Sports: Crashing and Burning as a Jets Fan...Again
For the past five years or so, I've become much busier at work. With over 80 (for hockey) and 160 (for baseball) games played a season, hockey and baseball have become too time intensive for me to follow in any meaningful way. I can usually tell you whether my teams are doing well in the standings and who the stars are, but other than that, those sports have faded into the background of my recreational life.
That leaves football and the New York Jets. The last time the Jets played in an NFL championship game was the year I was born. I have lived through horrible seasons with dismal players and worse coaches. But that isn't what breaks my heart. I can deal with a half-decade of being a team of losers and pushovers. What kills me is the many years of having great players, solid teams and heartbreaking losses to end what should have been more successful seasons.
Losing to the Steelers in the AFC Championship game is depressing. Losing to the Steelers after beating the Colts and the Patriots in back-to-back weeks is painful. Giving up 24 points in the first half with the team looking like it just woke up from a nap is heart-breaking. The Jets slept through the first halves of most of their games this year, so it was no surprise to see them get off to a slow start. But 24 points! Really?!?! Their play was an embarrassment. Delays in play calling. Missed tackles. A running team with two very good backs throwing multiple passes from the one yardline. These are the things that made the game heartbreaking.
This wasn't the first time my team took an early trip home from the playoffs at the hands of the Steelers. In a similarly heartbreaking game, the Steelers beat the Jets in overtime in the AFC Championship game in 2004, after the Jets missed multiple field goals.
Yes, I'm happy my team has made it to the ACF Championship game three times in the last decade. But there needs to be a payoff. They need to play 60 minutes of football. They need to get their act together. Mostly, they need to stop breaking my heart.