I’ve been a NY Jets fan all my life. They’ve only made it to the Super Bowl once, back in 1969, and I wasn’t born yet. But they are back in the AFC Championship Game, just like last year, so once again I’m starting to dream about the possibilities, even though I know I shouldn’t.
Since the Jets backed up Joe Namath’s guarantee and beat the Colts in SB III, Gang Green has been one step from the promised land three times, only to be denied entry in increasingly frustrating fashion.
-After the 1982 season, rain turned the Orange Bowl into a quagmire, the Jets running game spun its wheels and the Dolphins shut them out, 14-0.
-After the 1998 season, the Jets led the Broncos, 10-0, in the 3rd quarter, but then allowed 23 unanswered points and lost, 23-10.
-Last season, the Jets led the Colts, 17-6, late in the first half, but then gave up 24 unanswered points and lost, 30-17.
Instead of going away for another decade, Rex Ryan’s group has come right back for another shot. And after knocking off Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in the past two weeks, anything seems possible, heck, even probable.
I know it’s a mistake to imagine what it would be like to see the Jets run on to the field for the start of Super Bowl XLV. I know it will be worse if I let my guard down and believe it can happen. I know the suffering will be greater if I completely invest myself emotionally.
But I can’t help it. Being a Jets fan is the equivalent of being Charlie Brown when Lucy asks him to kick the football. He knows she’s going to pull it away. He refuses to believe her when she says she won’t. Finally, after much cajoling, he decides to go for it. Alas, it doesn’t happen, he flies through the air, lands on his back and is humiliated again.
I know the Jets are probably going to let me down. But I’m wearing the striped shirt, I’m ready to kick the ball and I’m going for it. It says here THE NY JETS ARE GOING TO BEAT PITTSBURGH AND GO TO THE SUPER BOWL.
And if it doesn’t happen, don’t make eye contact and don’t say anything, just walk past me as I lie on my back and embrace the pain!
THERE IT IS!