The Zionist Conspiracy

A clandestine undertaking on behalf of Israel, the Jets and the Jews.

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Monday, January 24, 2011
The New Generation of Jets Fans

I'm on vacation in San Diego without computer access, so am unable to post in the comments - two of which described the disappointment of very young Jets fans.

I too feel badly about seeing my six year old son's disappointment about the Jets' loss - especially after they had a chance in the 4th quarter.

With the Jets down 24-0, he offered reasons why the Jets could come back - including the fact that last week the Seahawks put up a lot of points against the Bears after a horrible start. Despite the Seahawks loss, this convinced him that a Jets comeback was possible.

I did my best to curb his hopes - as I had done all week when I taught him about the Jets' tortured history.

However, I'm skeptical that the experience of being a Jets fan is any different for kids than that of being a fan of any other team that falls short in the playoffs. The children have not suffered through the tortured history - at least not yet. The Jets may still not be an elite team, but they haven't had back to back losing seasons since Rich Kotite.

Of course in the end it's all about championships, and for longtime fans getting to within a game of the Super Bowl only adds to the misery of not having been there for 42 years.

But it's doubtful that the children have a long-term perspective. They are highly unlikely to realize that yesterday may be the last time in their childhood that they even see the Jets in the AFC Championship. I know I didn't when the Jets lost the Mud Bowl to the Dolphins 28 years ago.

Ultimately, the misgivings about raising young Jets fans comes down to the knowledge that the elusive Super Bowl may never come and that many seasons of disappointment are ahead.
I should note that this post relates particularly to the Jets; the question of whether it is absurd to encourage - or not discourage - little kids from the completely irrational but heavily addictive practice of rooting for any sports team will be saved for another time.

Sunday, January 23, 2011
Week 20

It is difficult to understand how a week after the victory against New England, the Jets could play so dreadfully during the first half - but that's how things are for them. They repeatedly missed tackles and allowed 3rd down conversions. On offense, their offensive line was totally outplayed by the Steelers' front seven.

Although the Jets outplayed the Steelers during the second half, they continued their habit of having long drives without scoring points. On their 17 play eight minute drive, the play calling was excellent until they had first and goal at the 2. The 2nd down play on which the play call came very late was especially inexcusable; the 3rd and 4th down calls were also uninspired to say the least.

When the Jets pulled within five, the defense could not make the essential stop to give the offense a chance for the win.

While not quite as dramatic, this game was reminiscent of the 1981 wildcard loss to the Bills, in which the Jets fell behind 24-0 and then lost 31-27 on a Bills INT at the 2 yard line in the final seconds.

My earliest Super Bowl memory is Pittsburgh over Dallas in Super Bowl XIII - a decade after the Jets' only appearance. While the possibility of the Jets playing in a Super Bowl for the first time in 42 years was exciting, longtime Jets fans knew to keep expectations modest.

Perhaps one day there will be a Super Bowl in which the Jets play. Maybe we will even see them win a championship.

Either way, every September, those of us who are die hard fans will be back suffering with the Jets.

Monday, January 17, 2011
Week 19

1. The defense set the tone for last night's win. After David Harris ran out of gas during his 1st quarter INT return, the offense went three and out and Nick Folk missed a short field goal, the defense continued to confuse Tom Brady, finally sustaining consistent pressure together with strong coverage from the Jets' cornerbacks and safeties.

2. After a slow start, the offense recovered. Mark Sanchez received excellent pass protection and big plays from his wide receivers. The Jets finally scored touchdowns in the red zone. They did have a few second half drives stall, allowing New England to remain in the game.

3. Special teams was mixed. Especially with the AFC Championship at Heinz Field, Folk's miss renews concerns about him. After an excellent regular season, Steve Weatherford continued punting into the end zone for touchbacks. The Jets did stop the Patriots' fake punt, a huge play that led to the Jets second touchdown and completely changed the momentum at halftime. They also recovered both onside kicks - though the first one could have gone either way.

4. I was fortunate enough to attend the Jets' two prior second round victories, the '98 Jets win over the Jaguars and last year's victory over the Chargers.

After both of those games, there was a feeling of elation. Two years after Rich Kotite, Bill Parcells had rebuilt the Jets to within a game of the Super Bowl. Last year, despite losing six of seven to fall to 4-6, and despite having a rookie quarterback, the Jets out of nowhere went to the AFC Championship.

5. For all of the hatred of the Patriots, I'm not feeling elation today. Just relief that the 2010 Jets' season has not ended. Playoff victories, even stunning upsets of New England, no longer suffice. The Jets now must do what the '82 Jets, the '98 Jets and the '09 Jets failed to do: Win the AFC Championship. And then they must win one more game.

Sunday, January 09, 2011
Week 18

It's impossible not to be pleased about the Jets victory on the road against Peyton Manning's Colts. LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene were both excellent, allowing the Jets to score touchdowns on two long second half drives. Braylon Edwards had another strong performance. Darrelle Revis shut down Reggie Wayne, while Brodney Poole and Eric Smith were all around the ball. On special teams, Antonio Cromartie was fantastic filling in for Brad Smith, and Nick Folk kicked the winning field goal.

There were some negatives last night. The Jets' offense simply left way too many potential points on the field during the first half tonight - inexplicably going into halftime scoreless. Mark Sanchez missed a number of open receivers and threw a terrible INT. Santonio Holmes dropped a key 3rd down pass. Cromartie gave up the long TD pass to Pierre Garcon and overall was mediocre against Garcon. (With the Jets' win, the third round pick they gave up for Cromartie has become a second rounder.) Steve Weatherford's punts kept going into the end zone for touchbacks - though the fault was not always with Weatherford.

In the end, the game came down to the final seconds. Colts head coach Jim Caldwell called one of the dumbest timeouts in NFL history. Instead of a 50+ yard field goal that Folk would have probably missed, the Jets had a chance to move further downfield. And unlike the 2004 Jets vs. the Steelers, who settled for a long field goal attempt that Doug Brien missed as time expired in the 4th quarter, the 2010 Jets allowed Sanchez to find Edwards for 18 more yards, making Folk's kick a short one.

Last night's performance will not be nearly good enough against the Patriots, who have far more talent than the injury depleted Colts. As for Sanchez, Jets fans must hope that his inaccuracy last night was just a case of him having a bad game, not - as was the case with Chad Pennington - a shoulder injury worse than disclosed.

Sunday, January 02, 2011
Week 17

This was a meaningless game - except for the fact that it was my six year old son's first Jets game. He insisted on staying until the end, resulting in pretty bad post-game traffic. Hopefully, his experience as a Jets fan will be fun, as it was during today's win.

I'd have preferred to play the Chiefs rather than the Colts, but #6 seeds don't get to pick their opponents. The Colts don't look too good, but they have won four in a row and their passing game remains potent - while the Jets pass defense remains their biggest weakness.