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.