Too bad Joe Namath and Debbie never had a son, because it seems that is the only way the New York Jets would ever break what I call the “Jets Jinx”. Ever since the January 1969 victory over the hated Vietnam war supporter, Johnny Unitas and his Baltimore Colts, the New York Jets or as I sometimes call them, the “Jests”, only serve to tease rather than please. They will break your green heart every time; so close, but yet so far…my eyes adored you, yet I am disappointed again.
Tonight’s game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers provided more of the same Jekyll & Hyde folly. They played like two different teams per game half. Falling behind early, only to come up short at the end. Why didn’t they RUN the ball even after Pissburgh took their initial drive and used-up almost ten minutes of the first quarter by scoring the initial touchdown? Why DID they keep running the ball Up The Middle to-no-avail at the goaline in the early fourth quarter?? Don’t you just hate that?? QB Mark Sanchez is still unreliable and the passing game sputters nervously at best. I learned that he had problems with hearing the plays called-in from the sideline coach. This is where a “real” QB would be able to shift into a mode where he could successfully call his own plays! Wow, what an idea! Actually using your own brain to analyse the defense!! In a way, Namath set such a high standard as a play-calling Quarterback (he called his own plays for the most part) that no player has been able to measure-up at that position since; from Richard Todd and Kenny O’Brien (“the rag doll”) to “Boomer” Easiason – not one. Had I been coaching the Jets, I would have taken a page out of Weeb Ewbank’s playbook and run my most Matt Snell-like running back a LOT of times. Ok, maybe these days, it takes two men to run like one Matt Snell, but the firm of LaDamion & Green, et. al could have taken control of the game back at that point by employing this strategy.
I like Rex (“the son of Buddy”) Ryan as coach, but he doesn’t know when to shut his yap. Is it possible that he is channeling the poolside guaranteeing, braggadocio style of my main man, Joe Namath? I called my ole college roomie of the seventies when I was the only black guy on-campus to have a life-sized picture of Joe “Willie” on our dorm room wall before half-time to let his voicemail know that my defense didn’t come out “smokin’ ” like old Joe Frazier, and that we would lose this game. Even my authentic “lucky” number twelve NFL jersey didn’t work and it lies cast away in the corner of my living room where it landed after I cast it off in disgust. My dearly-too-soon-for-words departed friend and Steeler fan, Rodney Irvin would have invited me over to his “Garagemahal” to watch the game. I can hear him right now saying, “What do you expect? J-E-T-S…Just End The Season!”