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An open letter to Christopher Johnson

NFL: OCT 06 Jets at Eagles

Dear Christopher,

You might not realize it, but you have the best fanbase in the NFL.

Jets fans are incredibly loyal. Most of us have never seen the Jets win a championship. Over the last five decades we have watched a lot more bad football than good. Still we have continued to support the team. We have spent our money. We have given our time. Our passion hasn’t wavered.

We don’t ask for much. I could say we demand excellence. The truth is we want excellence, but we settle for far less. We have rarely seen excellence through the years. All we really require is hope.

Through all of the bad seasons our loyalty has been sustained by the dream next year will be better than this year. A 6-10 finish might be disappointing. We at least had hope before that season and after it that things would improve.

Generations of fans have bonded over rooting for the Jets. Even though the results haven’t always been there, fans could always enjoy talking about an upcoming game, watching it, and recapping it in the days that followed. It has been a hobby and a passion.

It takes extreme incompetence to lose diehard fans. Your extreme incompetence is doing just that.

Most NFL fans are hopeful and optimistic by nature. If you can give fans a conceivable reason to hope for the future, they will do just that.

Your mismanagement of this team has robbed fans of that hope. People who have rooted for this team for decades have stopped watching the games. Those who continue to watch no longer care when the team loses. You have taken the loyalty of your supporters for granted.

When I think about your tenure running the team, a number of ridiculous comments and actions come to mind, but one particular thing you said last year has always stood out.

This comment would have been breathtaking in its arrogance had it come from a member of the Kraft or Rooney families, owners who have regularly won Super Bowls. It made winning a championship sound easy.

It takes a striking amount of self-confidence to say something like that, particularly since you did so at point when the team’s record was 9-23 during your tenure as CEO.

As we now know, the organization was falling apart internally at the time you said it. The bad general manager and bad head coach you put together were in a power struggle that led to utter dysfunction.

Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

Christopher Johnson bragged about wearing the Lombardi Trophy like a crown while the Jets burned.

It’s thus difficult to trust you and take your word for it when you make statements like this.

What exactly qualifies you to evaluate a head coach in this way? Your record as CEO now stands at 16-37. The team has gone 5-11, 4-12, 7-9, and 0-5 in the four seasons you have been in charge. The best season on paper was last year’s seven win campaign. That isn’t a very good season, but even that 7-9 record was a total mirage build on an incredibly soft schedule and a lot of luck. The Jets have been at the bottom of the league since you took over as CEO, and things haven’t changed.

You are in over your head. Your team is failing. Your loyalty to a failed head coach is driving your fanbase away and destroying their hope. You need to change quickly.

I know it is too much to ask you and your family to sell the team. That might be the right thing to do for your fans, but nobody could convince you to do that.

Instead I simply ask that you step down as CEO and hire somebody with some football sense to run the day to day operations. Your family will continue to own the team. You can still go to practices and games. You can speak at events. You will even still get that Lombardi Trophy to wear as a crown if the Jets ever win the championship.

But that can’t happen without somebody with football sense making decisions at the top. You have shown that isn’t you. That is no sin. We all have different skills. Frequently the thing that sets apart a good leader from a bad leader is knowing what you don’t know and hiring somebody who can fill in the gaps.

Let me put this clearly. You don’t know how to run a professional football team, and your lack of knowledge is doing what previously seemed to be impossible. You are driving away the most loyal fanbase in the NFL as a result.

I implore you to change course before it is too late.

Cordially yours,

John B (and anybody else willing to co-sign)