Being a jets fan is some sort of karmic retribution, for what, I’m not sure. We’re tortured bunch that roots for teams with brief moments of brilliance and spectacular collapses. We get little respect in the NFL community or that of the NY sports scene. It’s not cool to be a jets fan, in fact it’s déclassé. For me, it’s a family affair wrapped in my blue collar roots, shared with my father and brother, and now (remarkably, as he’s a professional artist and Yankee’s fan -a trifecta of compatibility) my boyfriend too. Football takes a distant second place to baseball in my sports’ fanaticism, but that wasn’t only the case. And so the recent achievements of this football team has hit me much differently then any Yankee season could.
My Jets introduction came in the fall of 84 when the Jets and the Giants had a rare inter-league meeting. I was three years old and football, a game of territory and hostility, was immediately grasped my toddler brain. I remember being distraught leading up to the game until my mom explained the Giants weren’t in fact giants, that it was just a team of humans. Relieved for a moment, I wrapped myself up in my brother’s green sateen jacket cheering on my family’s team as they lost. It was a sting that fortified my loyalty till this day.
To see this team’s recent triumph after losing 6 of seven games mid season, after losing the phenom talents of Leon Washington and Kris Jenkins to injury, has been a cathartic joy. That they are sixty minutes of game time from the Superbowl is nothing short of remarkable; that their challenge is against the Colts with all the historical connotations attached, crazy.
The apex of the season thus far has been Shonn Greene’s 53 yard TD carry that sealed the game last week. I stood with my boyfriend watching this guy break secondary tackles and then accelerate his speed like he hit some turbo-boost button. After the screaming and hand-slapping, I broke into a victory dance. While I love to dance, I don’t recall dancing once during the MLB championship last fall. Soon after, I received a text from my brother, over 1,000 miles away; we might as well have been in the same room together. Whatever the outcome today, I will have already experienced enough to be fully satisfied with this ‘09 -‘10 jets team that’s playing with heaps of heart.