Join me after the jump if you want to read about it and maybe have a laugh or a cry depending on your perspective.
I decided to be a Jets fan in 1971. I was 6 years old and my brother and father were Giants fans. I grew up in Queens and the Jets used to play a mile away at Shea Stadium, which was one of the ugliest stadiums I’ve ever seen, even considering what constituted style back in the 70’s. That stadium made bell bottom pants and large collared shirts look good. I missed seeing the Jets win the Super Bowl by two years, Joe Namath was struggling with bad knees but we still had some cool players like Emerson Boozer. How can you not love a guy with a name like that?
I don’t remember being aware of the coaches until the unholy trio of Walt Michaels, Joe Walton and Bruce Coslet each tried to lead the Jets to victory. They all failed miserably. Walt and Joe were coaches from when I was 12 – 24 years old. From a football perspective those are the formative years and I sometimes want to sue them for the psychological and emotional damage they inflicted on me. It was nothing short of cruelty. And that doesn’t even hold a candle to the absolute disaster that was Rich Kotite whose .125 winning percentage still gives me nightmares. I still hate Rich Kotite to this day.
I remember struggling to root for Richard Todd who threw 3 interceptions in the mud bowl against Miami. I remember the ’86 Jets who got off to a 10-1 record and then lost their last five “winnable” games. I remember Mark Gastineau’s two critical unsportsmanlike penalties that killed us in overtime playoff game against the Browns. And I remember Marino’s fake spike which still pisses me off after all these years.
Have there been good times as well? Sure, but it’s a lot like my golf game. I hit 2-3 great shots a game and that’s what keeps me from throwing my clubs in the nearest lake. Not only have the Jets not won a Super Bowl in the 40 years I’ve been a fan, we’ve only won the division . . . wait for it . . . Twice. That’s right, two times.
But now it’s time for the draft where hopes get raised and a playoff run seems like a guarantee. Right up to the point when the draft ends and cries of “oh nooooooo” fill the air no matter who we pick. And we’ve picked some real doozies over the years. And yes, I said “doozies.” I’m old. I can say things like that. Johnny “Lam Jones, Ron Faurot, Roger Vick (a fullback in the 1st round), Blair Thomas, Johnny Mitchell and most recently, Vernon Valdemort. The bottom line is that it’s hard to evaluate a draft until 2-3 years out anyway. That won’t stop the hysteria, but hopefully it will provide some perspective to the younger fans on this site.
And truth be told, perspective is what this fan post is all about. The perspective of a long suffering Jets fan. A lot of people think I’m too negative and that’s okay. What anyone else thinks about me is none of my business. I think I’m far more of a realist. I am and will always be a die hard Jets fan. I’ve just learned to manage my expectations over the years which is probably the only reason I don’t have an ulcer yet. Of course I’m also bald and when I’m not blaming it on past girlfriends, I blame it on the Jets.
Anyway, that’s my perspective.