As we all sit anxiously awaiting the potential shoot-out with the Texans, we’ve had to hear over and over again that our Jets are overrated and lucky. We’ve learned a lot about this team’s strengths and weaknesses over the last month, but this past game in Cleveland showed me at least what this team is all about: Perseverance.
As my screen name indicates, I became a fan of the “Gang Green” in 1986. More specifically, because of their playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns. I’m originally from Washington, and growing up a Seahawks fan was as dismal as the Pacific Northwest weather. Being a fan of the game, I watched that double-overtime loss to the Browns, and as the game wore on, I fell in love. I was a fourth grade boy who had found a new passion, a new love.
As the game ended, all I could do was yell and scream while jumping up and down on the couch in tears, as my mom walked into the room. “What’s the matter with you?!” she yelled. “The Jets lost!” is all I could mutter through the tears running down my face. “Who cares…you like the Seahawks…” were her only words of comfort. “Not anymore!” I shouted in defiance. “The Jets are my favorite team now!!!” I yelled back at this cold, uncaring, confused, outsider.
As I was ridiculed by my friends and family, I didn’t give up. Everyone thought it was a phase that would quickly end, and maybe at first I did stick with them just to defy the naysayers; but I’d like to think that the battle I witnessed by two teams that wouldn’t quit made me become the die-hard fan I am today.
Most people pick their favorite team because of where they live or because of family tradition. My friends tease me to this day that I chose the Jets because I like to be miserable. Why else would you choose a new favorite team after a loss? And while they’ve been bad more than they’ve been good, we fans have stuck with them because we believe that someday it will be better.
Last week, against the same Browns, again in overtime, the team never gave up; they never quit; and they showed that they have a quality that can’t be taught or made in a pharmaceutical lab: Heart.
We have never given up on them, and this franchise has finally showed that they won’t give up either. Along with all the talent in the world, they have now proved that they have an intangible weapon that they will need in the coming months. These truly aren’t the “Same old Jets.” The coaches and players have given us a reason to believe, and I’m sure there are plenty of new fans out there because of the 2010 Jets. Hopefully they have a happier end to the season than I did in fourth grade.
Down Since ‘86