Dare I introduce my newborn son to a life of NY Jets fandom?

Being a fan of the New York Jets is not for the faint of heart...

New York Jets fans
New York Jets fans / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Last month, my wife and I welcomed our firstborn son into the world. After all the excitement and the dust settled, a question I had been dreading was asked of me. “So, are you going to raise him to be a NY Jets fan?”

While this is far from the most important thing at this time, it’s a question that deserves to be asked. In the last 10 years, the Jets have not managed to reach the playoffs and have the second-worst record in the AFC at 55-108 (0.337). They have one more win than the Jacksonville Jaguars, whose franchise lies on the shoulders of Trevor Lawrence.

In the last 25 years, the Jets have a 176-227 (.437) record. Their all-time franchise record is 428-547-8 (.439). All of this is to say that historically, the Jets are not a winning franchise and have brought more losses than wins to their fans.

The phrases 'Same Old Jets' and 'Just End the Season' feel as if they ring true year after year.

The NY Jets are all in for these next two years

The Jets currently don’t have their future quarterback on their roster. However, they do have one of the most talented quarterbacks in the history of the NFL in Aaron Rodgers for one, two, or even three more years if we’re lucky (spoiler alert: usually we are not lucky).

If he can stay healthy and compete at an MVP level, the Jets may finally end the longest playoff drought in North American team sports and lead their fans to the promised land.

The Jets are pushing all their chips to the center of the table, meaning they are all in for these next two years. What that means for the future post-Rodgers, no one can know for sure. But it doesn’t bode well for the argument that the future is bright.

So historically the Jets are just downright bad. The future post-Rodgers is filled with unknowns. Why would anyone in their right mind raise their children to be doomed to the same fate as themselves? To answer that, I must be a little introspective and take a trip down memory lane.

Childhood memories that shaped my NY Jets fandom

My father had season tickets when the Jets played in the old Giants stadium and would bring my two brothers and me. Some of my favorite memories were those games, whether it be tailgating in the parking lot or witnessing plays and players that we reminisce about to this day.

There was a time when it felt like any kickoff could be returned for a touchdown thanks to Leon Washington and Brad Smith. Then we had Hall of Famer Curtis Martin leading the charge, followed by heavyweights Thomas Jones, Shonn Greene, and now Breece Hall.

Wayne Chrebet put his body on the line every single snap, and I still remember his last catch. I got to witness the greatest single season ever by a cornerback, Darrelle Revis, who was outright dominant and earned the moniker "Revis Island."

Remember when Rex Ryan had a phone call go out to all the season ticket holders, encouraging them to show up against the then-prime Tom Brady-led New England Patriots? The fans delivered, as that was the loudest I have ever heard a stadium.

The players fed off that energy, sending us home with a win. Although the decibel levels were rivaled this year when Rodgers ran out onto the field as if he was Captain America on 9/11, only to suffer a season-ending injury four plays in.

Jerricho Cotchery became one of my favorite players when he took a hit from two Patriots players, somehow stayed up, and ran it into the endzone for the touchdown. Then there was that time against the Cleveland Browns where he tore his groin, and still made a crucial third down catch off one leg.

And of course, this past season when rookie Xavier Gipson completed the rare feat of a walk-off victory with an overtime punt return for a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills. One word to describe the stadium that night: Electric.

There are so many more memories, but these are some of my personal favorites. They may not have been the biggest games or the biggest moments to some, but being there and celebrating with my friends and family are what makes them special.

One random memory specific to me came in 2008 when the Jets beat the Arizona Cardinals 56-35. It was a rainy day and there was a chill in the air. I was complaining to my father at halftime that I was cold, wet, and wanted to go home.

A fan next to us overheard and offered some advice: "Kid as a Jets fan, these blowout victories don’t come around often, so try your best to enjoy it." Only now do I realize that truer words have never been spoken.

MORE: Ranking NY Jets' biggest NFL draft gems of the last decade

That’s The Good, but don’t forget The Bad, and The Ugly

Now that is the good of being a Jets fan. We also have the bad memories. The Jets losing to the Baltimore Ravens on inauguration night for MetLife stadium was an omen for the next decade plus.

Geno Smith throwing three interceptions in a single half against the Patriots and his jaw getting broken by a teammate. The Jets losing to the Patriots 45-3 (we ended up with the last laugh that season when beating them in the playoffs that same year). A trip up to Buffalo to lose a win-and-you’re-in game against the Rex Ryan-led Buffalo Bills.

And of course, Rodgers blowing out his Achilles on just the fourth snap of the season, which felt like déjà vu when Vinny Testaverde suffered the same injury on opening day in 1999.

Testaverde was followed by injuries to several more quarterbacks, most notably Chad Pennington and Brett Favre in years we had playoff aspirations.

And don’t forget the infamous Butt Fumble.

So, is it worth it? Are the less often good memories worth the pain and suffering brought by the downright bad and ugly losses? Should I raise my child to be a fan of a franchise that hasn’t played a playoff game in 10 years? Whose current hope rests on a 40-year-old quarterback coming off an Achilles injury?

And the answer is: yes, my son will be forced into this often miserable life of Jets fandom. Maybe when he’s older, I’ll give him a one-year hall pass to play the field and explore other teams. And hopefully he comes back, if only to hang out with his dad.

And as for the inevitable pain and suffering, selfishly I need to share in it with someone.
Sorry son.