Monday, November 23, 2009
And Here Endeth the Lesson
Rex Ryan and the Jets put up a turkey on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
As I have mentioned before, it's really tough being a Jets fan.
Imagine throughout your 50 years of playing in the #1 market, you've only won one Super Bowl and made it to the playoffs a handful of times. Heck, the Jets looked like contenders in 1998, eventually making it to the AFC Championship, but even that was over decade ago.
This years Jets team started off to a promising start, making it to 3-0 and beating respectable opponents in the process. The bravado was all there as Ryan & Co. promised "playoffs," and talked up that this is a different team.
Now, as the Jets are 4-6 before Turkey Day with no much hope of the playoffs or even a respectable "in your face" total defense, it's somewhat tough to swallow seeing this team just look plain awful on the field. Since their 3-0 start, they have beaten one team -- the Raiders -- which is really not too much of an accomplishment given the fact that well, they beat Oakland.
As any Jets fan will tell you, this franchise may be the best in the history of sports to create ways to lose, so this year should be no surprise. Last year the Jets started 8-3, but eventually collapsed, finishing the year and missing the playoffs -- yes, even with Brett Favre and his baggage of expectations.
As many mistakes as "King" Rex has made, I believe his biggest mistake this year was putting all his chips in one basket -- going all in -- so to say.
In a place like New York, there are demands and expectations so much higher as a professional -- whether you work in a profession like the NFL or any of the other myriad of major "professional" occupations NYC is known for-- like the media, Wall Street, or government. We are a city that made famous the slogan "talk is cheap," and "put up or shut up." We care about one thing only -- and that is winning. No matter your thoughts on the Yankees, they pride themselves on being winners, and they rarely talk a big game. They win. Generally, they take care of business. That's it.
The problem with Ryan is that he talked such a big game-- which almost always leads to failed expectations-- especially with the coach and quarterback rookie tandem that Ryan and Sanchez inevitability are.
As Thanksgiving approaches and the Jets squander yet another season, I'll keep the hope alive for next season. "There's always next year," is the rallying call of the Jets fan for 40-plus years after their SuperBowl win.
But next season, Rex, please manage everyone's expectations, and who knows, maybe you'll even surprise us all?