Still Just A Dream...

“I will survive.”

That was my motto Sunday. Win or lose, I promised myself I was going to walk away from the AFC Championship game with my head held high.

After watching the Jets lose, I stayed positive. I drank some more Kool-Aid and believed all the people saying to look forward to next year, that this team will be in the same spot again next season.

It all sounded great, and masked some of my wounds.

But …

Like a shot of cortisone, its effects wore off quickly. It’s the next day and I’m not feeling so happy after all.

The Jets have made me happier than ever this season. Like most fans, I have never been prouder to support this franchise. They have blown away my expectations and, yes, I am proud of their accomplishments.

But …

Despite these sentiments, the realist in me has taken over. I keep hearing over and over again to forget this loss, to be happy with their success, and look forward to a Super Bowl win next season.

Has Jets nation forgotten how difficult it is to get to this point in the season? Has everyone forgotten all the pieces that needed to fall into place to get us into the AFC Championship game?

I have been nothing but grateful for every win this season, every milestone met by this team. They are all moments that I have never taken for granted, because I know how infrequent they occur. If you know the NFL, you know that making it to the Super Bowl is not only about the talent on your team; at any given point matchups can be in your favor, things sometimes fall into place leaving some of the most talented teams sitting at home watching the playoffs continue.

I know this team is talented. The Jets deserved their spot in the playoffs and proved that to the world by beating the Chargers. I simply cannot forget how very close we were to saying goodbye to this team and this season a month ago.

This team does have a bright future. The hierarchy has constructed a roster that has the potential to go far for years.

But …

While all this is true, to say that the Jets will be in the same position next year just doesn’t make sense to me. There is simply no way to guarantee it.

As a Jets fan, above all things I’ve never felt excitement like I have this month. Do I cringe at the thought that it could be years before I feel that excitement again? Of course. Call me selfish or pessimistic, but winning felt so good I can get used to it. The problem is no one is assured anything in this world.

I’m excited about Mark Sanchez and the growth he’s shown this year. I know the return of Leon Washington and Kris Jenkins will only make this team better, and I couldn’t be happier to have a coach like Rex Ryan on my sideline.

But …

Isn’t that just stating the obvious?

What I really want is to be able to experience what was just 33 minutes away Sunday. I don’t want the feeling that the Jets owned New York for once to come to an end. I’m not okay with switching gears today to focus on the Yankees, as if their success makes this loss any easier. Maybe to some it does, but to me it’s no comparison.

It’s been a great ride, but I’m just frustrated it’s over. There’s no one to blame for the loss, and I wouldn’t even start to analyze the shoulda, woulda and couldas of the game because, like I said before, the Jets exceeded all expectations.

If you know me I’m a very honest person. I can’t pretend that knowing this team is talented is enough to make me go on smiling today. I’m looking forward to the draft and seeing what the off season brings. For now, I’m going to allow myself to be upset that my Miami trip is not happening.

The taste of victory became a drug to me. I had a little taste of it and now can’t seem to let it go.

I guess what I said at the start of the season still stands true … a girl can always dream.



A Game I'll Never Forget

Somebody slap me because it still doesn't feel real!   Yes it's true - our very own beloved New York Jets are moving on in the play-offs and will be playing for the AFC Championship this Sunday.  

What a great experience it was to be in San Diego this weekend to witness the "lil Jets that could" beat the HEAVILY favored San Diego Chargers.  No one believed it could happen, but our brute strength, street fighters taught the beach boys in a sandbox a lesson.   

Like Drake says:  "Like a sprained ankle, they ain't NOTHING to play with"!!

Charger fans may be one of the most fair weather fan groups I have ever encountered.  They were threatened by Jets fans doing the Jets chant, booed LT when stopped at the line of scrimmage, and all left the stadium immediately after Shonne Green's TD late in the game!   

To be able to cheer my team on during such an important game and shut all their cocky "bolt-cheering" mouths was something I'll never forget!  Moments like that are what being a Jets fan to me is all about.  The ups and downs are all worth it when you see the team believe in themselves as much as we all do.

So let's enjoy this victory, cherish it and remember it!   One game at a time - the sky is the limit for this team!  

Like I said before Jay-Z says it best:  it's "On to the next one" for our Jets!!

Here are some pictures from the game....

"and I'm LilMissNYJet....You're a little b**** San Diego"

Great to see a TON of Green in the stands


Better Late Than Never

Never in a million years would I think that with all the events that took place this season, I’d be on a plane to go watch the New York Jets play in the AFC divisional round of the playoffs.  Most fans of any other team wouldn’t see it as a big deal, but having suffered with this team for years on end, it’s something to be excited about.

To say that this season has been like taking an emotional ride on a rollercoaster is an understatement.  I haven’t remembered a season that has played and tugged on every emotion it possibly could in a long time.  This year has been different from the very start. 

The typical year of a Jets fan starts around February, when every few years we get to hear who the new coaching staff is (I’m hoping this cycle has come to an end for awhile).  This year’s sense of hope started the very day Rex Ryan was named head coach.  This was a guy football fans knew and loved.  I still remember his press conference after taking the position.  I couldn’t wait to see what this defensive mastermind could do to help my team. 

Before you know it April comes around.  Draft day is always stressful – you either leave Radio City Music Hall feeling hopeful or cursing the team yet again.  Drafting Mark Sanchez this year only added to the excitement across Jet Nation.   As the spring came, players start getting traded, being added to the roster.   Jim Leonhard, Bart Scott – little by little this Jets team was starting to shape up on paper to be the team we always knew it could be. 

It only got better from there.   From mini camp came rumors of how powerful and physical this defense could be.  At training camp the worries of Thomas Jones and Leon Washington not participating were settled, Mark Sanchez was named the starting QB and there was absolutely nothing to be pessimistic about this season.  I remember feeling that for once – everything was falling into place for the Jets and wow it felt good.

We all know the ups and downs that occurred once the season started.   Looking back on it now, I don’t fault any Jets fan for “drinking the Green Kool-Aid”.  This team was something to be excited for, it had been a long time since decisions were made that made sense and made you feel like this team really was taking shape to be successful.

Excitement or angst, anger or doubt, betrayal or hope, you name it I felt it this season.  Week to week I didn’t know what to hope for anymore. If you recall, I decided to stop caring about my emotions, stop analyzing why these things happen to the Jets and to just roll with the punches.

Well here we are.  The last few weeks have made me prouder than ever to be a Jets fan.  I’ve told many people I could really get used to this.  It’s made me start to wonder if maybe the bad luck that has haunted this organization for so long is finally gone?   I’ve always been a fan that avoids using the cowardly term “Same Old Jets”.   It pleased me to ponder, has it finally made its last appearance?  

I want to believe more than anything that this team has made a 360.  That something clicked, a light bulb went off and they get it now.  But has it really?  Tomorrow’s game against the San Diego Chargers will answer that question for me, and I’m prepared to accept the reality either way.  That change I saw back in April and May is finally showing itself now; it just took a few months to happen.  2009 has been the year for change in more ways than one.  Better late than never right? 

There’s nothing more I like than to witness the Jets win tomorrow and play for the AFC Championship.  Should tomorrow be their last game I think I will still walk away pleased.  The Jets have proven to me this year that they are capable of winning.  They’ve shown us the potential the team has and let us see the talent we all knew was there. 

As a fellow fan, my only words of advice would be to not jump too far ahead yet.  Take each win one at a time this post season and enjoy it, cherish it and remember it because we know they are hard to come by.  Let that excitement that usually only comes mid-spring to start a little earlier this year.  This team finally has all the missing pieces it needs. 

While it has been a rollercoaster ride of a season, it’s been a great one.  I’d get back in line for more in a heartbeat.

After all, it just makes these milestones and wins are that much sweeter.


A "look" at the 2009 season

They say that time flies when you're having fun.  That's one way to describe the 2009 Jets season.   It's been an interesting four months,  full of events that no one could have predicted.   As I reflected on the season,  I thought it'd be interesting to see what the general consensus was of Jets fans.  As a group,  how would we summarize this past season.

Pictures are worth a thousand words.  I've asked all my Twitter followers to send me your thoughts summarizing the 2009 season.   The "word cloud" below is a result of all your feedback.  

( For those of you not familiar with the concept, it's a visual representation of word frequency.  The size of the word corresponds to the frequency that the word was used.  The larger the word,  the more times it was mentioned. )   

Take a second to look at it - it really is a great summary of what many of you have described a "roller-coaster" ride of a season.  

I'm ready for the ride to continue....are you?

(click on image to enlarge)