Aug 22, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbackGeno Smith
(7) celebrates with tight end Jace Amaro (88) after catching a touchdown pass against the New York Giants during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
The Jets final game of the 2014 preseason has been played, and we are eight days away from the opening kick off of the season. Wins and losses mean nothing when it comes right down to it, this was preseason, and the focus for the team was on evaluating the talent brought in to compete. For the fans, it’s a time to watch the new additions play, look for stars developing, and get an overall view of what the team might play like once the lights go on in prime time.
This year, like most, offered the fan base something to get excited about. The Jets had picked up both Eric Decker and Chris Johnson in free agency, so the offense was given an infusion of proven talent, and Jet fans were smiling. Then the draft came along, and Jet Nation was anticipating some real action. The Jets owned twelve picks and the expectations were high for a substantial influx of talent! I watched the final game last night and couldn’t help but to feel let down.
I have been a Jet fan since my youth, growing up in the shadows of Shea Stadium in Queens, so almost all of my friends were Jets’ fans as well. Green was the color of our jerseys, and we took our favorite player’s name as we went out to play football on the side streets and vacant lots. Jets football was a huge part of our lives, and a trip to the stadium to watch Joe Namath and the rest of the team play, was a highly anticipated event. Football was a game back then, it wasn’t the NFL conglomerate that we have today. Kids could be safely be brought to the stadium to watch their “heroes” play. While most of the kids I grew up with loved Joe Namath, I must admit, Emerson Boozer was my guy! I guess even then I appreciated a running back that could block viciously! Boozer could lay people out while blocking for the run and passing game.
Anyway, I digress. Every year since my youth I wait for the beginning of the league year. I get excited about the possibilities that free agency holds for our team, imagining what Player A or Player B might look like on the field in Green and White. The time leading up to the draft is an especially anticipated time. I scour the sports pages, read up on players I watched play in college, and choose my own version of the draft. I especially look forward to discussing the pros and cons of potential draft prospects with fellow fans. It’s an annual ritual for me, a time of hope, a time of enthusiasm, and a time of anticipation. At this time of year, almost annually the Jets are the greatest team in the NFL!
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I am aging however, and I know I don’t set my expectations as high as I once did. The Jets organization has taught me to be conservative in my annual excitement for the team. Yes, there have been some exciting teams since the 1960’s and some very exciting players to don the Green and White uniform, but somehow they always fall short. I’ll always be a Jet fan, I’m a New Yorker, and as far as I’m concerned they are the only game in town! The organization I love so much has made me a bit of a pessimist however, I hope for the best, but am usually disappointed by the end of the season. It’s tough to be a Jet fan, it’s not for the weak of heart!
This year was no different for me. I went through the rituals, analyzing the players, the possibilities, and I had high expectations. I find myself with few expectations after watching four pre season games. Geno Smith’s development has been the high note this season, the defensive front will be fun to watch, but I can’t help but feel let down. The highly anticipated draft class turned out to be less than expected, many of them being bitten by the injury bug, and with all likelihood, more than 50% of them not showing enough to make the 53 man roster. Free agents like Jacoby Ford and Dimitri Patterson have failed to play up to any level of proficiency, and with that all my excitement has diminished.
I’m old and tiring. Still true to my beloved Jets, I yearn for another AFC East Title, AFC Championship, and a Super Bowl. The 2014 preseason was disappointing in my opinion, there were just too many questions that lacked sufficient answers. Depth is a concern on top of many questions still remaining with the starters. This Jet fan has tired of the mediocrity we seem to annually display, I’m tired of waiting to win the division and tired of the seemingly Jet motto of “We’ll get them next year!”
So there you have it. An old tired Jets fans view of the 2014 preseason schedule. Come opening day, I’ll be proudly be wearing my well-worn Mark Gastineau jersey, and rooting for my team at the edge of my seat. How about you? How do you see it? I want to hear your views on the current roster, tell me about it!