The sounds of silence from Jets head coach Rex Ryan and his men are deafening. As the Giants enjoyed a ticker-tape parade in lower Manhattan, there was nothing to say for the Jets. Their fans (I am one of them) watched the celebration and felt like they were robbed or deprived or mislead, and that has to do with all Ryan’s boasting and bravado that gave them a false feeling of security. Of course, we should know better. Ryan has been promising a championship for three seasons now, and all we have to show for it is watching Big Blue retake New York.
I for one do not take anything away from the Giants or their fans. They definitely deserve the accolades, the keys to the city, the parade down the Canyon of Heroes, and all the rest of the bounty of their victory. We Jets fans can even feel good about it in knowing that the Giants took down Darth Belichick and his Imperial Stormtroopers. Oh yes, Jets fans, we must admit that the force was undeniably with Obi Wan Coughlin, Eli Skywalker, and their Jedi. Please forgive these references to Star Wars, but I am losing it here.
You see, when it is all said and done, Jets fans should have nothing but admiration for the Giants, their victory, and their coach and quarterback. This is a class act all the way, and if we bleeders of green do not admit it, then we do not deserve a tourniquet to stop the flow of blood. In fact, Jets fans are down and out for the count right now, and there is no way for any of us to get back on our feet and face the future unless we come to grips with some disturbing facts.
1. Rex Ryan lied to us. He knew he was lying, and if he did not know, then he is even worse off than we thought. It is easy to shoot one’s mouth off to friends and family, but when you stare into the camera and guarantee a Super Bowl berth to your fans, you better be able to back that up. Sadly, Rex has three strikes against him now, and unless I am wrong, that means he has struck out.
2. Mark Sanchez is not going to be an elite quarterback. There are those amazing guys who can be the QB that is in the stratosphere, the anointed ones like Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, or even Tom Brady. I think this Super Bowl victory elevates Peyton’s brother Eli into this fraternity, but Jets fans have to realize that Sanchez is not even close to this crew. Sanchez may evolve and become a good QB, but I doubt he will ever rise as high as those named above.
3. Jets ownership tried to get by in 2011. There were questionable moves, especially the addition of Plaxico Burress. The offensive line seemed incapable of protecting Sanchez. He always seemed under the gun. One might say, “No wonder he threw all those interceptions.” And the defense, what the supposedly masterful defense expert Ryan established, did not live up to expectations. In the overall picture, it seems that the Jets were short on personnel and on the support necessary from Woody Johnson to get the best players no matter the cost.
So now, the parade is over. Manning has been to Disney World, sat down with David Letterman to chew the fat, and got to drive his new Corvette as Super Bowl MVP. The Giants are the toast of the town and the country too. They beat the evil empire of the Patriots to the delight of many (including this Jets fan). Yes, the Giants have New York again and we can only stare in disbelief, as the Dutchmen probably did when Peter Stuyvesant relinquished the town to the British.
Yet there has to be hope for all fans of Gang Green. Our motto has always been ”Maybe next year,” but that can be either a joke or a reality based on what happens next. Whether or not the Jets make a play for Peyton Manning, there have to be some major changes coming for this season.
Are you listening General Manager, Mike Tannenbaum? Do you hear us Woody Johnson? Just take a look at what the Giants did. See what kind of coach Tom Coughlin is, what kind of quarterback Eli is, and the way the team handles itself. This is a winning organization, a class act all the way. Big Blue deserves all the praise and more. So now do the Jets ever evolve from being that other team with the big-mouthed coach, the erratic QB, and the shoddy offense and questionable defense? Or do they remain lost in the ether, acquiescing New York to the Giants and playing out the string?
Okay, Jets fans, we can wait for the answers to these questions, or maybe the answers will never come. If that’s the case, then we have our responses by default and we will know that 2012 won’t be much better, and maybe even much worse, than last year. Yes, it is tough being a Jets fan, but that’s just business as usual for us. Perhaps that is the cruelest truth of all.
Photo Credit: ABC News