the infamous Wildcat.   And what happened…..they did it.  The defense did EXACTLY what they were supposed to do.  They came out and completely stopped the Dolphins offense.   They worked hard all four quarters to rectify what they had done three weeks ago.  They learned from their mistakes and did what no other team has figured out how to do yet this season. 

Despite their great performance,  the Jets lost.  It’s one of those losses that statistically just does not make sense.  The offense was non-existent in the first half, with conservative play calling by Schotty to blame.   Special teams let Tedd Ginn run right through them for 2 TD’s and in the end the Jets managed to lose a game that was theirs to win.

Every news clip and replay of that game should have centered around the Jets defense and how they were successful at stopping the Wildcat cold.  Sports reporters should be praising the Jets D this week, but that’s not the case.  Instead the only thing talked about is Ginn Jr and his record breaking returns.  People criticize the Jets for talking too much,  yet the only players talking are from the defense and they backed their words up!  I’m all for not throwing your teammates under the bus after a loss,  but you tell me how anyone on this defense could walk away without being angry?

Bart Scott and Darrelle Revis have every right to feel let down and to display some sarcasm, some passive aggressiveness towards their team and opponent.   They showed up and did their job on Sunday.   There’s nothing more that they could have done that would have won this game.  I can only imagine how difficult it is to stay tight lipped after a game like that one.  Leave it to Bart to find a creative way to get his true feelings across;  he couldn’t have gotten his point across any clearer.

Stop your whining Dolphin fans,   not every word spoken by Jets players is about you and your team.


Bandwagon fans please exit to your left....

When I first named this blog “Life of a TRUE NY Jets Fan” , I started to get some slack for it. I had people question what the definition of a TRUE fan really is, as well as people questioning whether I myself was one. Since last evening I’ve spent time reading and listening to the reactions and comments of self-proclaimed “die-hard” fans. I think I am embarrassed more by the reaction of these fans than how the Jets actually performed last night.

Last night’s game against Buffalo was one of the worse I can remember in recent history. Something was different about the team from the very start. There was less swagger, less energy, and less confidence from what we had seen in the previous weeks. Not only did the team lack these things, the fans did too. How can we expect excitement from players when they walk out of a tunnel to a crowd that is less than 35% full? What a way to welcome Braylon Edwards to New York and welcome back Calvin Pace. I’ve seen better attendance for kick-off at preseason games across the league! Yes, the lines are long to get in the gates, but there’s a remedy for that: walk in earlier. I find it sad that Fireman Ed could not get a decent Jets chant going at kick-off, and this is before things went bad! The problem is that fans don’t believe that their presence is important. As long as that is the case, the atmosphere for home games will never change. A “green out” will never happen if all you’re surrounded by are red empty seats. Don’t blame the weather, it’s actually much colder and windier in the parking lots tailgating so here’s an idea – come inside and root for your team. It would also help if once you get inside, that you actually stay there.  Our team is tied in the 4th quarter, going into overtime and the stadium clears out to half-full. What a way to support our team!

The fans around me including myself were angry yesterday, those 3 dreaded words “Same Old Jets” were swirling around the stadium for the first time this season. The pessimist in me was fighting its way to the surface, and that glimmer of hope that so many of us had was fading fast. Many of us almost expected an outcome like this to be had at some point. September was too good to be true. While at the game last night, in between penalties and dropped passes I found myself laughing at the fact that it was “Fan Appreciation Night”. How ironic! I don’t know about you, but I would much rather have my Hess coffee tumbler rather than a division win to feel appreciated!

Despite this turn of events, it doesn’t excuse the comments being made in the aftermath. There are many more bandwagon Jets fans than I realized out there. They are the ones who 2 weeks ago were calling for Sanchez to be in honored in Canton and now are wanting him benched. To see a website started such as “www.firerexryan.com” is embarrassing. How can you call yourself a “true fan” and actually believe that if Kellen Clemens was our QB that the Jets would be 5-1? They were comparing Dustin Keller to Dallas Clark one week, demanding he gets more looks, yet today are begging for him to be traded by Tuesday? The same fans that are saying that Lowery should have started over Shepphard yesterday are the ones who were crying that he had to start 3 weeks ago when Lito was injured! They cried for weeks that Cotchery couldn’t get the job done, and yet today are blaming the loss on the fact that he is injured and couldn’t play!

How does a True fan react to yesterday? Not by jumping on and off the bandwagon with comments like above. The true fan is in it for the long haul. These fans are usually more pessimistic, and slowly become realists before making any rash assumptions and predictions before it is warranted. They dip their toes in optimism, without jumping in head first. Fans like myself were not calling Sanchez the second coming of Christ, and planning our February Miami trips to the Superbowl. We were quietly watching, analyzing, getting excited for this season, loving what we were seeing, but keeping our excitement in check the whole time. You could say that we delicately sipped the Green Kool-Aid as opposed to chugging it down. Yes, the true fan is angry today, feeling betrayed, hopeless and cursing the organization that constantly causes heartache. They are questioning whether this abusive relationship is worth the heartache, but knowing that their support will never falter. These fans are the ones who had that feeling yet again in the pit of their stomachs that things were too good to be true, and were hoping it wouldn’t come to fruition. Despite the anger though, these fans will show up to the next game. This week they will slowly start looking at whatever positives they can to keep that little glimmer of hope alive.

Last evening’s turn of events was a microcosm of the Jets franchise. While too much optimism right now isn’t appropriate either, how could a team want to perform for fans with all the “bandwagon” extreme comments floating around today. If you’ve always been a Jets fan, then you know as well as I do that you’re hooked for life. Through the wins and the losses, you take the good with the bad and will move on. We’ve set some high expectations for the team this year and have puffed our chests, and thrash talked as much as the team has. It’s our turn to do what we can as fans to back it up as well. The Jets let us down yesterday, there’s no arguing that. Let’s try to do what we can to turn it around and see where it takes us in the end.


What can Ex-Brown do for you?

For all the fans out there begging and praying for a wide receiver….congratulations. Consider Braylon Edwards an early Christmas gift. I've been on the fence as to whether or not the Jets current receiving corps could get the job done, as the season progressed though, the potential benefits of a legit down field threat started to emerge.

The offensive line received a ton of criticism for not protecting Sanchez last Sunday. Defenses have been crowding the line of scrimmage, stacking 8 men in the box as seen in the Saints game. The addition of a WR like Braylon Edwards will hopefully keep that 8th man out and open up some room for our running backs. Rex’s “Ground & Pound” theory hasn't been effective thus far, hopefully this will change.

Braylon Edwards is fast and physical, a down-field threat that defenses will have to respect.

Jerricho Cotchery can benefit from this addition in many ways. With having to defend both Cotchery and Edwards, J.Co will be faced with easier match-ups and more room to make plays.

Dustin Keller will also benefit greatly. DK is often described as a “bulked-up WR” whose dangerous vertical speed and big-play ability makes him a weapon on offense, yet hasn't been used much in the past 2 weeks. Now with Braylon Edwards, we should see Keller lining up in the slot position creating a mismatch against safeties and LB’s more effectively.

As with anything else…..there’s always some bad to come with the good. Braylon Edwards is known for his “off-field incidents” as much as his on-field accomplishments. It seems as if Mike Tannenbaum and Woody Johnson aren't too concerned with last week’s altercation in which Edwards allegedly punched promoter Edward Givens, a friend of NBA star LeBron James. While he hasn't been charged with a crime, the league’s conduct policy states that discipline may be imposed for “the use or threat of violence." It appears that any potential suspension for this might not take place during the 2009 season.

Let’s just hope that the environment that Rex has created in the Jets locker room helps keep Braylon on the right track. The Jets roster has been diva-free…..( well unless you count Brett’s almost-diva ways!) …..let’s try to keep it like that! Like I said earlier on Twitter…I'm not too worried......I have a feeling Bart Scott will kick Braylon's a** if he gets outta line....”

Welcome to the team Braylon – make sure not to drop too many passes out there…..you don’t want to feel the wrath of angry Jets fans…..just ask Justin McCareins!


The Friday I've been waiting for...

Finally Friday ….only 2 days left until one of my favorite days all year. The New York Jets first home game of the season is finally here! Every year, the first home game somehow evokes emotions in me that I never thought football could possibly bring about. It’s the day when I couldn’t be prouder to be a Jets fan…..a day when I would do anything to show them my support.

It’s like no other home game really. You reconnect with people you haven’t seen since that cold Sunday in January. The parking lots are full, there’s pyrotechnics, and fireworks - the player introductions have the crowd up on their feet – you could see them feeding off the energy of the crowds. Just when everyone is pumped you hear a low rumble only to see the ceremonial fly-over the stadium after the national anthem. I’m not sure why, but year after year I see grown men with teary eyes as they gaze to the sky to watch. Firemen Ed makes his debut and for the first time the ever famous J-E-T-S chant roars from the crowd. The fans are loud, the seats are packed and yet again, as devoted fans we have a glimmer of hope in our eyes that this year will be a great one.

With such great energy at this annual game, you would think the environment would be conducive to helping the Jets win. Unfortunately that is not the case. Since the year 2000 – the Jets have only won 3 times at their first home game. The last time was in 2005 against the Miami Dolphins. It’s pretty common that the Jets open up their season at home against the New England Patriots. A team whose name makes me nauseous just hearing it. It’s the Patriots who have managed to be the buzz kill at this great home opener event. They have successfully beaten the Jets at home since 2000 in which the Jets were able to pull off a 20-19 win. It’s a streak that every Jet fan wants to see broken….no better time than the present to pull that off.

In a recent interview about Sunday’s game Jerricho Cotchery said “We need to protect our home. They’ve been beating us in our home for years now and we got to get that taken care of." I’m pretty hopeful that this year may be the year that fans get their win. Instead of going home with the same sense of disappointment , this may be the year that keeps that sense of hope alive.

As fans we need to do our part to keep the energy going throughout the game. As Rex Ryan said at this week’s press conference “We need our fans to show up. Our team is going to show up and we need our fans to show up. We need to be loud and make it miserable on them……I want our fans to be a factor in this game to help our defense out, make it loud and make the communication tough”.

I know I’m up for the challenge! I can’t wait until Sunday morning to wake up, put on my Keller jersey and head to the stadium. A family tradition that I cherish and look forward to yearly. I’m ready to have no voice on Monday regardless of the score; and would love nothing more than to do what I can to break this home-turf losing streak against our rival Patriots.

From the Jets website, here are some “new” things to look forward to on Sunday.

New player introductions with a new musical theme and new pyrotechnics.

The unfurling of a huge American flag.
A flyover by a squadron of A-10's.

The regular-season debut of the 2009 Jets Flight Crew, expanded to 30 members, all wearing their cheerleading group's new uniforms, and ready to lead a new cheer prior to player intros

An inspirational new video to be aired right before kickoff — it will get you pumped!

An air raid sound effect. When you hear it, no need to seek shelter — it means to get loud!
See you there! :)