Sports Commentary 11/27: When You’re A Jet….
The MESS, MESS, MESS that is the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets !!!
WHEN YOU’RE A JET……
Just when life as a New York Jet probably seemed unbearable, it got worse. Since the arrival of Rex Ryan as head coach the Jets have been known more for bluster than substance. Boasts of overtaking the Giants as the number one team in the Big Apple were met with a super response from Big Blue, a Super Bowl Championship. Tirades from Ryan about not being in the AFC East to kiss Bill Belichick’s rings have been answered by continued Patriots dominance in the division, the latest response coming on Thanksgiving night, when the Jets were humiliated by Belichick’s team at the Meadowlands. They embarrassed themselves by celebrating a field goal at the end of the first half with a fireworks display. The score at the time was 31-3, in favor of the Patriots. The scoring celebration by the Jets followed one of the most embarrassing quarters in team history, the Patriots scoring four touchdowns in a six minute span, three of them coming in 52 seconds in which the Pats turned the football version of the “hat trick”, scoring touchdowns against the Jets defense, offense and special teams, three touchdowns on four plays. The Jets did accomplish one thing with the Turkey Day turkey. They captured the New York tabloid back pages that they cherish so much, full page displays of what true football buffoons look like. Just when it seemed bottom couldn’t be any lower the Jets found a new depth. Things don’t get much worse for a team than losing their fans, tickets going unsold, revenue sources drying up, silent voices that ring so loud they can no longer be ignored. But the Jets had one move level to their personal bottom. Losing THE fan. And this week it happened. Eddie Anzalone wants out. Few fans are better known or more tied to a team than Ed Anzalone, better known as “Fireman Ed”, best known to fans NFL-wide as the idiot in the Jets jersey and the green fireman’s hat who leads the “J-E-T-S” cheers from the end zone stands. Ed says he’s done leading those chants because of the abuse he’s started to take from other Jets fans. He says the situation in the stands and in the parking lot has become too hostile. Ed has no one to blame but himself. If ever a fan went out of his way to seal his identity with that of a team it’s “Fireman Ed”. When the Jets wanted to build a stadium on the upper west side of Manhattan, with every city official and public works employee with any sense arguing that it would create logisitcal problems the city would never be able to deal with, “Fireman Ed” recorded radio commercials on behalf of the team, supporting their vision. Fans began to see Ed as just what he always wanted to be, part of the team. Be careful what you wish for. Fans who have a lot of anger to vent toward Ryan, certain players, GM Mike Tannenbaum and owner Woody Johnson, but can’t get close enough to do so, are in the stands with their own personal team representative every game. If Ed wants to present himself as part of the team he’d better be prepared when the fans are looking for someone to take their frustrations out on, and now he wants to take it no more. Just when the Jets hit rock bottom, rock bottom found a new depth. Losing your fan base is as bad as it gets. Losing THE fan is worse. If the Jets don’t get this message they won’t get any. With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.