Ahhhh, the holidays. Don’t you just LOVE the hustle and bustle and elevated stress level?? I know I do! As a native New Yorker, I FEEN for the rush and the intensity. Just ask the New York Jets. Ehhh…or…the New York Giants. Or….Never mind.
We have a big weekend ahead! The Green Bay Packers take on “Da Bears,” Tim Tebow & the Denver Broncos will try to run themselves into a playoff spot up in Buffalo, and the showdown of all showdowns in New York will take place at JetLife *ahem* I mean, MetLife Stadium (Freudian slip). Oh yeah, and then there’s Christmas!
A game that looked as if it wouldn’t mean much for one, if not both New York football fans and the post-season fate of their respective teams, but suddenly becomes absolutely pivotal. How did we get here? Well, I can’t say much for Big Blue other than they too, as other NFL teams have across the league, been inundated with injuries at key positions and very inconsistent play (a shitty defense). As for Gang Green, well, injuries, yes-although mostly minor-we have had a few more than anyone would like to see. But, on another note, with all that talent, why are we here? Why are we, as Jets fans, holding our breath on Christmas weekend against an extremely inconsistent NFC team? After two seasons of getting into the playoffs with just a few bumps in 2009 and 2010, the Jets now find themselves in a “must-win” situation for the final two games of the regular season to even consider a playoff spot.
So the handsome Mr. Spano and I spent some time discussing this very issue via texts the other day. (Thank God for iChat-haha) After much debate on team chemistry and “other” issues, we both decided that there’s absolutely a lot more going on here than we all know. (I know, shocker!) But my issue is not only what but, WHY? Why do they continue to use the same tactics on and off the field if they’re NOT WORKING? Is it poor coaching? Is it player-entitlement? Who’s bumping heads in that locker room? Why is the dynamic so different than last year, or the year before, with relatively the same staff on both sides? These are things we need to think about as fans. Not simply, “Insert-random-player-name-here !&@%* sucks!”
As a fan you want to support your team through all the up’s and down’s. You want them to win all the time-which is rare (unless you’re the 2011 Green Bay Packers) and if they do fall to the opposing team, you want them to at least play like they absolutely LOVE their job. There have been more Jets games than I’d like to admit where I’ve actually questioned their heart while watching. And as a fan, that hurts more than a loss.
Regardless, I feel for them when they start playing the way they did against Philly last week, or against the Ravens in October. First I get angry, I scream and yell and sometimes I throw things. After my extreme bursts of anger, I get sad. REALLY sad. Maybe it’s a chick thing. I want to go into the locker room at half time and ask them if they need hugs and if they want to talk about anything (and this is why I would fail as a coach). There’s still something missing on that team and yet, it’s not missing all the time. There are times when they step foot on the turf and play their hearts out. You can SEE how happy they are and it all flows like a well-oiled machine. Then literally the next week, we wonder if they all hate the game of football and each other. I can empathize, we all can. There are days I feel like a rockstar at work, and days where I would rather eat glass. (I also don’t get paid millions of dollars to keep myself in shape and play a game that I adore for a living- so slight difference there) Gang Green has to figure out why their up’s are so “UP,” and their down’s are, well, you know what I mean. And like Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting different results.” If I hated my job THAT much, or the people I worked with, it would be time to make a change. That goes for players AND coaches.
So here we are, well into December with two weeks left of the regular season. We have a coach with an undoubted will to win, players with an immense amount of talent and experience and on some days, we even have the chemistry to connect and bring it all together. Why are we still a wild-card team, at best? Why can’t we even clinch a top playoff spot? In a nutshell, like Mama said, the Jets got “all dem teeth, and no toothbrush.”