So this will be the first of what I’m certain will be many, many posts about the New York Jets on this blog. I am an obsessive fan, way too intense for my own good, and I’ve been a long-suffering (as if there are any other kind) Jets fan since 1981, when as a 6-year-old I watched Richard Todd get intercepted, I think, 412 times by Miami in the AFC championship game.
I will not be rational when I talk or write about the Jets, I’m warning you up front.
Except for today, when I think I can be rational. It is, after all, only the first week of August. I want to talk about my least-favorite phrase in Jets lexicon.
“Not the Same Old Jets.”
Just a quick search of the New York Times archives shows 13 mentions of the phrase. A google search gives me 430 mentions. Every single time the Jets change coaches, or get a new quarterback, or a new GM, or something else, the media trots out the old “Not the Same Old Jets” line. It offends me more than the “Same Old Jets” line, which, like the “1940” chant at Rangers games pre-1994, I just learn to tune out.
I’m so god-awful sick and tired of the press and TV and everyone heralding a new Jets era, like this one will be different. When Bill Parcells took over, yes, that was a new era, and things were nice for a while. When Chad Pennington became a star, he was proof it wasn’t the same old Jets. When Herm Edwards became coach, we were told this was a new feeling and not the same old Jets. Ditto for Eric Mangini, and for Brett Favre, and for way too many more things to mention.
Here’s the thing: Until the Jets win a Super Bowl, please SHUT THE HECK UP about any new eras and abandoning the same old Jets mantra. Look, this is the franchise that blew a 10-point lead at Cleveland in the 1986 playoffs. This is the team that saw Blair Thomas fumble away a game on Monday Night Football against the Bears, causing me to literally become nauseous. This is the team that has blown so many unblowable things that I don’t even want to list them here, but believe me, they’re all in my head, taking up space where the cure for cancer, or where in the name of God I left my wallet, could be.
I’m sick of everyone thinking things will be different, because they never are with this team. Do I like Rex Ryan? Absolutely. Do stories like this make me feel excited for the season? Sure.
But please, leave me to my misery in peace and quit trying to convince me that this time, the new regime is going to make a difference. I’ve been waiting a long time for a Super Bowl, and I know I’ll be waiting a lot longer.
When a Jets player is standing on the podium accepting the Super Bowl MVP trophy, I will then give the world’s media permission to say it’s not the same old Jets anymore.
Cool Thing No. 1: So having been at NFL training camps as both a fan and as a sports writer (it’s way more fun as a fan, not surprisingly), I found this Peter King SI column nugget hilarious and completely accurate. King followed Ravens star Ed Reed for 37 minutes as he walked down the autograph line at Ravens camp the other day, and he transcribed the whole thing. I loved it.
Cool Thing No. 2: Meant to mention this yesterday but forgot (hey, it happens). One thing I love about as much as sports and politics and 80s pop culture is food. And I have to tell you, at a post-wedding brunch in Mystic, Conn., Sunday, I had the best cinnamon bread in my life. Seriously, this stuff was awesome. It was made by the Holland American Bakery in Sussex, N.J., and it was truly unbelievably good. If you think I’m just praising them because I’m hoping somehow they’ll find this and send me a few free loaves, well, you’d be right.
But it also was fantastic. Sadly, I discovered today they don’t ship as far as Florida, where I live, but I’m gonna try to convince them to make an exception. It was that good. If you’re anywhere near Sussex, N.J., give it a shot.
OK, end of food rant. I have some leftover cinnamon bread to go eat.