This is Rivalry Week at SB Nation. In accordance, this week’s FanPulse poll asked fans to name their team’s biggest rival. The result was overwhelming from Jets fans. They said the biggest rival the Jets have is this week’s opponent, the New England Patriots.
This is where I guess I go into my normal rant about Jets fans being too focused on the short-term. I don’t think there’s much of a case to be made historically that the Patriots are the Jets’ biggest rivals. It is a rivalry that has only popped up over the last two decades.
This is a legitimate rivalry. There is an interesting backstory involving Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick switching sides, and some relevant moments like Mo Lewis injuring Drew Bledsoe. But let’s be honest. The biggest reason people view the Patriots as the Jets’ biggest rival is just that they’ve been the NFL’s most dominant team since 2001. In the next few years, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are going to go away. I doubt Jets fans are going to view the rivalry with the same intensity once that happens.
Historically I think the Dolphins have a stronger case to being the Jets’ top rival. The animosity has been around much longer, and the teams have played a lot more memorable games (Mud Bowl, Marino-O’Brien shootout, fake spike game, Monday Night Miracle). Personally I have more dislike for the Dolphins than I do the Patriots.
Just remember I told you this in a few years when Brady and Belichick are gone, and your hate is reserved for Miami.