I suppose I first became a Jets fan because my dad is a Jets fan, which is a natural way to start following a team. More often than not, Jets fans are also Mets fans, and I am no exception. So throughout my life, I’ve been able to align myself with this large fan group.
I can’t imagine being part of the other New York group—cheering on the Giants and Yankees—and while I don’t envy their success, I do want my teams to experience some of it in the near future.
The Giants have been to four Super Bowls in my lifetime, winning three. The Jets? They haven’t been to the Super Bowl since the merger.
They haven’t won a playoff game the past four seasons and haven’t had a legitimate shot at winning it all since 1998, when they turned it over six times and blew a 10-0 lead to the eventual-Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship.
Then there are the draft blunders. In fact, there’s a YouTube video dedicated to the Jets' poor decisions on draft day.
All of these things make the Jets lovable losers of sorts. The unwise decision to bring in Brett Favre last year and the ensuing late-season collapse added yet another forgettable chapter to the franchise’s relatively disappointing history.
Except that I, like most Jets fans, won’t forget it. I’ll remember it and, along with all the other difficult moments—the playoff loss to the Steelers in 2005 comes to mind—they’ll make me appreciate success, when it does come, even more.
That’s how sports works. At least that’s what I’d like to believe, especially given that I’m a Jets/Mets fan.
After all, the only thing better than a lovable loser is a lovable winner.