Since I became a fan I have loved the New York Jets more than any other sports team. Even though I follow the Miami Heat and Chicago Cubs fan also. The passion I have for this team is uncontested. I know this is a team sport but some of us have favorite players (especially me) that we really feel that we should keep or have kept until they retire.
I been a fan of the New York Jets over 27 years now and I'm only 30 years old. So I have been a fan since I was 3 years old. The oldest memory in life I have is me becoming a fan of this team by witnessing a 31-20 loss to the Detroit Lions in the 1985 season. The only player I remember from that game is Ken O'Brien. He was getting sacked left and right by the Lions defense but he still managed to throw for 23-35, 281, 2 TD. Back then i didn't understand football but my parents still tell me to this day that I was a Jets fanactic. Too bad we was poor because I would made them buy me everything related to the Jets.
By watching Ken O'Brien that year, he instantly became my favorite player. Ken O'Brien had a great career with the team (In my mind). I know I'm going to get chewed up for that but overall I think his stats due to lack of talent around him. According to Pro-Football Reference, O'Brien got sacked a total of 353 times in his 9 year career for a average of 39.2 sacks a season but if you look at all his stats. His stats was comparable to what Mark Sanchez is on track to accumulate over his career. As I look at the stats now, they don't look so great but when I think about it. He had potential. He just a victim of bad coaching. Either way it goes he was my favorite player when I first started out.
When O'Brien had left the team I was sad but I already had my eye another player as my favorite. That person was Mo Lewis. His first two seasons, Lewis got three sacks and no tackles. He had shown flashes of what he can be but he never lived up to the potential he had to become one of the greatest. Lewis played 13 years with us which I still respect until this day. Check ESPN and you will see that he finished with 52.5 sacks and 705 tackles in his career. I think he was one of the most passionate Jets player I ever seen play. Note: I did a back-flip when he knock Drew Bledsoe out of the game. As time went on and that hit affected Bledsoe career. I don't wish harm to no player.
As Mo Lewis play winded down and eventually retired as a Jet. I started liking Curtis Martin during the 2004 season. When he won the rushing title that year. I was shocked that he did it over the age of 30. Although he been with us for a while now. Don't ask me why but he was. Honestly if you ask me now who was the best New York Jets player of all time. I would say Curtis Martin and defend it vigorously.
I didn't have a favorite player after Curtis Martin retired because I actually quit watching the team for two years because Doug Brien missed those two kicks in the 2004-2005 Divisional Playoff against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was mad for a very long time but I had got excited in the 2007 draft when the Front Office picked one of the 2 players I wanted to get in the draft: Meet David Harris.The irony of that is that the team that knocked us out of the playoffs two years earlier drafted the other player I wanted in the draft a spot before we picked Harris.
David Harris as of now is my favorite NY Jet player. I actually watch him every chance I got when Michigan played. Him and Lamar Woodley were some beasts in that defense. At first I thought the F.O. was going to pick Woodley in the first round but I was hoping that we picked Harris first then trade back in the first round to get Woodley. Glad it didn't go the way as I planned because we did get one of the greatest corners. If it did go the way I wanted. I wouldn't have regretted it though.
Over the years, Harris has played in all but 5 games in his career amassing 358 tackles, 19.5 sacks, and 6 INT (1TD). His tackle totals has been slowly declining over the years though. I believe its due to the scheme more of having to drop back into coverage than having to tackle as indicated by the interception in the last few years. I truly hope that David retire as a Jet. His jersey is the only one I have right now.
Being a fan of this team is heartbreaking sometimes but these are the players that kept me hyped and happy about being a fan. I always will honor all the players and coaches who went through sweat and tears for this team. All of them except Doug Brien and Rich Kotite!