No fan base wants to be associated with a laughingstock that brings it shame week after week after week, until the unrelenting nightmare mercifully ends after 16 weeks. No fan likes wearing a bag over
No fan base wants to be associated with a laughingstock that brings it shame week after week after week, until the unrelenting nightmare mercifully ends after 16 weeks.
No fan likes wearing a bag over their head, especially while watching the games on their couch during a pandemic.
But there are those rare occasions when there exists a transcendent, generational quarterback waiting tantalizingly for your favorite team at the end of those 16 weeks.
Which brings us, of course, to the Jets and Trevor Lawrence.
You have to be relatively new to the unfathomable calamities that have befallen the franchise not to know that the longest-suffering Jets fans have been waiting for a savior for what seems like an eternity to them.
There was no social media, no ESPN even, on Nov. 28, 1964 when then-Jets owner Sonny Werblin drafted Joe Namath out of Alabama, and there is universal conviction around the NFL that Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence is every bit the can’t-miss prospect.
In other words, the kid is worth the ignominy of 0-16.
The Jets have their bye on Sunday, a temporary respite for you Jet diehards who have been wracked with guilt whenever you feel the urge to root for 0-16.
I’m here to tell you don’t feel guilty.
There will be no playoff berth for the Jets for a 10th straight season. This is a rite of winter now.
If this isn’t a moment in time for the Jet fan to willingly choose to trade off the last seven games of this season for the promise of a decade of possibility, then when is?
A fleeting flicker of light amidst today’s darkness would be far less rewarding than a better and brighter tomorrow.
Jets players and coaches made a loud statement against the Patriots that they will not tank, nor should anyone expect them to, but they have given us nine Gamedays in nine tries as evidence that it very well may not be necessary on Any Given Sunday.
But while the Jets currently have the inside track, there is a dangerous opponent very much alive in the Trevor Lawrence Sweepstakes.
Beware the 1-7 Jaguars.
They will have designs on Trevor Lawrence too.
Here’s the bad news:
The Jags’ eight remaining opponents have a 44-21 win-loss record.
The Jets’ seven remaining opponents have a 31-25 record.
The best-laid plans of mice and Jets should have been a cautionary tale for the current state of the union.
The Jets signed Neil O’Donnell to a five-year, $25M contract and paired him in 1996 with Rich Kotite. “I gave Pittsburgh every opportunity to sign Neil O’Donnell,” O’Donnell said at the time.
The Steelers offered $3.15M APY. O’Donnell had lost Super Bowl 30 when Cowboys CB Larry Brown intercepted him twice. The 1996 Jets finished 1-15 to cap Kotite’s record at 4-28. O’Donnell started six games that season (4 TDs, 7 INTs). In his second and last season as a Jet for Bill Parcells, O’Donnell improved (17 TDs, 7 INTs) but failed to reach the playoffs.
The Sam Darnold-Adam Gase marriage wasn’t supposed to remind anyone of O’Donnell-Kotite. But here we are. Their record together: 7-12.
If the bye week allows Darnold’s sprained throwing shoulder to return on Nov. 22 against the Chargers, he could be available for more than a second and fifth-round pick even were he to finish his Jets career with an 11-28 record. He’s still only 23, and it is clear to everyone that a change of scenery would benefit him greatly.
And it would be a shame. There was euphoria when former GM Mike Maccagnan maneuvered to draft him. No Joy in Jetville now.
So you can understand why so many Jets fans are at wit’s end, and salivating over Lawrence the way they were over Darnold three short years ago. The way they have been over so many others, over too many others.
You can still love your team and root quietly, or silently, for it to lose at the same time. I won’t tell anyone if you do. The lucky Jets fans are the ones who haven’t been waiting 56 years for another Joe Namath.