Let’s get this out of the way: the New York Jets mostly suck because they make it easy to make fun of them.
Yes, it’s easy. Yes, everything’s been said before. Yes, I probably won’t be breaking new ground with this article. Yes, I’m sorry to Matt Lubchansky, my favorite Jets fan.
But the Jets suck. And the reason the Jets suck isn’t just that they suck.
It’s that they suck loudly.
Not all of this is due to Rex Ryan. But I can’t bring up the term “suck loudly” without touching on the coach with the big defense and bigger mouth. Honestly, I’ve never really had a problem with Rex talking a big game, especially when the Jets continued to roll on and do well in the playoffs. But like what happens with any cute story, it stops getting cute when the results stop coming. And with every loss, it seemed that Rex got louder; not once did he put his wife’s foot in his mouth or let his team speak for themselves. And each time, a loss made his words look ridiculous.
But more than just their coach, the loud sucking has to do with their location. They are in the middle of intense media coverage, so they’re going to be a story no matter what. ESPN has its own New York web site, and it would be a little odd if they covered stories on the Giants, Knicks, Yankees, Islanders, and NOT the Jets (there are more NY teams, I know, but it hurts my fingers to type them all). So a lot of that sucking is going to be amplified by a city that voices its displeasure over a megaphone.
Are the 2011 Jets the only team to have chemistry problems in the locker room? I’d venture to say no. I’d also venture to say that there are 31 other teams in the league that have chemistry problems in the locker room, at least small ones. Fights break out at practice all the time. But when you play in New York, those fights are bigger. In fact, a lot of things are better. Take Santonio Holmes’ head, for instance!
The New York jets suck because, like the Cowboys, they are going to get press whether they win or lose. And the press on them losing is so much less fun than when they win. I am definitely a master at Schaedenfreude, but I can’t take delight in the Jets’ faltering, and again that’s the media’s fault. Because it’s not like the Jets are some great historical championship team. They’re an also ran that just so happens to be in the biggest market in the country. These past few years have been different, but hey, the Saints are historically bad too. A few good years doesn’t change that.
So the synthesis of these previous points come to this: the main reason the Jets suck is that they really haven’t been all that great, but because of the past two years, them playing poorly is a story when it probably shouldn’t be. The Jets of 2009 and 2010 were teams that ran the ball and defended well enough to hide Mark Sanchez’s cornucopia of flaws. They also benefitted from Jim Caldwell making a dumb timeout at a critical time and what is now known as the Patriots’ annual shit-the-bed playoff game. The Jets of 2011 can’t do any of that. That’s where the story should end.
But because of the extra attention, we get all these little stories about Santonio Holmes not being a good leader and Mark Sanchez not working hard enough and Rex Ryan valuing Manning over Sanchez in a completely hypothetical situation. Why does any of that matter? Why can’t we all just accept that the Jets are a mediocre team who play in a Patriots-dominated division, and whatever they do above 6-10 is gravy?
Look at the Chargers. That’s another team who has been in the playoffs for the past few years, hasn’t quite gotten to the Super Bowl, and has had good defense before having a pretty bad year. They both are 8-8, they both are second in their division, and they both have tons of problems. But what do you hear from the Chargers? “Norv Turner needs to be fired yesterday.” And that’s not a new story! No one needs to run 400 articles on why the Chargers failed, because in San Diego people are surfing, and going to the zoo, and enjoying 70 degree weather in January.
So yes, the New York Jets suck. But I don’t feel as angry towards them as I do towards other sucky teams. In fact, I kind of feel bad that they get overwhelming negativity that I don’t think they really deserve.
But I do like making fun of them, especially Sanchez. And I’m surprised I only made one foot fetish joke. HEY EVERYONE REX RYAN’S WIFE MAKES FETISH VIDEOS AND IT’S FUNNY AND WEIRD.