Even though Rex had his ridiculous brash talk statements when he came on board, he had the Jets playing hungry, like they never won anything before.
Getting to two AFC Championship games seemed to quell the hunger. That was deemed a huge "accomplishment."
How many times have we heard about the Jets' Rex led two straight AFC Championship games.
It’s only fitting that New England has done just that, in these last two years, but more-so even. New England WON their AFC Championship last year and look poised to do it again and it's not even news.
Rex won’t kiss the rings huh? Okay, but how about he kiss the trophies, because you do get trophies/hardware when you win AFC Championships. New England has all that hardware in addition to their three Lombardi trophies they own five AFC Championship trophies and just may be six come Sunday in the Belichik/Brady era .
Count another WON AFC Championship game in 1985. Another piece of hardware.
Count an almost annual trip to the AFC East winners circle in recent memory.
Besides Namath’s Jets we have zero, count zero hardware since. I always hope we succeed every year. It would be nice if the bravado chest thumping hot air was left to die. If we could stop over emphasizing getting to AFC Championship games like it is a great accomplishment.
Talk to a lot of NFL fans, Jets fans, and they will mock Buffalo. Buffalo won four straight AFC Championship trophies and won the AFC East 7 times since 1980.
Since the AFL-NFL merger, we have won the AFC East twice. Yes, two times, in 1998 and 2002. That's right, not once in the 70's or 80's, and just sneaked in before the end of the millennium. We are by far the door mat franchise of the post merger AFC East.
See the Division Champs list post merger 1970 to really let it sink in and see the trends from that list:
The Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and now the New England Patriots have all had massive runs in the AFC East division. Huge chunks of dominance. The Jets have not yet, but there is always hope their turn will come.
We will be better served as fans if we had leadership that we respected, is humble, does what it says and says what it does. A leadership that acknowledges talent and hard work, and isn't afraid to make the tough decisions for the sake of the franchise. For the sake of the organization. Every year the Jets fail to win a division or go on a run and win that hardware (AFC Championship hardware). It is another notch in the legacy of our franchise being an inept, losing, misdirected, bad luck, same old franchise.
But every year we all hope it changes. And when it does, if it does, it will probably be in the most unexpected way, and we will all savor it, and hopefully remain humble. People love to discount Namath and all the other all time greats from the Jets AFL late 60's era. But honestly, that's all we have.
Curtis Martin was an all time great, but we didn't win hardware with him, and he was a New England Patriots turn-coat. Wayne Chrebet gave us a great story and memorable games that also never produced the hardware.
Both players gave us those two AFC East divisions which we all thank them for. Parcells built a winner in the Jets that remained so for Groh and Edwards.
But the first step is always denial. In my opinion we need to get past this denial that we have done much since the AFL-NFL merger. Not counting the Colts, who were moved anyway (and did get their dominant chunk with Manning btw) we must recognize we are the doormat of the AFC East and have done nothing yet to change that.
That doesn't make me sad or feel like a loser. Acknowledging the truth and acting on it makes me more aware, smarter, more in tune. It makes me feel energy, a desire to create new positive history. I think it would do the same for the franchise.