Culture of Jets is to blame for continued failure
By Jaiden Campana
Fans of the New York Jets have become accustomed to broken promises and expectations by now. The phrase “same old Jets” has become more of a team slogan for many, but why?
History hasn’t been the best friend of the New York Jets, and fans have acknowledged this for quite some time. The word “winning” has been defined as a season in which the fewest mental meltdowns occur, in Jets terminology.
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Unfortunately, the first four games of the 2016 campaign have only added to this headache. Poor play from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is more than an understatement. It’s a disaster. How did the front office not see this coming? This is a player who has been so insufficient throughout his career that this year’s play should come to no surprise. The downplay of this team has been 56 years in the making, folks.
Winning coaches and seasons? Not so common for the Jets
Since their making back in 1960, the Jets have a combined record of 388-460-8. In these 57 total seasons, they hold a 12-13 playoff record with one Super Bowl appearance. The Jets would take the win in that lone appearance, beating the Baltimore Colts in one of the biggest upsets in sports history. If only it were 1969 again, am I right?
57 seasons, 18 coaches. Of those 18, only 3 hold a winning record in Jets history. Bill Parcells (29-19), Al Groh (9-7), and current coach Todd Bowles (11-9) are over the .500 mark in their respective tenures. Between 1973 and 1976, the Jets had five head coaches. Yes, five.
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25 of their total 57 seasons have consisted of losing football. Of their 32 total “winning” seasons, 10 have eclipsed the 10-win mark.
Zero Super Bowl appearances since their lone showing in ’69 might be the only one for a while. And by “a while,” I mean an eternity.
History is overwhelmed with emotional pain
In the city that never sleeps, tempers can flare faster than a locomotive. Fans have become uncomfortably accustomed to this. Since 1970, this team has been a mockery to the NFL. Here are just some of the many examples in which the Jets have created headaches and unwanted camera-time.
- Bill Belichick says “see ya” to the Jets a week into the job
- Dan Marino hits the Jets with a fake spike late in 1994 that sends New York to a 4-35 total win/loss record in their next 39 games. The Jets would be outscored by 326 points in the two years following
- The Butt Fumble. This segment comes later, unfortunately
- Tebow Time! This worked out quite nicely, am I right? Jersey sales went up, just as they planned!
Quarterback? I’ve never heard of such a thing
Oh boy. You had to have seen this one coming, right? Since 1960, the Jets have had a total of 45 starting quarterbacks. Forty. Five. Of those 45, only 7 have made the playoffs; good enough for a 12-13 franchise playoff record. Of the top six quarterbacks to have started games in a Jet uniform, half have a winning record. Mark Sanchez, Vinny Testaverde, and Chad Pennington combined for a 99-84 marking in 17 total seasons. Tom Brady is 172-51 since 2000. He has single-handedly won more games than any Jet quarterback has in team history, in 15 seasons. The man hasn’t even played yet this year. You’re welcome for this all, New England.
Next, will be the two most upsetting quarterback eras in Jets history.
Dec 27, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) prior to the game against the New York Jets against at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O
1999 was the Jets’ year until it wasn’t
Head coach Bill Parcells had turned a 1-15 team in 1996, to a 9-7 team in ’97. Next, he ticketed a franchise-best 12-4 record in ’98 in which the Jets lost to the Broncos in the AFC Championship game.
1999 was the year for the Jets. Sounds crazy to think about, honestly. Nonetheless, THIS WAS THE YEAR. They were heavy favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Yes, the Super Bowl (!!!!). Testaverde was the savior of the Jets. Putting up insanely good numbers in 1998 (29 TD, 7 INT, 101.6 PR) had him at the elite level of quarterbacks in the NFL in just his second year. An offense of the “Core 4” was practically unstoppable. Testaverde, Curtis Martin, Keyshawn Johnson, and Wayne Chrebet highlighted that side of the ball.
Then catastrophe struck.
Testaverde ruptured his Achilles tendon Week 1 of the 1999 season, setting the Jets into a downward spiral, lucky enough to somehow finish 8-8. Parcells would retire from coaching for good following this season.
The “Sanchize” and “Tebow time” days. AKA: 2012
Remember when the Mayan’s “predicted” that the world would end on December 21st, 2012? Well, it seems as though they meant to say that the Jets’ world would collapse, not ours. At least it felt this way to fans.
Look, I was always one to believe that every mistake that was committed by Sanchez, wasn’t his fault. It was always the “receiver’s fault.” From 2009-2012, the Jets’ top receivers were Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, an aging duo of Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress, and, dare I say it…. Stephen Hill. Have a blast with that hyperlink. A good amount of talent was on this team offensively, but we all know it was the defense that really brought this era’s team to two straight AFC title games that we couldn’t wait for (tribute to Bart Scott). Looking back on this, Sanchez just wasn’t that good, and it’s a shame that it’s taken this long for me to accept this.
Tears worked their way from the weary eyes of Jets fans into a puddle of sadness when SportsCenter broke the news of the signing. Well, at least mine. From the seemingly endless media coverage to formations consisting of Tebow in the gun with Sanchez set out wide & vice-versa, this was some kind of ride. A joyride to some and a bumpy car ride on some unfinished road that hasn’t been touched since the essence of time was created, to others.
The Jets would finish the putrid season 6-10, ranking 28th in points per game, and 30th in yards per game. Ew. That’s what you get when Sanchez & Tebow run the offense, Jeremy Kerley is your top receiver, and Rex Ryan is your coach. Why can’t we have an offensive-minded coach? That’s for another article. The only highlight of that offense was Shonn Greene breaking 1,000 rushing yards.
Nothing sums this team up more than, you guessed it, the butt fumble
Thanksgiving wasn’t and hasn’t been the same since that November. The butt fumble happened. Need I say more? Okay, maybe just a bit. It was the one of, if not, the single most embarrassing moment that this franchise and its fans have endured. Typically, this feeling comes with playing the Patriots. But when Sanchez took that perfectly inflated football into the backend of Brandon Moore and the Pats’ Steve Gregory returned it for a TD, my heart hurt. What hurts me more now, is when Brandon Moore is searched, the butt fumble comes up on his Wiki page.
Words cannot describe the pain this day has caused to the hearts and souls of Jets fans. ESPN even did a Sports Science piece on the butt fumble, just to do it justice.
So, are the New York Jets cursed?
Unfortunately, the term “cursed” brings an unwanted feeling to it, as if it’s looming over our heads for reasons we are not so sure of. Unfortunately, fans have been accustomed to this feeling. It might be time to safely say, that yes, the Jets are cursed.
The proof is in the pudding, isn’t it? Since 2000, the Jets have had a total of five head coaches, five general managers, and one subpar owner in Woody Johnson. Teams are known for winning, such as the Steelers, Packers, and those pesky Pats, have combined for five head coaches since ’00, three general managers, two owners (the Packers are a publicly owned organization), and seven Super Bowls.
This speaks a lot in terms of why the Jets are the “same old Jets.” There is no sense of consistency or commitment to really make this team.
Next: Geno Smith looms as Ryan Fitzpatrick struggles
All in all, this is a team that has been doomed from the beginning. The countless disappointments, controversies, and flat-out dumb decisions by this franchise are what bring us to the now-classic saying “same old Jets.” Every interception that is thrown into triple coverage. Every wide open dropped pass. Every time management error. Really, any mistake by this team will bring us to the tagline. It is the sad truth, as is the fact that the Jets handed the football universe Brady’s opportunity to shine, maybe sooner than later.
But hey, we still have that Harvard grad who should be outsmarting everyone else at quarterback, right? What could possibly go wrong here?