As a huge New York Jets, Mets and Knicks fan, Monday was a very trying day for me. Even though everything that could go wrong went wrong , I have taken more of an optimistic view over my three teams. Yesterday, the New York Jets proved the world correct by finally ending what I consider to be the most pathetic and embarrassing season for a franchise that has been a joke for most of its existence. The New York Mets became the first team since 1998 to trade away the past year’s Cy Young Award winner by dealing fan favorite RA Dickey to the Blue Jays (1998-Blue Jays traded Roger Clemens to the Yankees). The New York Knicks had a visit from the most popular player in the league a year ago, Jeremy Lin, and got shellacked by him for the second time this season. If you are a fan of any of these teams, or all three like myself, then Monday looked like and extremely rough day. I am going to explain why I feel there is a silver lining for each of these tumultuous events.
Let’s start with J-E-T-S (Just End The Season); Thank God they did! I have never in my life rooted for one of my teams to lose…except for last night. The Jets have been an absolute CIRCUS since the end of last season. The acquisition of Tim Tebow was a mistake from the get-go and not once did the Jets and their coaching staff try to rectify that situation. The pathetic Offensive Coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer, was fired only to be replaced by an even worse one, Tony Sparano. Mark Sanchez’s ability as a QB receded worse that Lebron James’ hair line. The Jets had arguably the worst receiving core in NFL history and couldn’t develop a running attack against any formidable opponents. So why was I rooting against the Jets yesterday, even with their playoff chances still intact if they had won? Because it would have all been the same shit again next year if the Jets showed even the slightest bit of success. With this mortifying loss on Monday Night Football last night no Jets fans will ever have to watch Mark Sanchez at the QB position ever again! Ii has been announced that Greg McElroy will start Sunday against the Chargers. The Jets GM, Mike Tannenbaum, is either going to be replaced or he is going to be put on such a hot seat that he will have no choice but to fix this never-ending pile of issues. The Jets need to be completely revamped and there is no way that would have happened without them losing last night so there is the silver lining.
My New York Knicks have not given their fans much to complain about this season. They have the best record in the Eastern Conference and have looked like a title contender the whole year. They have really only hit one speed bump this season and their name is the Houston Rockets. The last time the Knicks had to worry about the Rockets was in 1994 when they met in the NBA Finals and went to an exhilarating game 7 which the Knicks inevitably ended up losing. Ever since Jeremy Lin left the Knicks for a more than generous contract with the Rockets, there has been a target on his back. Unfortunately for the Knickerbockers, that target was too small to see because for the second time this season, Jeremy Lin and the Rockets manhandled them. I never had any ill will towards Lin once he left, especially because I knew what the Knicks overall plan was and he just wasn’t the right fit for Woodson’s game plan. So what’s the upside to the Knicks losing twice to a supposedly inferior team? First, the Rockets most likely won’t make the playoffs this year so the Knicks won’t be playing them again until next year. Secondly, there was no way the Knicks were going to go 77-5 so we were bound to lose eventually. Finally, the real silver lining behind this most recent loss at the Garden to the slightly above average Houston Rockets is that we now know exactly what we need Iman Shumpert and Amare Stoudemire for. Shumpert wasn’t really an issue but everyone was questioning where Amare would fit in and the truth of the matter is that STAT is an extremely talented player and in situations where Melo or even Tyson or Kidd or Felton are out with injury, STAT can be a viable option that can help earn that W.
The New York Mets are very good at being very bad. Outside of a handful of years that Mike Piazza was destroying anything in his way, the Mets have been completely irrelevant for nearly a quarter century. Last year the Mets let one of their franchise’s greatest players ever, Jose Reyes, leave to their divisional foe, the Miami Marlins, due to their money issues. Worst part about that was that Reyes was coming off of his best ever year and the National League Batting Title. Yesterday, the Mets completed a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays which ended with the reigning CY Young Winner and Mets fan favorite RA Dickey leaving after one of the greatest pitching seasons in NY Mets history. So how can losing your best pitcher and biggest ticket attraction have any positives behind it? Well, I’ll start by saying that with or without Dickey, the Mets were not going anywhere any time soon. Having said that, the Mets have no money and they need to figure out new ways to rebuild a franchise that does not have much going for it right now. I feel that they did the right thing by signing David Wright for pretty much the rest of his career. Now they have to figure out who will hit around him and what direction they want their franchise to go. Between Wheeler and Harvey the Mets have some talented pitching coming up soon. In the trade for Dickey, the Mets acquired arguably one of the best young talents in the Minors, catcher Travis d’Arnaud. On top of that they saved a butt load of money and have positioned themselves to be a formidable opponent within a few years. I see some bright things in the Mets future and I think it starts with Travis d’Arnaud.
So even if you are still having a hard time recovering from yesterday’s exhausting and trying events, just know that each of them have a silver lining and everything should be okay soon enough.
After the Jets traded for Tim Tebow in the offseason, I wrote a post entitled “Mark is the Man”. I knew Sanchez was coming off his worst season as a pro, but I truly felt that he was the QB of the future for the New York Jets. I truly believed that he could lead this team for the next decade and become the player we all thought he might be after leading the Jets to 2 consecutive Championship games in his first two years. I thought that last year’s struggles were a result of poor team chemistry, bad play-calling, misfortune and high expectations that were difficult to meet. As of today, I stand corrected. I can no longer support the QB I really thought would take the Jets to their first Super Bowl in over 40 years.
Let’s look at the numbers. In yesterday’s 28-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawk, Mark Sanchez and the offense failed to score any points. It was the third time this year that the offense failed to score a touchdown. Sanchez went 9 for 22 for a meager 124 yards. For the fifth time in nine games, Sanchez completed less than 50% of his passes, an absolutely terrible statistic for a professional quarterback. As a result of Sanchez’s struggles, the Jets offense can’t generate a rushing attack either because opposing defenses can put eight and nine men in the box, knowing Sanchez won’t make them pay for playing aggressive. Sanchez has zero confidence in himself, his coaches or his teammates and he needs to be removed immediately.
The Jets are 3-6 and still serving us a bowl of their usual “we still can make the playoffs” bullshit. After yesterday’s embarrassment, Rex came out and said that he is sticking with Mark Sanchez. I was in favor of that decision up until now but now it’s time to go to plan B. The Jets have ruined Sanchez and Mark laid back and let it happen. He has been more interested in being a celebrity than being a winning QB. He has made piss poor decisions with the football all season long, which includes a league leading 5 interceptions in the red zone. Yesterday, with the Jets driving and the game tied at 7, Sanchez looked right at Dustin Keller, pump faked it to him twice, and threw an off balance throw across the entire field that was easily the most telegraphed pass I have ever seen. It was picked off, all the Jets momentum was gone and never recaptured. Like I said, Mark Sanchez has allowed all his doubters to be correct and has done nothing to help his cause.
I can’t only blame Mark Sanchez: management did no favors for their “franchise quarterback”. The Jets brought in the biggest media circus act in Tim Tebow and told us all he would be Sanchez’s backup. They told us he would help push Mark, force the opposition to plan for multiple attacks and make the Tony Sporano lead Jets offense a unit to support one of the league’s best defenses. They got Sanchez no play-makers, didn’t bolster his protection and brought back some of the same malcontents who ruined the Jets chances last season (Santonio Holmes). Now, the Jets are left with a shattered starting QB, a back-up who can’t play, an offensive coordinator who has no idea how to utilize his roster and a coach and general manager that are on the hot seat only two years after bringing our lovable losing franchise on the cusp of two straight Superbowls.
Where do the Jets go from here? Personally, I would like to see Greg McElroy, the Jets 2nd year QB who was a good enough passer in college to win a National Championship at Alabama, and actually beat the great Tim Tebow in the process. Maybe McElroy could be a diamond in the rough, a QB in the mold of Tom Brady who went to a big time university but was overlooked in the NFL draft and dropped down to the 7th Round. The Jets could throw him out in live action and see if they have a viable option or if they need to go back to the drawing board this offseason. However, we know that isn’t going to happen. The fans and the media want Tim Tebow to get the snaps and I believe that if it’s not McElroy at this point, then it might as well be Tebow. If we are going to lose anyway, we might as well watch the most entertaining product available. The Jets have turned themselves into a circus over the past three years and they might as well embrace their image. Quite frankly, the way Sanchez has played lately, they really can’t do any worse with Timmy leading the charge.
As for Mark Sanchez, he needs a change of scenery in the worst way. I like Sanchez and I really hope he could regain his abilities in a city which would be less critical and offer less distractions. He might have the skill set of a backup QB, but he can’t possibly serve that role as a member of the Jets. He doesn’t appear to be the natural leader that Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum sold him as…the type of leader the Jets traded their entire draft class to land in 2009. He’s given us some good times, but lately he’s given us a mixture of inconsistent and downright terrible play. Jets fans and Mark Sanchez will both benefit from a fresh start. So, like a man, I can admit when I was wrong and in stating that Mark Sanchez should be the starting QB of the New York Jets going forward, I was incorrect. Rex Ryan, it’s time to make the decision that everyone, probably even Mark Sanchez, wants you to make and call in the lefty (or Greg McElroy!) from the bullpen…
Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year, hands down. It’s a day I relax, eat great food, see family and friends and watch football from 12 p.m. to midnight. The NFL’s addition of a third game on my favorite holiday is something I have been extremely thankful for the past few years. Very often, dinner is served during the second game, and in many years past, I have been unable to catch all of the action, especially before the days of Tivo and DVR. The third game (and these fantastic inventions) have really allowed me to enjoy a full slate of football all day and night. However, this year the NFL schedule makers have decided to ruin my holiday and play a sick joke on al New York Jet fans.
Not only are they putting the Jets in primetime on Thanksgiving night, but they have decided to match us up against the arch-rival Patriots. In the past two years, I would have been extremely pumped for this game, envisioning the Jets finally taking over the reigns of the AFC East. However, I just can’t see how this year will end up any different. Tom Brady vs. Mark Sanchez/Tim Tebow? Belichik vs. Ryan? A world-class organization vs. the NFL’s biggest soap opera? All of these factors lead to one thing…My favorite day is certainly going to be tarnished this year!
Part of me is thinking about boycotting the game completely. Maybe I’ll head down to the local mall and try to beat the black friday crowds. I might also try to eat myself into a food coma and therefore pass out well before kick-off. It’s possible that I can drink enough beer and wine that it will be physically impossible to see the game, and I can make up the outcome in my inebriated state. All I know is after eating and drinking all day, being subjected to the beat-down that I am already bracing myself for, will make the task of keeping my food down almost impossible. This year I will fully enjoy the Macy’s parade, because I know that my day will probably only go down hill from there. Thanks a lot NFL!