There is perhaps no more cynical sports fan than one who has pulled up a bean bag chair every autumn to take in another bound-to-be-disastrous season of New York Jet football.
Certainly, there are franchises that have been as or more disappointing, but not many. There have been more teams that have languished at or below meager expectations, but not many more. And there have been sports' organizations that have promised better, pushed their fans to believe, and then imploded - but none as frequently as the Jets.
So it's no surprise that a Jet fan accumulates all the off-season information, reviews all the transactions, absorbs all the analysis from every corner of the NFL media universe, and arrives at the same conclusion he or she has for the most of the last 40 or so years - we're not going anywhere.
A little severe? Probably. A down hasn't been played in earnest. There have been no serious injuries yet. The Patriots haven't rolled up 56 points on some unfortunate team yet. Mark Sanchez has yet to embarrass his quarterback fraternity yet this year with an interception on the line of scrimmage while he attempts another three-yard dump off.
But, on face value, let's look at the realities. The Jets plan unapologetically to run the ball with stunning frequency. Does that sound like a recipe for success in the NFL in 2012? Is any other team doing it? It doesn't seem like the Jets are misdirecting the rest of the league. They imported Tim Tebow from the Denver Broncos, a team that ran the ball like a college wishbone squad last year. They made very little attempt to provide even one explosive receiver to complement Santonio Holmes. Goodness, name another Jet wide receiver at the moment and win big prizes. What happens after two rushes net five yards? It's a fairly familiar scenario - Sanchez dropping back to pass on third and five because there's no other recourse, and panicking at the sight of multiple defensive backs.
Who knows? Maybe it's all a mirage and the Jets return to the confident swagger of two years ago that translated so readily to performance. But it's doubtful.
Glenn Vallach has been a football fan for most of his lifetime, but never played organized pigskin unless you consider the thousands of youth hours running slant routes on city streets with a friend serving as Joe Willie. Don Maynard was his idol, an adulation he took seriously, complete with a number 13 stitched to his sweatshirt. He remains a New York Jet fan through so much disappointment and embarrassment over the years. Coach Rex Ryan has rekindled a dormant fire, but sometimes he feels as if he doesn't understand the likely end result of all his efforts. It has been 42 years, after all.
- Yahoo! Sports New York Jet page
- Yahoo! Sports Tim Tebow page
- Yahoo! Sports Mark Sanchez page
- Yahoo! Sports Santonio Holmes page
- Dennis Waszak Jr., The Associated Press, Jets LB Scott high on Tebow, wildcat opportunities
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