Sports Commentary 11/15/12
The Mess that is the N.Y. Jets…..
Be careful what you wish for. All the New York Jets ever wanted was to own the back pages of the New York tabloids, to steal them from the big blue team at the other end of their stadium, regardless of how many Super Bowl rings those other guys have. Claiming the spotlight was as much a consideration as anything when Rex Ryan was hired as head coach. Winning would be an acceptable after thought. Ryan delivered immediately, with bold predictions and brash dismissals of some of the games more established coaches, saying he didn’t take over a team in the AFC East to kiss the Super Bowl rings of Patriots coach Bill Belichick and declaring the Jets, not the Giants, just two years removed from a Super Bowl championship, were the number one team in town. The Jets loved it and the tabs loved Rex, with his almost daily quotes fit for back page banners. The Jets should have taken a history lesson from their own past, with a quote attributed to Joe Namath, who brashly predicted a Super Bowl III victory over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts, then delivered. “It ain’t bragging”, goes the quote, “If you can do it.” It’s that second part that became a bit of sticky wicket for Ryan and the Jets. The Jets made a splash, and claimed the back pages, by making USC quarterback Mark Sanchez a first round pick. They became the gridiron toast of the Big Apple when they made the AFC Championship Game and there seemed to be no ceiling on their potential when they did it a second time. Unfortunately Sanchez started to live down to his breeding. USC quarterbacks don’t have a history of faring well in the NFL, and the Jets sank into instant mediocrity in Ryan-Sanchez the second sequel, failing to make the playoffs after Ryan had stolen the pre season back pages from the Giants by guaranteeing a Super Bowl victory. Not to worry. For the Jets and Rex Ryan it was always more about bluster and the back pages than results and they had their hands full trying to snatch those headlines after the Giants won the Super Bowl. They found the sure thing. Overpay for overhyped quarterback Tim Tebow, who miraculously found a way to get the Broncos to the playoffs before Broncos president John Elway, who knows a thing or two about quarterbacks, couldn’t get him out of town fast enough. “Not a publicity ploy”, cried the Jets as their new backup filled up the back pages while blustery Rex went suddenly silent, working the company line that Tebow would be a wild card option who would get about twenty snaps a game. He has yet to see a dozen and one of those tabs the Jets love so much quoted several of their players and front office personnel, who chose to remain nameless, as saying he’s a “terrible quarterback”. Finding himself with an overrated, undertalented quarterback as a backup for an underachieving starter Rex went to the mattresses and called out his players as “cowards” for their anonymity and this morning he adorns the back page of the New York Post in a clown nose and costume, driving a clown car, probably to his living room, from where he’ll again watch the NFL playoffs hoping when the blame begins to trickle down it doesn’t reach him, even though he’s positioned himself as the figure head of this travelling circus. Be careful what you wish for, you may become the New York Jets. With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.