Jets Fans: Be Careful of Yankee Fan Syndrome


Dec 24, 2011; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Fans of the New York Jets hold up a sign in the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

We know that the Jets have a lot of issues. They are far from being ready to go to the big game, at least from the view of most of us. They have to get better, and they have to get better soon. But with that said, we need to be careful as Jets fans. We need to be careful about what we wish for in order to get better.

Shawne Merriman was released recently by the Buffalo Bills. As we have talked about, he certainly has a good history of getting after the passer. There are a lot of good arguments that can be made for the Jets to sign this guy. More recently, it came to light that Maurice Jones-Drew, better known as MJD, is open to being traded from the Jaguars. Our very own and talented JETSerious talked about it in his piece, which you can read by clicking here.  Do yourself a favor and click the link and read, JETSerious, as he always does, makes a good argument, in favor of attempting to get Maurice Jones-Drew. After all, he did lead the league in rushing last year, he certainly wouldn’t hurt.

My take is this, we need to be careful as Jets fans. We must be careful of falling into what I call “Yankee Fan Syndrome”, to fix our team. It’s not always the best way.

Turn the page and I will explain what I mean.

Yankee Fan Syndrome, is the theory that signing the best player at a position, or the big name is going to solve all of your team’s issues. If you have an opening, and a big name great player is available, get that guy. Spend all the money necessary to get the biggest names. It can be fun, but it’s not always the best idea.

Look at the Yankees, for example, since I named the Syndrome after them. They have added a number of great names throughout the recent years, as we all know. But, has it yielded the best results? I am not so sure. Look at the best team, by record, of their recent World Series titles. The year was 1998, and the Yankees record was 114-48, and Joe Torre led them to a sweep of the World Series.

Who was the MVP of the series? A role player. Scott Brosius. Take a look at the starting lineup for the Yankees in Game 1 of that series:

Knoblauch 2b Jeter ss O’Neill rf Williams cf Davis dh Martinez 1b Brosius 3b Posada c Ledee lf

You see? You have your great players, Jeter, Martinez, Williams, and O’Neill. But you also have Brosius, and Ledee, your role players. It’s not always about having the biggest names/best players. It’s about the mix.

When the Yankees started bringing in the A-Rods, Texieras, etc., they continued to have great records, but went on a drought of World Series appearances, from 2003-2009. Getting the great players is not always the way.

Turn the page, and you will see where the Jets must be careful on this front too.

First on Shawne Merriman.

I spoke about this in a piece written earlier this week, but will give you the basics. This is not the Jets biggest area of need. There haven’t been a lot of positives in the games this preseason yet, but one positive has been the defense. If the Jets are going to invest money going forward, it needs to be done on the offensive side of the football. My new saying, “Save the dough for the O”.

Now, let’s get to the more recent topic of conversation, MJD. Like I said, JETSerious made a great argument in favor of trying to bring him in. A great playmaker would certainly not hurt this team by any stretch of the imagination. But, on my theory of whether or not it’s the “right” move, let’s think for a second. And look right below this paragraph:

October 2, 2011; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Jets tackle Wayne Hunter (78) against the Baltimore Ravens at M

I am just not so sure that Jones-Drew, or anyone else for that matter, would run well behind the above pictured individual, or anyone else on this line the way they are playing right now. I have made this point over and over, but it all starts with the offensive line. When they go, everything else goes. When they are playing well, all other elements of your team step up that much higher.

Finally, don’t forget the money aspect here either. Yankee fans can live with their syndrome because they don’t have a salary cap. We, unfortunately, are not as lucky.

MJD is going to command a whole bunch of money. There is no getting around that. Another fact that there is no getting around is that Darrelle Revis will command a bunch of money next offseason. He will hold all of the cards, they will have to sign him to a huge deal, otherwise risk losing him at the end of the 2013 season. The amount of money between these two guys could end up being cost prohibitive. It might be so much, that it would cause the team to slash so much payroll that it would hurt the team in the long run.

MJD would be a great playmaker for this team. But is he the right fit? We need to be careful to not get like Yankee fans guys, because the answer to the question about him being the right fit is, maybe not.

In the movie “Miracle”, Kurt Russell, playing the role of Herb Brooks said, “I’m not looking for the best players, I’m looking for the right ones.” Keep that it mind Jets fans, because the best ones aren’t always the right ones. Despite what Yankee fans think.