The NY Jets have been the butt of the joke for the better part of the last decade. This is an organization that has resided in the NFL's basement for much of its history.
From the fake spike to the Butt Fumble to a host of other infamous moments in franchise history, the Jets have long been one of the league's resident jesters. That's the role NFL fans have come to identify the Jets with.
But times appear to be changing. The Jets appear to be a well-run organization stacked with young talent and with a future Hall of Famer under center. The addition of Aaron Rodgers has made the Jets legitimate Super Bowl contenders on paper, but many aren't willing to accept that fact.
Many want the Jets to stay in their place. They can't handle a world in which the Jets are good. They aren't prepared for a well-run, contending Jets team with one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time leading the way.
People need to make up reasons to hate on Aaron Rodgers and the NY Jets
How do we know this? Because certain fans, analysts, etc. continue to conjure up reasons to poke fun at the Jets. Take, for example, an article from Sports Illustrated's Jeff Smith on Wednesday.
The article highlights a viral image from Wednesday that showed a first look at Rodgers in his new Jets jersey. The photo was taken as part of Jets media day and is as standard as photos get. If anything, Rodgers appears happy to be a member of the New York Jets.
That's not how Sports Illustrated sees it, however. The article in question called Rodgers' photo "awkward," insisting the image led to "a lot of jokes."
Of course, by "a lot of jokes," they are referring to a handful of cherry-picked tweets with no more than nine likes that were sprinkled in the article. This was an article constructed for the sake of negativity and to generate clicks based solely on the infamous "lol Jets narrative."
You even have plenty of negative attention surrounding the Jets' upcoming appearance on "Hard Knocks." Despite the team's vocal objection to appearing on the show, some still insist the Jets wanted this. They want the Jets to have wanted this.
People want to pigeonhole the Jets into the role of lovable losers. The NFL world wants to see the Jets as a laughingstock because that's mostly what they have been for the last decade.
It's not just the media, either. Even people around the league seem to believe the narrative.
A recent quote from an anonymous NFC scout says it all. This scout, who again works for an actual NFL team, claimed the Jets were "going to suck" this year. Why? What's this scout's analysis? What is their reasoning? Because they're the Jets.
"You have to remember, it’s still the Jets. They’re going to suck. George Young used to say, ‘The f****** Jets always win the offseason, but when it comes to playing, they’ll always just be the f****** Jets.'"- Anonymous NFC scout
That pretty much sums it up. People want the Jets to be bad. They're so accustomed to the Jets being one of the stooges of the NFL world that they can't fathom nor handle a reality in which they're actually a good and mostly likable team.
That is reality, though. The Jets have a very talented roster that, on paper, could compete with the best of the best in the NFL. The negative attention isn't going anywhere — all the Jets can do is prove their doubters wrong on the gridiron this season.