If you've read any of my previous articles, or if you've ever read my Twitter bio, you'll know that my disdain for the New York Jets reaches stratospheric levels. But it's not just me, I swear. Ask any Miami Dolphins fan who the most vile, abhorrent, repugnant team in the NFL is, and the answer will come without hesitation.
The New York Jets.
Sure, the Dolphins technically have two other rivals in the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills, but neither of those series have burned with the searing hatred that boils between the Dolphins and Jets.
There's plenty to despise about the Jets nowadays. Rex Ryan is a boisterous loudmouth who loves to make ridiculous proclamations yet never seems to live up to his words. Their fans are just as loud and sometimes equally as delusional. And they never seem to just go away—even when they are little more than a disheveled mess of a football team, the media can't leave them alone.
But this is a rivalry that started with relatively humble beginnings.
The two teams met for the first time on September 9, 1966 at the Orange Bowl. Joe Namath (infamous for his, uh, run-in with sideline reporter Suzy Kolber) led the Jets to a 19-14 victory over the upstart Dolphins, thus sowing the seeds of hatred between the two franchises for years to come.
The rivalry went through numerous stages over the next few years, with the Jets winning every game in the 1960s, only for the Dolphins to take a commanding hold of the series in the 1970s. Namath's time came to an end, while Bob Griese rose to prominence for the Fins.
The 1980s carried on the rivalry's tradition of exciting games, with the pendulum of power swinging back and forth throughout the decade. The '80s also saw the teams' only postseason meeting in 1983, dubbed the famous Mud Bowl, which the Dolphins won 14-0.
But as the series carried on into the '90s and as a young, one-day writer for Bleacher Report (hint: it's me) became aware of his love for the Dolphins, the rivalry took on a whole new significance. Many of the rivalry's most storied matchups have come from the last 20 or so years.
Let's start in 1994, when Dan Marino used a bit of clever chicanery to fool the Jets. With first place in the division at stake in this Week 13 contest, Boomer Esiason had led New York to a 10-point lead as the fourth quarter kicked off.
But after a series of turnovers from Esiason, Miami closed the gap. One final interception gave Marino the ball with way too much time. After moving down the field effortlessly, Marino lined his team up inside the 10-yard line with less than 30 seconds to play and gave the signal to spike it.
The Jets fell for it. Marino took the snap, dropped back and nailed Mark Ingram in the end zone as a stunned Jets defense could only watch. Game over, Dolphins win.
But that's not really a reason to hate the Jets. On the contrary, that's a pretty feel-good moment for Miami fans.
If you want a game that will make you hate the Jets, look no further than the Monday Night Miracle.
The 5-0 Miami Dolphins sauntered into Giants Stadium on October 23, 2000, prepared to seize control of the AFC East. After three quarters, the Dolphins looked like they were doing just that by building a 30-7 lead. The Jets had no chance of coming back. Right?
Vinny Testaverde had other thoughts.
He managed, against all odds, to lead the Jets to an unlikely tied game late in the fourth quarter. The Dolphins, not yet rolling over after giving up 23 points in less than 15 minutes, blasted the Jets for a long touchdown to reclaim the lead.
New York would not falter. Testaverde again cruised down the field, and on 4th-and-1 from the Miami four-yard line, hit Jumbo Elliott for a touchdown. The game would go to overtime, where the Jets would win on a 40-yard field goal.
Yes, since you're wondering, that one still stings pretty badly.
Of course, there are plenty of reasons outside of actual games to disdain the Jets. First, there's the infectious, sore loser attitude that extends from their locker room to the fans. Take this story from 2009, for example.
The Dolphins had just finished a clean sweep of the Jets, dropping them twice in the same season. After the second loss, though, Rex Ryan and former linebacker Bart Scott couldn't seem to cope. Ryan claimed the Jets were the superior team despite losing (twice), while Scott mocked the Dolphins as potential Super Bowl contenders.
Such bizarre remarks prompted legendary Dolphin Jason Taylor to claim that the Jets "take the 'cl' out of class." Indeed Mr. Taylor, indeed.
Of course, one cannot mention Taylor without bringing up his brief stint in New York, which came just a year after he made this disparaging remark about the Jets. While you can't blame Taylor too much, as the Dolphins had seemingly avoided any efforts to re-sign the defensive end, it still chafes a little to see such a Dolphins icon jump ship to Gang Green.
Then there's one of the most recent examples of the Jets' heinousness: the infamous Trip Gate.
In one of the most embarrassing moments in NFL history, former Jets strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi ordered players to line up in a wall on the sidelines for the sole purpose of interfering with the game on field.
Alosi interfered, alright. He intentionally leaned his knee into the path of corner Nolan Carroll, tripping the unaware player and shaking him up. The act solidified the hatred Miami fans hold towards the Jets and cast a negative light on Rex Ryan's ability to corral his staff. Alosi was fined $25,000 and eventually suspended indefinitely, but it doesn't make his actions any less despicable.
Though these are some of the more principal reasons why Miami fans detest the Jets, they are far from the only ones. This is a rivalry that has layer upon layer of hateful events, which is why it's also one of the NFL's most prominent contests.
The rivalry between the Dolphins and Jets will only burn hotter as the seasons continue, and while the Jets appear to be full of dysfunction now, history dictates that they will recover (remember, just a few years ago the Dolphins were one of the league's most troubled teams).
When that time comes, prepare for more legendary battles between these franchises.
For now though, enjoy despising the New York Jets.
Are there any particular reasons you hate the Jets that weren't mentioned here? Shout 'em out in the comments below, and remember—let your hatred for all things Gang Green flow!
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