I have been loyal to you for 21 years. I stood by your side faithfully while you assured me that all would be well with time. I trusted you. I defended your decisions without question knowing the choices you made wouldn’t help fix what you destroyed. I thought believed I was a part of something big something that I could pass down to my kids and their kids after that. I can finally say now that I was wrong. You finally broke me…
New York Jets… This is your tape.
21 years ago a bright-eyed chubby 9 year old fell in love with a team. The New York Jets had just chosen Keyshawn Johnson with their first round pick and a year later hired a hard-nosed, tough, outspoken, Super Bowl winning head coach in Bill Parcells. I knew about Bill Parcels because my older brother was a huge Giants fan, so I knew something big was coming. They had something good.
1998, the year that made it all worth it. Bill brings in Vinny Testaverde, and HOFers Curtis Martin and Kevin Mawae. That cast, along with Keyshawn, went 12-4. Beautiful!!! I mean you couldn’t ask for a better result, well obviously a super bowl would be a better result but lets be fair it is the Jets. 1999 was supposed to be the year the Jets got to their first super bowl since Joe Namath guaranteed a victory over Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts in 1969, but in the first game Vinny ruptured his achilles and everything went to hell. Parcells would “retire” from football at the end of the season.
The Chad Pennington Era began in 2000. I think for most, Chad is and will always be a fan favorite but due to injuries he never really reached his full potential. Over the next 8 years and 3 coaches my Jets would be the poster child for mediocre. During this time we saw Curtis Martin retire, Pennington left then actually won Comeback Player of The Year with the Dolphins, and New England become the force they are today. I grew accustomed to being a fan of a middle of the pack team. I had no real expectations for this bunch of average people. I’d just silently root for other teams while still keeping an eye on my Jets. I had teams in other sports that were doing well so it was ok that they were terrible but in 2009 my whole world would change.
Loud, Obnoxious, Fat, and (at the time) a defensive guru, Rex Ashley Ryan was the mind behind the great Baltimore Ravens defense that dominated the 2000s with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. 2009 would be the year he dipped his toe in the head coaching waters and bring relevance back to Manhattan. My interest in my team instantly piqued. I would often say to myself “this dude sure talks a lot of s#%$ but can he back it up?”. The ink was barely dry on his contract and he was already going at Bill Belichick’s head. He had me hype. He quickly won the team over as well with that bravado and they too took on his personality. Bart Scott, Darrell Revis, Lito Sheppard and a host of others made our defense just as tough and dominant as those Ravens’ defenses Ryan had previously led. All we needed was a QB. In the 2009 draft, we traded up for Mark Sanchez, an underclassman from USC. He proved to be what we needed to get this team in a position to win. We didn’t ask much of him just make the short throws and don’t turn the ball over. Hand the ball to Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene and the defense will handle the rest. That 1st year we made it to the AFC championship game. We would lose to the Colts. I don’t think anybody was sad about that result, well I know I wasn’t. We weren’t supposed to be there. A 9-7 team with a rookie HC and QB? No way we should’ve made it that far. I knew 2010 would be great. Rex was going crazy guaranteeing super bowls and Mark Sanchez appeared to be progressing. That year we went 11-5 and again we made the AFC championship game AND AGAIN we would lose to the, at the time undefeated, New England Patriots. That one was heartbreaking. Mainly because we were so close again and to lose to your arch nemesis adds to that pain. Patriots lost and that eased the pain a little but still. That year would be our peak and we would fall just as quickly as we arose.
The following season marked the beginning of the end for me. The once likable Rex Ryan had become kind of annoying with the bravado and guarantees. Mark Sanchez started to regress and the defense started to get old. Woody Johnson fired Mike Tannenbaum, who was responsible for building the team since 2006, after an 8-8 season. We were inching closer to the team we were in the early 2000s. Rex would get fired after the 2014 season.
See that is what my life was as a Jets fan. We’d get really high then go back to being just some average bums. It’s like how some people will do just enough to get by then once the heat is on they start overachieving until the boss gets off of their back. How much longer am I supposed to allow myself to go through this? I was fine with not having expectations of these guys because the first time I didn’t really see what was happening, but I will not allow you to string me along for a few more years then trick me into thinking we’re about to make that jump then snatch the rug from under me again. I’m exhausted. I just want to be happy again. All I’ve ever wanted to do is brag and hold victories over my friends’ heads like most fans. Woody Johnson doesn’t care about me. He expects me to keep rooting for Geno Smith, Christian Hackenberg, and Bryce Petty. He wants me to be understanding and patient with a team that just drafted 2 safeties when you drafted Calvin Pryor last year. I didn’t deserve this treatment. 21 years and nothing. Not one thing to show for my loyalty. I watched this draft hoping you all would do SOMETHING, ANYTHING to make a splash but you did nothing. Now I could’ve stayed and been optimistic. I could sit and watch y’all tank the entire season for an unproven QB from f*%&ing Wyoming. Yeah , could but I’m not. I will not stand here and wade through several more years of “rebuilding” and below averageness. So go out and sign Jay Cutler like I know you want to. Continue being the cheap bastard you are Woody Johnson. Todd Bowles isn’t the answer and neither is Josh Allen or Josh Rosen if he’s even eligible. Now I will admit that the highs were fun and the lows weren’t THAT bad but the point is this relationship isn’t going anywhere and I’d rather not waste anymore of my precious time.
Goodbye Gang Green Nation. I love you.