Dolphin ESPN blogger Tim Graham wrote an interesting article yesterday about the New York Jets, and how they had now become the team to hate in the East, taking the title held for a long time by the New England Patriots
There has been a noticeable turn within the AFC East and perhaps the entire league when it comes to the most hated team. Based on reader feedback and the disdain expressed on sports-talk shows and message boards, the Jets have replaced the New England Patriots as the team opposing fans love to hate.
I found this interesting however because, in my experience here and just speaking to people in general, there is no shift, there is no intensified hatred towards the Jets. If anything opposing fans not from the AFC East seem to respect and like the personality of the Jets more than ever. No longer are they New York's little brother, who act tough but really never get anything done.
Can Bart Scott talk too much, sure....but all teams have a guy like that. Has Sanchez done anything to be the face of a hated franchise.....I guess animal rights activists might get on him for his hot dog stunt but not really. Who else is there? There is no hatred towards the Jets.....no more than usual anyway.
In Graham's defense, he did go on to give the reason for this new found hatred, and it's as close to a compliment as you will get:
While the relatively dull Patriots bowed meekly from the first round of the playoffs, the Jets continued to churn out material upon which their detractors could harp. The ultimate AFC East putdown has changed from Spygate comments to snide remarks about Ryan's weight.
Of course, nobody would say a peep if the Jets weren't good. Being loathed means you're worth the bother.
It really is that basic. To be hated in a general sense, you have to be worth envying, and worth people taking the time out of their lives to make negative comments about you. I'm sure I speak for all Jets fans when I say, we don't really care if you like us or not, but we will make sure that you respect us. So is there a new found hatred towards the Jets? I haven't really witnessed it yet.
Ryan, the face of the Jets, became a chief NFL villain
It all stems from Rex, do opposing fans really have a problem with him saying that he believes he has a great football team, that the goal was to win a Superbowl. Is it that the players seem to be having fun, and winning? Football fans more than any other sports fan should enjoy a brash demeanour, after all were not playing skittles here, this is a violent sport, this is a put it all out on the line type sport. Why are fans so adverse to a coach who doesn't hide behind the PR system cowering, afraid to put one toe out of line, or say something that may give away a game plan.
The rookie head coach immediately was viewed as a blowhard for suggesting -- at his introductory news conference, no less -- he would take the Jets to a championship.
I'm not sure what people expected him to say "we're going to try really, really hard, but maybe we won't win"..... you're not going to get away with coming into New York and not predicting success. That's just not how it works. You talk big, and then you back it up. He talked big, and he backed it up. If there is a hatred towards the Jets, it glows green with envy.
We matter enough to be hated, we are good enough to be envied, and Rex Ryan is big enough to take it on his shoulders. Do you think it bothers anyone? Nothing bothers anyone when you are winning. Now we just need to take that next step, and I'm pretty sure the players are happy to be led by the NFL's new chief villain
"I'd rather be hated and have him leading us," Cotchery said, "than have to play against him."