Once again, this weekend the Jets proved many wrong, including their own fans. Many had the Jets already losing even before they hit the field. The Jets did their trash talking and backed up their words. This was one game they knew they had to win. Going back up to face New England on their home turf they could not have an outing like last time. They outplayed and out-coached the Patriots. They sacked Tom Brady for a record five times and shut down his passing game. That was a big issue they needed to overcome from their last meeting. An issue that was not a factor that is making them look to Pittsburgh and a 2nd AFC Championship game in two years.
Jets fans are on a high right now. One they would like to ride all the way to the Super Bowl. But some are not feeling the rush. Some still feel they will blow it against the Steelers. From the start of the season through the Patriots playoff game, many Jets fans always have doubt in the back of their minds. For some reason, they feel they will return to the Jets team we have all grown accustomed to. No matter how much they win we still have not gotten used to them as a franchise that wins. I think maybe until they actually win a Super Bowl, then the fans might just think differently.
Many fans I have talked to always get behind the team. But for some reason, when the team has one or two down games, then the bashing comes out. Almost like Randy Quaid’s character in Major League 2. He starts off the season as a die hard Cleveland Indians fan, but the minute things go south, so does he on the team. By the end of the movie, he keeps saying how the team will blow the divisional series, blow the game in the ninth inning and so on. But once Wild Thing Vaughn got his old haircut and attitude, he came back around. Jet fans have the same demeanor.
We constantly think the Jets will blow whatever opportunity is presented them. If they win, we say we knew they would win. If they lose, we say the same old Jets showed up. As it stands now, many fans are riding the high that are victories over New England and Indianapolis. Something that has been done one other time in the past eight years. Many sportscasters and commentators even though the Jets were going to lose. Joe Benigno, a die hard Jets fan, from WFAN even said the Jets were going to lose against New England. As Jets fans, we have a problem picking them to win in the biggest of games.
For as long as I can recall, many Jets fans have been doubters. Season after season of disappointments. Close calls in 1982 and 1996 AFC Championship games. Even in previous seasons of great hype, the fans never believed it. There has always been a collapse at the end of the season. Or an early elimination in the playoffs. But this year, there is a new spark. A new fire that has been lit that seems to grow stronger with each game. The fans keep feeding that fire. For the first time I can recall, fans have one thing they have not had previous years, hope. They believe in a team that believes in them. That is what has driven this years team to where they are.
Jets fans will always be skeptical of what team shows up on the field. Many are expecting the Jets to beat Pittsburgh and face destiny in the Super Bowl. Others, will expect them to lose, blow the big game like the Jets always do. But this is not your father’s New York Jets. This is a new determined team. One that is tired of the old labels the media has put on them. A team that has shed the stigma of the losing seasons of old. But some fans will never let them forget. NEver let them go back to what they were, and what could be. The fans, especially the management, do not want the same old Jets ever again.