Misery and Despair: The Sad Life of a Jets Fan

Misery and Despair: The Sad Life of a Jets Fan

Misery and despair every football season. That is the norm for life long fans of the New York Jets, including myself.

I have been through many ups and downs watching the Jets, from 4-12 seasons to championship-caliber teams, to completely collapsing and missing the playoffs because they just couldn’t finish strong.

In 2006 the Jets finished 10-6 and made the playoffs. Unfortunately, they were blown out by their rival the New England Patriots in the wild card round by a final score of 37-16.

Despite the playoff loss to the Patriots the Jets exceeded expectations in 2006, and I was excited about next season.

The 2007 season was when I learned what life is like being a fan of the Jets. After an injury to starting Quarterback Chad Pennington, the Jets finished the season 4-12, an absolutely terrible season. I was understandably upset and didn’t know what to think of such a poor performance by the Jets. But if I thought the 2007 season was bad I was definitely in for a wild, and disappointing ride for the next year.

The Jets made a plethora of moves in the offseason in order to improve the team. The biggest move was trading for future Hall of Fame QB Brett Farve and letting go of long time signal-caller Chad Pennington who would sign with the division rival Miami Dolphins.

After starting the season 1-2 the Jets went on a tear. They won six of their next seven games, Favre was an MVP candidate, and they were sitting pretty at 8-3 with an easy back half of the schedule.

The Jets were being considered by many analysts to be a Super Bowl-caliber team. But then it all fell apart. They choked. They lost four of their last five games, and the most painful loss came in the final game of the season when their former QB Chad Pennington and the Miami Dolphins came into Giants Stadium and beat the Jets to clinch the division. It turned out that the Jets big offseason move was what would actually end their season that looked so promising.

I actually cried when the Jets lost to the Dolphins in the final game of the season. It was just devastating to see your team completely collapse like that at a young age.

Although 2007, and 2008 seasons are ones I would like to forget the 2009 season is one I look back fondly on. The Jets brought in a new Head Coach in Rex Ryan, and drafted QB Mark Sanchez, with the fifth overall pick in the NFL Draft.

I remember watching that year’s draft at my friend’s house. The Cleveland Browns were picking fifth, but then the Browns logo changed to the Jets logo. They had traded up and selected the man they thought would be their new franchise QB. My friend and I cheered; we were both excited.

The Jets defense that year was nothing short of amazing, and they were able to barely squeak into the playoffs where they would upset both the Cincinnati Bengals and the San Diego Chargers. Unfortunately, they would lose to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game.

I didn’t know what to feel after that game. I was shocked that they even made the playoffs, let alone come within one win of the Super Bowl. But I was also angry. Angry that they couldn’t win one more game.

The 2010 season was the year. The Jets had the pieces they needed in order to win it all. It was an amazing season to watch. They went 11-5 and easily made the playoffs as a wild card team. However, the first game of the playoffs was a rematch against the Colts, you couldn’t ask for a tougher opponent.

The game was a nail biter, my dad and I were on the edge of our seats. Down by two with under two minutes left the Jets drove down the field and had a chance to win, and they did. Nick Folk barely made the game-winning field goal. I jumped, I cheered, and I screamed, man was that a great feeling.

The next playoff was against the rival Patriots who defeated the Jets 45-3 in their last matchup. I thought the season was going to end, but somehow the Jets pulled off the upset. My dad and I were even more excited than we were the week before, he even dived into a huge pile of snow outside. That’s how big that game was.

Unfortunately, that would be the last bog game the Jets would win for a long time. They would lose in the AFC Championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers after their offense failed to do anything in the first half. I was so angry that I punched a few holes in my wall.

Now it has been almost ten years since that last playoff game, and it has been nothing but misery and despair for Jets fans everywhere.