Daily Archives: January 4, 2010

J-E-T-S storm into the playoffs. Thoughts on “personal pricing.” And a Balki shout-out

I had my new Jets T-shirt on. I was wearing my usual Wayne Chrebet No. 80 jersey, green. Had my dark green Jets baseball cap on.

And just for an added dose of luck, which I bring out only in big games, I squeezed my mini-Jets football (a wonderful present from my friend Mark Mahoney)  that when you hit it, does one of three things: Yells “Touchdown, Jets.” Or says “J-E-T-S.”  Or plays some goofy fight song.

So yeah, I was pulling out all the stops Sunday night, expecting anything from my beloved Gang Green.

Except, I didn’t quite expect a 37-0 absolute mauling of the toothless Cincinnati Bengals. This was the Christians vs. the (not Detroit) Lions, Tyson vs. Spinks, you name the one-sided annihilation.

Before anyone starts screaming about how the Bengals “didn’t try,” or rested some key players, I’ve got one word for you: Bull. Carson Palmer, Chad Ocho-Johnson, and the Cincy line was in the game for the entire first half, and they gained seven yards. SEVEN.

It was an astoundingly good performance for the Jets,  and I’m kind of dumbfounded. Watching the Jets for 30 years, every game kind of reminds you of at least one other you’ve seen, and this one felt like the rout of the Packers in the last week of the 2002 season that also sent them into the playoffs (Great stat by NBC Sunday night: the last four times the Jets have made the playoffs, it’s taken them until the final week to clinch. Yep, that’s why I’m headed to an early grave.)

Like that one, I feel like this Jets team is peaking at the right time. Mark Sanchez, our golden boy QB, is playing smarter with the ball. The offensive line is as good as any Jets line ever; Sunday night they just manhandled the Bengals.

The running game is tremendous, and the coaches FINALLY seem to have figured out that Brad Smith is, you know, a great weapon, and maybe he should be in the game plan, you know?

It was a fabulous night for Jets fans, made even a little sweeter since it was the final game in Giants Stadium. I always hated that the Jets played in a stadium named for someone else, and it was beautiful that after the Giants put up a stinker in their home finale last week, that the Jets gave the fans something positive to remember the old place by.

And how great was it that the Jets players, after the game, came out and made a lap around the stadium, shaking hands and high-fiving the brave and hearty souls who sat for 3 hours in 4-degree wind chill? Great moment.

So, of course now I start dreaming big. Can the Jets win next Saturday at Cincy, in the first round of the playoffs? Sure. It’ll be tougher than this one was, but clearly Rex Ryan’s boys can do some damage against a weakened Bengals’ D.

After that? Well, let’s not get too crazy. Tonight I’m just going to enjoy this one: The final stop on a wild roller-coaster season, one that I wrote off three or four times, ends up on top.

**So this was one of those life questions that hit me this morning: As I do every 3-4 months, I had a slightly threatening phone discussion with a New York Times subscription department employee.

They had once again charged me the unholy amount of $31.00 for four weeks of my Sunday-only subscription, an amount I find ridiculous. So what I do is go four months at a time with their “new customer” discount, which is only $3.25 per paper, for $13 bucks a month.

So I call and tell them I want to cancel, because I’m not willing to pay $7.50 a week for the Sunday Times, even though I love it dearly. And then, miraculously, the man or woman on the phone says “Wait, don’t cancel, I’ll give you another 12 weeks at $3.50 per week.”

And there you go. What got me thinking after we hung up Sunday, though, was how we all put a “mental price” on everything in our life. What’s it worth to keep getting a service or a product? Why do I decide to draw the line at $3.50 or $4 on the Times, and that $6 is too much?

I just think it’s interesting how each person has a “don’t cross” mental price line on every item they’ve ever purchased.

**And finally, just because we all need a little Balki in our lives once in a while…