If 75 Yards Means A "Bad" Game For Revis, I'll Take It.

If giving up eight catches for 75 yards means Darrelle Revis had a bad day, then please sign him up as a New York Jet for another 10 years
Waking up today to fan’s reactions to Revis’ performance yesterday is quite entertaining, and yet another reminder of how fickle the New York Jets fan base can really be at times.

Yesterday’s win against the Buffalo Bills wasn’t a pretty one by any measure, and you certainly won’t find me giving any player credit unless it’s deserved. I’ll admit that halfway through the game yesterday I even commented on Stevie Johnson’s performance. Why wouldn’t I?  I saw one too many completions to a receiver covered by the best cornerback in the game. It’s not common to see a wide receiver catch anything but air when put on Revis Island.

Today, amidst a sea of predictable overreaction, I watched the game again and took a little closer look at Revis’ performance, took it for what it was, and haven’t for one second questioned the rare talent and skill we’ve all know he has.

If you found yourself sitting in front of the computer last night, voting Kyle Arrington into the ProBowl, putting your #24 jersey up for sale on eBay and making ridiculous comments like “Revis is awful”, “He’s been exposed” and “It looked like Revis didn’t even want to play today”……. well this one is for you.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is as accurate a quarterback as Stevie Johnson is a great route runner.  Eight catches for 75 yards and 3 yard touchdown really sounds a lot worse then it is.  Most other teams stay up all night praying that they had a secondary that could perform that well against a starting wide receiver. 

Johnson’s receptions for the most part were under 10 yards.  He was effective on making a few quick moves on Revis off the line and getting open for a quick pass.  Any defensive back will tell you that it’s hard to defend a slant-a-thon like we witnessed yesterday.

Jets fans complain every week about poor safety play yet never take the time to consider that Revis may actually feel the same way.  I’m not sure how much Revis actually trusts Brodney Pool and Eric Smith.  All reasons why he played man coverage, gave Johnson a lot of cushion and kept the play in front of him the entire game. 

In my opinion, Revis knows how fast Johnson is, and this was his way of making sure that he didn’t get beat over the top.  When you can’t trust your safeties to be there, you don’t compromise your coverage, you don’t jump short throws, and you let Fitzy make a few short completions.

Looking at the game and the Stevie Johnson touchdown more closely definitely shows that there was some miscommunication between Revis and Pool.  Revis backed off, expecting inside help and like so many other times this season it wasn’t there. 

No excuses need to made for his performance yesterday, nor should any credit be taken away from Fitzpatrick and Johnson’s effectiveness against him. The fact is, Jets fans have been spoiled with wide receivers completely disappearing on Revis Island, and have set new standards for what is considered a good or bad performance.

Like I said before, I’ll take the guy whose “bad day” only costs the team 75 yards and one touchdown any day of the week and be grateful.

And in case you didn't hear..... NEWSFLASH:  Darrelle Revis is human.


Oprah: The One Person I Hate More Than Even Tom Brady.

can only make fun of Tom Brady "weeee-ing" like a school girl down a water slide for so long. Thanks to the NFL lockout there isn't much else to share my strong opinions on these days, so I decided to share my "Why I Think Oprah Is A Phony Fake Bitch" story with everyone.  Enjoy!

(*patient names changed for confidentiality)
While it may be hard to believe, I don't just spend my days ranting and raving about football and the New York Jets.  If there's one thing I'm passionate about it's my career.  

I'm an Occupational Therapist specializing in Traumatic Brain Injury and Stroke.  I love my job,  I help people to move again, perform everyday functions and get their lives back.  Ask anyone that knows me and they will tell you that my patients mean the world to me.  I share their goals and devote myself to see them improve.

About 6 years ago now I had the "pleasure" of treating Luther Vandross. Luther had suffered a major stroke and needed intensive therapy. We treated him for months and progress was slow and steady.  Interesting enough, the stories getting out to public and the media were that he was doing much better than he actually was.  To this day I'm not sure why.

A few months into his therapy I found out that Oprah was coming to tape a full segment on Luther's recovery.  It was going to be Luther's first interview since his stroke. You would have thought the President was coming.....but come to think of it Oprah probably sees herself as more of a VIP anyway.

The Daytime Diva had many demands, they got more ludicrous by the day.  I got my first taste of what this Oprah woman was really about when she demanded that only "good looking patients" be used in the background as they filmed her walking around the therapy gym with Luther.  

I'm sorry Oprah, but my 28 year-old patient that got hit by a drunk driver really can't help if he's missing part of his skull and isn't looking like a Gucci model at the moment, but let me find you someone who is.

Two of my patients - Jenn & Beth were asked to be apart of the taping.

Now, there are some patients who you never ever forget.  Their stories can hit a soft spot with me when I thought I lost the capability to have that happen anymore.  Jenn and Beth were prime examples of this.  

Jenn had a sudden brain hemorrhage while in Biology class at Rutgers and hadn't been home in 3 years still needing daily therapy.  She was still learning how to navigate her power wheelchair with minimal hand function. Her optimism after all she had gone through was contagious.

Beth was enjoying life as a new mom when she got in a tragic car accident.  She had spent years away from her family recovering from her brain injury.  Betsey's family couldn't afford to bring her home to their 3rd floor apartment nor make the necessary modifications to accommodate her power wheelchair.

These two young ladies taught me more than I can even begin to describe in this post.

Jenn & Beth were ecstatic when they heard about the opportunity to be a part of the Oprah segment.  They couldn't wait.  They loved Oprah, looked up to her.  It was great to see them have something to smile and get excited about.

Together they decided to write Oprah a letter.  They showed it to me and my colleagues.  Basically they told Oprah their stories and said they would be honored to meet her and shake her hand.  They asked for nothing else but the opportunity to meet her even if just for one minute. 

I immediately thought it was a great idea.  I mean everyone knew Oprah was this giving, unselfish, philanthropist right?  She loved changing people's lives for the better.  I thought that she would read these stories, meet the girls and maybe help get them home to their families.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Oprah stormed in as usual the morning of the taping.  Jenn & Beth were on their therapy mats as instructed.  They asked that we give Oprah their letters so that they wouldn't bother her.  

I'll never forget my colleague handing Oprah the letters and pointing out the girls.  My jaw dropped as Oprah said "No! I don't have any time for this shit" as she skimmed their letters.  

She tossed them away and went on about making her demands.  She never once looked in their direction or spoke one-single word to them.  She cared so much about Luther, yet never shook any of our hands for our work with him.

I stood there in shock and before I knew it the words "Wow, you are one selfish bitch" were coming out of my mouth.  She turned in my direction but just huffed off acting like the Diva she is.

Let's just say the rest of the day wasn't pleasant.  I take it personal when you mistreat one of my patients. I took no part in the taping and let it be known that the "Most Powerful Woman" on TV was a fraud.   

Jenn & Beth were upset, but also now knew that everything that Oprah says and does behind the camera are lies.  It was clear to all of us that in Oprah's eyes, no kind act was worth doing if there weren't two-million viewers watching it.  I have no problem letting the world know that in my eyes her philanthropy is nothing but bullshit.

Oprah had a tough childhood? Boo-effing-hoo.  These two girls will never live a normal life again and only asked for a handshake.  Her fat ass never worked as hard as they did to get to the point that they were at.  

Those who perform small random acts of kindness are the ones I admire and remember.  They're the ones who really make a difference in this world.  

Oprah?  She just filled the 4pm spot on ABC.

In a nutshell ........ Enjoy your retirement wench.   


DeMaurice Smith: "Voice of the Players"......or not.

There’s nothing better than sitting back and watching a “fresh approach” to something go horribly wrong.

Unfortunately, this new way of doing things, otherwise known as DeMaurice Smith, is directly impacting me -- an NFL fan who thoroughly enjoys the sport 365 days a year.

In 2009, upon the sudden passing of Gene Upshaw, Smith was elected president of the NFLPA.  It was seen as a surprise by many, a solution to the union’s sudden need for a change.

So much for that change being positive.

What the NFLPA got was a Washington-based attorney, a trial lawyer who represented Fortune 500 companies, rubbed elbows with President Barack Obama, and knows his way around Capitol Hill with his eyes closed. What they didn’t get was someone who had even the slightest clue about the world of the NFL, let alone the mind of a professional football player.

It was obvious that his business experience trumped his football experience.  Unfortunately for players and fans the ramifications of his hiring are being showcased loud and clear right now.

Surprisingly enough, I’ve stayed fairly quiet regarding my opinions on the current lockout.  I’ve kept an optimistic view that the two parties shared one common goal:  to get back to playing football. But after seeing Smith’s comments Monday it’s clear to me that this poor excuse for a leader is largely responsible for the lack of football in my life.

Someone might want to warn Mr. Smith that it’s really not a wise choice to get in the way of me and my football.

Smith is out of his league.  Last I checked he’s no labor attorney.  He’s a trial lawyer with no labor law experience whatsoever. If Upshaw could walk out of his grave right now I bet he would.  Upshaw had a great relationship with NFL owners and commissioner at the time Paul Tagliabue.  Don’t think for one second that the efforts put into establishing that relationship weren’t a key reason why the last labor fight was a short, less dramatic one.

The NFLPA is now in more of a mess than their “fearless” leader even cares to realize.  It’s obvious that Smith cares more about good sound bites and extra face time on national television then actually facing the reality of the situation at hand. The man wants to make his mark in NFL history and he thinks that trudging this matter in courtroom after courtroom is the way to do it.  I don’t need law experience to know that new collective bargaining agreements don’t get done in courtrooms.

Smith needs to stop making things personal.  Enough already with the redundant, arrogant and hard-balled rhetoric that has completely undermined any efforts to reach a new deal.  Cut the asinine “This is war” comments and go back to Capitol Hill where you belong.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the players, themselves, are questioning whether this man has their best interests in mind, but it’s too late now.

So, to quote the man of the hour himself: “Congratulations,” DeMaurice. You are singlehandedly turning off many fans that were once favoring the side of the players and have ruined what was once one of the best player/owner relationships in all sports.

Unfortunately, I’m not holding my breath for a new deal anytime soon -- that is as long as I continue to see your mug behind that podium


How the NFL Lock-Out Potentially Helps the New York Jets in the 2011 Draft.

Believe it or not, the NFL lockout in one very small way has actually helped some teams, including the New York Jets.

Maybe I’m suffering from a chocolate bunny overdose, or desperately trying to find something good in a time of such turmoil in the NFL. Either way, this is a scenario we as fans cannot afford to ignore.

It’s a pretty easy concept when you think about it.

It’s finally draft week, and not too much has changed. There will still be three days, seven rounds and a green room filled with anxious soon-to-be NFL players at Radio City Music Hall.

This year is first time in NFL history that the draft will be held before free agency. An offseason with no trades and no free agent signings has taken away one of the primary ways that teams fill their needs for the upcoming (knock on wood) season. The only avenue teams currently have is to wager parts of their futures on the unproven.

The lockout has done wonders for hockey and basketball fans, but it has also benefited some college prospects, too, namely quarterbacks. There are only six or so teams desperate for a quarterback and approximately five more that are in the market for one.

In any other year a handful of these teams would have already signed players like Marc Bulger, Donovan McNabb or Alex Smith, leaving their draft picks to fill other holes. But without the freedom to sign veteran players, these QB-needy teams will be stretching to grab the next Mark Sanchez as early as possible. I mean why wouldn’t they? Last I checked a quarterback is one of the more necessary parts of a football team.

Or in the case of this bizarre NFL offseason, desperate times should call for desperate measures.

Players who in any other year would be drafted during the second round are going to be celebrating Thursday night. “Over-drafting” and “quarterback” are two words that will go hand-in-hand this year. Players will be drafted higher due to need, not talent. It’s notion that you won’t hear the Kaepernicks, Malletts and Daltons of the world complaining about.

What does this mean for the Jets?

I wouldn’t expect Mike T. -- aka “the Draft King” -- to move up unless there is a player available that Rex & Co. simply cannot live without. The more quarterbacks drafted early in the first round will mean more players dropping down, giving the Jets more options with the 30th selection.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

By the middle of Round 1, I fully expect to see greedy teams starting to make some moves. Bidding wars and trades will start to come fast and furious in an attempt to put war rooms in their places.

Get used to that little bell sound and team logos changing on the screen quickly as moves are made, or, more specifically, quarterbacks are selected.

The Jets aren’t the only team looking for the next great pass rusher this week. Fourteen teams run a 3-4 defense and four of those teams will be drafting alongside the Jets in the last seven picks of the first round. If you’re a Jets fan, the hope is more teams move into this slot to grab a quarterback.

If the infamous draft pick hoarder, Bill Belichick, takes the bait from a team like Denver or San Francisco and moves out of the 17th or 28th spot it will only help the Jets.

On the other hand, if players the Jets are targeting get taken right before they are scheduled to select, Tannenbaum may begin fielding offers in preparation to make moves himself.  I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if the Tennessee Titans or Denver Broncos trade into the Jets spot to grab a QB, leaving the Jets with a second round pick and an additional third.

If not, and the Jets trade down for extra picks in round three or later, Tannenbaum would put his talents to use and find a way to trade some of those and land a spot back up in the second round.

The possibilities are endless, making it one of the best and worst parts of the draft.

Any situation that makes a draft unpredictable, with the potential for lots of movement, usually means good things for the Jets. That’s precisely what could begin to happen on Thursday night.

One thing is highly recommended: don’t walk away from the television or channel surf for too long because anything – and I mean anything -- can happen.

And usually does.


The No Fun League Strikes Again

Anyone new to American sports would think that football was a relatively new sport created in the 1980’s.  With all the recent implementation of new rules and changes to existing ones, one would never believe the sport has been around since 1879.

First the infamous “Tuck Rule” in 2002 thanks to my favorite ponytail wearing quarterback. Then came the changes to the overtime rules after old man Favre suffered a dreadful NFC Championship game loss in overtime.

As if the current news regarding the NFL couldn’t be annoying enough, today’s biggest story aside from Bill Belichick sleeping through breakfast involved yet another rule change.

Jason La Canfora of NFL.com reports:
“NFL kickoffs will take place at the 35-yard line -- not the 30 -- under a modified kickoff proposal passed by the league's owners at the NFL Annual Meeting on Tuesday, according to a league source. The proposal keeps touchbacks at the 20 and continues to allow the two-man blocking wedge.”

Saying that Devin Hester should be on suicide watch may be a little bit extreme, but this rule change most definitely has an effect on an important aspect of the game.

Fans can definitely expect to see a lot more touchbacks than previously.  In 2010, 927 kicks landed in the end zone or farther.  509 of them were returned, and 416 were touchbacks.  There’s no question that with the implementation of the new rules, the percentage of touchbacks will increase greatly giving kickers the advantage, and will take away the threat from kick return specialists.

In 2010, players like Josh Cribbs, DeSean Jackson, Leon Washington, Brad Smith racked up 23 touchdowns all from kick returns.  It’s one of the most exciting yet overlooked parts of the game.

What Jets fan didn’t love shouting “Leee-onnnn” at every kick-off?  Or used to sit at the edge of their seat waiting for Chad Morton to return yet another one in the end zone?

Let’s face it, a kick-off return for a touchdown can sometimes be the most memorable play of a game. 

Last year, kickers like Sebastian Janikowski would routinely kick the ball one to two yards into the endzone with a good possibility of it being returned. 

Ed Hochuli will be swinging his arms at his sides a plenty this year because that same kick will be six to seven yards deep with players kneeling in the end zone for yet another touchback.  

Excuse me while I yawn.

The fact is players get paid millions because they are most dangerous at returning kick-offs and getting great field position for their team. 

Leon Washington should be thanking his lucky stars he signed his new contract or else he’d be seeing his value drop like Darren Sproles and Brad Smith are as we speak. It’s even safe to say that players may no longer be drafted purely because of their great return abilities.

So who benefits?

Aging kickers like Ryan Longwell and Adam Vinatieri do.  These guys have accuracy and no longer have to worry about losing some leg strength.  A kicker’s accuracy will be valued more than a big leg. 

Of course as I type I have to think about Nick Folk.  I don’t consider him a big-legged kicker or a very accurate one.  In fact he’s really just a pain in my…….I digress.

I expect to see teams treat kick-offs like punts.  Special teams coaches will use sky kicks and emphasize hang-time.  Kickers will get air under the ball for a 5 second hang time, let the coverage team get under it and force the returner to call a fair catch inside his own 10 yard line……..or else he’ll get killed.  

No fun for Brad Smith and when you think about it even less fun for players like Lance Laury, Jamaal Westermann and John Conner who are dying to get their hands on the little fast men.  They can’t even line up at the 20 yard line anymore and only have five yards from the kick off to get a running start.

Aside from the Rutgers tragedy, I personally can only recall news of two concussions suffered last year during kick-off returns.

I’m all for the NFL Competition Committee implementing rules that will increase players’ safety, but this newest rule could potentially effect an entire phase of a team’s offense.   

When the league implemented increased fines and punishment for “big hits” they weren’t necessarily changing the game, but rather sending a message to the players.  In the end, the players could still play the game the way they always have.

The new kick-off rules are different in that they actually change how the game is played, no matter how slightly.

My new optimistic side says hey….it’s better than having them take away kick-offs completely.

Vikings, Packers and Lions fans will sleep better tonight. 

Who knows?  Maybe now my nightmares of there ever being another Ted Ginn Jr in the AFC East will finally end too.  


Beating the Patriots: The Aftermath Part Deux

Jets fans need something to make them smile this morning - I think I may have found a temporary solution for that.

Patriots fan Will DiTullio made good on Part 2 of his bet......watch the video below and enjoy!

Big thanks to Will for being a stand-up Patriots fan, and more importantly to Butch Stearns and Phil DiMartino of the Pulse Network for letting us have some fun with this!

P.S - Technically Will didn't get the Firemen to do the actual J-E-T-S chant.....but we'll let it slide!


Beating the Patriots: The Aftermath

This time last week I was a guest on "The Sports Buzz" with host Butch Stearns and the New England Patriots fan that we all love to hate .......Will DiTullio (@WAD1980).

We discussed the upcoming Jets vs Patriots playoff game in detail and let's just say these two New England fans were riding high on their December win, current winning streak and were very confident about the upcoming game.

At the end of the show Will & I, with the help of Butch made some bets. I was fully prepared to pay up should the Jets lose.  What could possibly be worse than wearing a pink Wild for Woodhead shirt?

If you're like me, you are still reliving the 28-21 Jets win........so yes it's now time for Patriots fan Will to pay up!

Part one of the bet was that Will needed to write a letter to Jets fans telling us all why we are the best.  So scroll down and enjoy it, it's not often we get to see a Patriots fan praise the New York Jets!

(stay tuned for Part Two - this one you will NOT want to miss!)

Dear NY Jets and their Fan base

For 11 years, I have watched Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots outwit, outlast and outplay the New York Jets and the rest of the NFL. Over that time period, the Patriots have played in 4 Super Bowls (winning 3 of them), 5 AFC Championship Games and finished 1st in the AFC East 8 out of the 11 years. I was convinced that the only way to win in the NFL was to believe the mantra "In Bill We Trust". I WAS WRONG!

On Sunday, you walked into Gillette Stadium and dominated the New England Patriots, beating the #1 seed in the AFC 28-21. The Patriots were outplayed and out coached in all 3 phases of the game. The Patriots looked lost and confused all game long. They simply had no response to a brilliant defensive game plan devised by your coach Rex Ryan and his staff.

Rex Ryan promised 2 years ago that he was not hired to "kiss Bill Belichick's rings", instead he was brought in to find a way to beat your hated rival. Rex has delivered. You now boast a 3-2 record against the Patriots since Ryan took over in 2009 and have played in 2 consecutive AFC Championship Games. Over this time period, you are 4-1 in the playoffs (all 4 wins coming on the road) whereas the Patriots have lost 2 consecutive home playoff games.

Prior to Sunday's Divisional Round match up, you bragged and boasted about how you were ready to erase the memory of a 45-3 drubbing you suffered at the hands of the Patriots in early December. Experts and fans of the Patriots laughed and joked at this thought. How in the world would you overcome a 42 point defeat, especially since the Patriots were sporting an 8 game winning streak and playing their best football at the end of the regular season? You did! You ran the ball down the Patriots' throats, Mark Sanchez made all the clutch throws and your defense covered the Patriots' wide receivers even when they were going to the restroom. In the past, when a player from an opposing team took aim at a member of the Patriots (see Freddie Mitchell and Anthony Smith), "humble pie" was served the following Sunday. This was not the case this time. You backed up your talk and humbled your arch rivals in front of their home crowd.

Rex has changed the culture of the New York Jets in 2 short seasons. Observers of the NFL now believe that "Belichick's Way" isn't the only way to be successful. Experts question if the NFL's model franchise still resides in Foxboro. The defeat on Sunday has people in Boston questioning Belichick's philosophy and Brady's ability to succeed under pressure like he once did. In the past, you were defined by the phrase "same old Jets" but this phrase no longer applies. You have proven that you can succeed when the pressure is turned up, and recent history says the Patriots cannot. Brash is now in.

Jets Nation is a loyal, passionate and knowledgeable fan base. You have suffered for 42 years. The proverbial monkey was lifted from your back on Sunday evening when you beat the heavily favored New England Patriots. You are 2 wins away from wiping away years of disappointment. Best of luck, you deserve it! I have learned that Bill's Way is not the only way.

From a Humbled Patriots Fan


The Official Unofficial Jets Pro-Bowl Ballot

While it pains me to face reality, the regular season is now over and the Jets are well into the playoffs (thank you sweet baby Jesus)

Thinking back and reflecting on the on this season, the Jets have had their fair share of injuries. Luckily, most have been minor enough where a player was only out of commission for a week or two.

As a result, this year more than previous ones, the Jets "back ups" have had more opportunities to fill in during these times and step up. I credit a lot of these "back up" players for helping the team end the season 11-5, and gaining them a spot in a AFC Divisional Playoff game.

I think these players deserve some recognition.....(and for the sake of Patriots fans on Twitter, I also think Jets fans need something to keep them busy)

These players unfortunately don't get to see their name on the Pro Bowl roster, and in turn the fans don't get to show them our thanks for stepping up when we needed them.

Below is the "Official Unofficial Jets Pro Bowl Ballot"

Vote for the players that you think deserve some praise for stepping up, filling in, and bringing it when they had their chance.

You can vote for more than one player per category, and vote as often as you'd like.

On Wednesday January 19th, we'll see who won in each category and find some way to let them know how much the fans appreciate them. It's not a trip to Hawaii, but a nice thank you never hurt.

So vote and let's go get a goddamn snack....Chowder sounds pretty good right now :)