New York Jets

Five telltale signs that your NFL team sucks this year

As a Jet fan, I’ve been through enough down seasons to recognize certain enduring characteristics of losing, echoing through the smelly, lonely halls of defeat. I present my data. Feel free to compare and contrast your experiences: 1.    The Novacaine loss

 Here’s the numbing defeat signaling the official spiral of your football season. Until it arrives, you’ve made excuses, kept the faith, and even chastised those jumping ship. Afterward, you’ve become pretty much resigned to the dredges, suddenly grateful that American football is, for the most part, played but once a week, and it’s socially acceptable to get wasted on Sunday afternoons.  Every calamity happening hereafter will be greeted with an apathetic shrug, and an in depth analysis of the top prospects available in the draft.

My personal contribution:

This has to be the week-five shit bomb against our city rival, the Giants. I use the term “city” lightly, of course, as both New York teams hold stake in that swamp bound abortion out in Jersey. Eli Manning practically handed the game to us on a Pu Pu platter amid an atrocious first half performance that garnered him a zero Q.B rating. I confirm being at the game, looking sharp in my Chad Pennington jersey, getting verbally abused for the duration of the second half. Giant fans harbor a latent, venomous bitterness against pre-injury Pennington, the closest they came to watching franchise Q.B. on a weekly basis since about 1993.

Anyway, Pennington, suffocated all year by defenses pinching on his customary quick striking throws, sealed the Jets’ fate multiple times in the waning moments. Walking out of the stadium, I was blindsided by the realization that the Jets, featuring a terrible offensive and defensive line, a questionable secondary outside superstar Kerry Rhodes, and a fading Pennington, were definitely going to suck for the second time in three years. Ouch, babe.  

2.    The Pathetic Quarterback controversy that leaves everyone feeling a bit dumber for having picked a side

 Ah, yes. Whether you’re slumming it with Akili Smith and Scott Mitchell, picking between top notch talents such as Tim Couch and Kelly Holcomb, or even debating the many merits of Charlie Batch and Ty Detmer, no horrendous football season is complete without the requisite, and mind numbingly stupid, quarterback controversy. These exist solely for the media, either in the print or electronic realm, to rip a chunk of material from a steaming, uninspiring lump of crap. They grab quotes from uninterested players and coaches. They interview the beleaguered passers, who, more often than not, “leave it up to coach”.

 In my case, witness Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens. Poor Chad. On a team with a stable running game, above average offensive line, and playmaking receivers able to pile up yardage in space after the catch [the Jets have one out of three], he could still be effective. Instead, he’s been cast as the scapegoat for a horrendously built team, and forced to play behind Kellen Clemens. Kellen Clemens… anointed as a savior by Jet fans after one passable preseason performance. Kellen Clemens… who’d be a phenomenal prospect if he could only read the blitz and have the slightest bit of accuracy on intermediate throws. Kellen Clemens…

Next time someone opines for a quarterback with the pocket presence of Drew Bledsoe combined with the remarkably average scrambling ability of Kyle Boller, you point toward one man, baby.


So, basically, we, as moronic Jet fans, have argued, for weeks, months even, about two players who may not even have a consequential future with the team. This is what makes us Jet fans. Our stupidity isn’t near endearing. It’s kind of sad, yet dangerous. When Chad Pennington limped off the field week one to a chorus of cheers, it summed up Jet fans perfectly: we’re that slovenly drunk at the bar who hasn’t been home in two days, ready to snap at the first person to laugh make fun while simultaneously leaving ourselves open for ridicule, because, while making threatening gestures, our pants are indeed falling down. Pathetic, yet dangerous, Wile E. Coyote, if you will.

3.    The neglected kicker who costs you a game

Mike Nugent, come on down! Nobody gives a damn about the kicker for a bad team. He becomes almost an existential, paradoxical force. Man is left to ponder significant questions, once again, far beyond his intellectual range. Why does football incite these thoughts?

Who created the creator?
What number is greater than infinity?
Is it morally reprehensible to eat pizza for breakfast?
What is the point of having a kicker on a team that doesn’t score?

  The kicker on an atrocious team will inevitably cost his team a game. Put yourself in his shoes: You haven’t attempted a meaningful field goal since week two, right before halftime. Your games are blending together, a never-ending series of thirty-yard tries that nobody truly cares about. Than, out of nowhere, you’re rousted from this suddenly delightful sleep, asked to actually contribute to a win. The thought is almost paralyzing. So, the snap is down, the adrenaline is flying… and… what do you expect? You’re a kicker. You’re team sucks. Who the hell are THEY to put all this pressure on YOU? You aren’t a robot. You’re due to miss. YOU’VE MADE SIXTEEN IN A ROW! DOESN’T ANYBODY CARE? IT ISN’T FAIR-

And the kick sails wide right.

So, as Mike Nugent jogged off the field last Sunday, chinstrap dangling, sporting a pained and perplexed expression, he might have wondered what separated his fourth quarter miss against New England from the fifteen in a row he hit before that. Me?

I was left considering the question of why it still stung, even when it didn’t even matter. I concluded that I’m probably an idiot.  

4.    The demise of your guy

We’ve all seen this show before. Our hometown team stinks, but there’s still that character guy, no matter the position, who gives us glimmer of hope, bringing forth happier memories from the past, while providing a glimmer for the future. This guy might not be nationally recognized, and we’ve always found him under-rated, damn the stats. He does the little things, plays hard, never, ever showboats. We wear his jersey, proud. And than he gets injured… and now there’s really nothing left. Our guy attempts to play of course, despite being banged up. We curse the color commentator unfamiliar with his plight, ignorantly wondering whether our guy has lost a step.  

“He’s hurt you fucking idiot! [Devours buffalo wing, spits out contents] He’s hurt!!!!” [Hucks Buffalo wing at television, leaving stain for remainder of season]

 For me, the decimation of Laveranues Coles has made the Jets physically revolting. Combined with the unjust benching of Pennington, they make me want to vomit on a weekly basis. Yup… it sure is tough when you’re guy gets hurt. But it gets worse…

5.    The guy replacing your guy devours your soul

Hey! Guess who! It’s your slot receiver! You’ve often wondered what this guy could do if given a shot to start. He’s piqued your interest before, in the preseason, shown flashes of high quality play. You wonder why he’s never been able to stick. Sure, his hands are questionable, and his route running leaves something to be desired, but the man makes plays downfield. That can’t be taught. That’s an instinct. No, check that… it’s a gift. And now, your slot man is going to get a rightful opportunity to share his gift with the world. Never mind the fact he’s failed before when given a bigger role. This time, it’s different.

No, it isn’t.

 Justin McCareins will always be Justin McCareins. Whether asked to step up in a heated rivalry game against arch nemesis, or wide open, in the end zone, on two different occasions within the same sixteen game schedule. The ball will probably clank off his fingertips, so much a brick.

McCareins will be McCareins, and it will annoy you. It isn’t his fault.

He isn’t your guy. This isn’t your season.

Your team just sucks.

– M.W.

By mw2828

Matt Waters is a screenwriter currently living in New York. He has been writing about sports since age seventeen, about the time when it became painfully apparent that his athletic dreams would go unfulfilled, due to terrible luck and an obscene lack of talent. His favorite movie is “The Thin Red Line”. His favorite band is “Modest Mouse”. His favorite sport is baseball! With an exclamation point.

2 replies on “Five telltale signs that your NFL team sucks this year”

hysterical all signs were all so true. Sadly. Great article, I laughed out loud at a few parts, especially the pathetic QB controversy part.

Nice job-

not my best work… …. but than again, the Jets aren’t the best team. [rim shot] Thanks everybody, I’ll be here all night. And thanks for reading Yank

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