New York Jets Back to Familiar Loser Role: A Fan’s Lament

New York Jet fans who might have been wondering which team would take the field against the Miami Dolphins on the first day of 2012 received an answer to which we should all be accustomed.

Mark Sanchez
Wikimedia Commons

The team with the inglorious history of abject failure, humiliating results, and consistent enigmatically unmet expectations has returned to form after two years of blessed good fortune and curiously clutch performances. Isn't it more comfortable this way?

The Jet season ended (January 1) amidst bickering and benching and another high school quarterback performance, with only a one-point Titan victory over the Houston Texans saving Gangrene from the ignominious distinction of missing the playoffs by losing to a below .500 team while everyone else with a chance was coughing up their opportunities. The Jet hierarchy has to somehow come to grips with the facts. They assembled a sub-par team in a year when there are fewer obstacles than ever to hurdle on the way to the Super Bowl. And isn't that typical of the New York Jet franchise?

There will be ample opportunities in the days ahead to attach season-long blame to another Jet disaster. But in Game 17, the culprits were Santonio Holmes and, once again, Mark Sanchez. Sanchez was in Tebow yardage territory before he tossed the game out of reach. Frankly, it's too late to blame Brian Schottenheimer for Sanchez, who has not distinguished himself as a fifth-player draft selection in his three years as a pro. The team has been bending over backwards so dramatically to keep Sanchez out of situations he can't handle, it has finally crippled the team.

Holmes' actions in the Dolphin game cannot be excused, especially since he's supposed to be a captain. But, frankly, his frustration is understandable. Remember, Holmes pedigree involves experience with a clutch, big-time quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger…and he caused trouble there anyway. Here, he must be stunned to play on a team that was supposedly poised for a Super Bowl run under the field leadership of a completely clueless, petrified, less than professional standard QB in Sanchez. He's right. In a game this important, how does he go completely ignored by the hack under center?

This team is unfortunately plummeting in the wrong direction once again. There should be a litany of changes this off-season, but nothing will effectively reverse another brewing Jet catastrophe.

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. In later years, he modernized his admiration and included Wayne Chrebet. Receivers—always receivers. 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.

Sources:

  • · Yahoo! Sports New York Jets page
  • · Yahoo! Sports Miami Dolphins page
  • · Manish Mehta, New York Daily News, NY Jets lose to Miami Dolphins, Santonio Holmes benched by Brian Schottenheimer on final drive after verbally fighting with teammates
  • · Steven Wine, AP Sports Writer, Jets season ends with 19-17 loss to Miami

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Updated Monday, Jan 2, 2012