Thursday, August 07, 2008

Jets (the Football Variety)

OK, so this isn't really a travel post but I just had to vent somewhere about Brett Favre coming to the Jets. I'm a long-suffering fan of the New York Jets. Really long suffering. I've split season tickets with a friend since the early 1980's. We laugh every game when they show historical highlights of the team because there really is only one highlight in the team's entire history: Joe Namath running off the field raising #1 after Super Bowl III. That's one highlight in about 46 years.

If forced, I could name a few more. The Monday Night Miracle against Miami. I was there for that game and it was indeed memorable. There were probably only about 10,000 of us left in the stands because the Jets were so out of it through three quarters that everyone had left. Keep in mind, this was during an off day in the Mets/Yankees World Series so everyone was distracted to begin with. I was only there because my friend and I go to the games as much to socialize as to watch the Jets and it was nice and quiet and roomy, great for conversation. And then the Jets started coming back. We kept calculating "can they really do this?" And they kept coming back. The funniest thing about it is that my friend was then the radio announcer of the Mets (he's now on TV) and so he couldn't yell as he had to preserve his voice for the next day's broadcast. So as the Jets are making this totally improbable comeback and as the 10,000 of us are screaming as loud as 76,000 normally do, all he could do was bang chairs, stamp his feet, clap...and restrain himself.

The other memorable game perhaps was the 51-45 overtime win against Miami. (The Monday Night Miracle was also against Miami; somehow those two always put on a show, no matter how miserable the teams are. The fake spike, the uncovered field and on and on and on.) Anyhow, I had a choice. I had a business trip to Phoenix. I could either go to the Jets game, fly out of Newark and get into Phoenix very late, or I could fly early in the morning and spend a lovely October day in Phoenix. I opted for the day in the sun. Of course, the day in the sun was in New Jersey, a lovely Indian summer day. Meanwhile, I land in a torrential downpour. My only option is to sit in my hotel room. I turn on the local game -- real compelling, Phoenix/Washington -- and they cut in with the incredible ending of the Jets game. The Jets tie the game on the final play of regulation with about a 65 yard hail mary to Wesley Walker and win in overtime on a similar play. Good choice, missing one of your team's top three ever moments.

So, that brings me to Favre. Shouldn't I be excited? The Jets get a Hall of Fame quarterback. No more legacy of Kenny O'Brien, Richard Todd and oh the list gets depressing. The Jets apparently have had 15 different starting quarterbacks since Favre came into the league. So why aren't I excited?
  1. Remember Joe Namath wearing a Rams' uniform? It's just wrong and more importantly...well, he didn't tarnish his legacy, but he came close.
  2. How excited is Favre to be here? This isn't his first choice. This isn't his second choice. It's probably not in his top 10. And once the small town boy -- Mississippi, Green Bay -- gets introduced to the New York media, it won't be in his top 40. And once his gunslinging interceptions get the Jets fans booing -- honeymoon period = three quarters -- he'll really appreciate what he had in Green Bay.
  3. Is he the short-term solution? I suppose he's better than what we've got now, though not compellingly. And there's a real down side. If his heart and mind aren't in to it, he could start flinging interceptions all over the field.
  4. Is he the long-term solution? Not only is that clearly not the case, it also sets the Jets back years in their efforts to find a long-term solution. Maybe he'll mentor Kellen Clemens the way he mentored and supported Aaron Rodgers. Oops. Is Clemens the guy? We still don't know. If he is, this slows his development. If he isn't, not only does this slow us down knowing, it costs us draft picks that could have been used to draft the guy. And you know Favre is going to take just enough snaps to cost the Jets the maximum draft choice under the agreement. It wouldn't even surprise me that the Jets at some point try to execute a three way trade that has Favre end up in Minnesota with the Jets claiming "we didn't actually trade him to Minnesota"...only to have the commissioner rule that the Jets violated the intent of the deal and not only do they owe Green Bay the three first round draft choices, that he adds something on letting Bill Belichick film their practices (or is he already doing that?).

So why are the Jets doing this? Asides from it being a preditably bad Jet move -- sorry, the Internet doesn't have enough capacity to capture the depths of their stupidity -- it can be all captured in one single thing. PSL. Personal seat licenses. The Jets are getting ready to ask their season ticket holders to spend stupid amounts of money ($40,000-$80,000) to maintain the rights to purchase what they already have. Will enough Jet fans get excited about the trade so that when they get hit with this bill, they think "at least the team is committed to do whatever it takes to win"? That's totally what this trade is all about. Style over substance. Money over competitiveness. Excitement over excellence.

So no, I'm not happy about this trade at all.

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