You may be asking why I call them the New Jersey Jets. Simple: The Jets play in New Jersey, Jets fans will remind you of an episode of the New Jersey Shore, and just like the state of New Jersey, the Jets generally stink.
But this year is different.
New Jersey Jets fans know they have the Super Bowl locked up and are already celebrating. Jets fans are bragging to each other about the fantastic odds on bets they placed at the start of the season for the Green Stench to make, and even win, the Super Bowl.
New Jersey Jets fans have always been a passionate bunch. They give their team's personnel cute little nicknames. Former head coach Eric Mangini was nicknamed the "Mangenius" by New Jesey Jets fans. The rest of the nation laughed and called him the Mangina and ratboy.
After a one-point loss to the Baltimore Ravens to open the season, Jets fans throughout New Jersey fist-pumped and applauded the Moral Victory.
In Week 2 the Jets defeated their hated rival the New England Patriots. This was huge for New Jersey Jets fans. Many Jets fans would rather win one of their two games against the Patriots than make the playoffs. Beating New England means everything to Jets fans.
The Jets have also gone on to defeat Miami Dolphins, the Buffalo Bills, the Minnesota Vikings and the Denver Broncos. Their QB, Mark Sanchez, has been nicknamed "The Sanchize" by passionate Jets fans. I will let you think of another nickname for the man who plays in "dirty" Jersey.
This will not be another 2008, when Jets fans celebrated their fall Super Bowl all the way up until Thanksgiving, starting 8-3 and going 1-4 down the stretch. This year will be different.
This is not going to be another 2004, when Jets fans celebrated their October Super Bowl with a 4-1 start, yet lost three out of their last four and the real Super Bowl landed in New England. This year will be different.
In 2001 Jets fans celebrated a September Super Bowl when they injured Patriots Pro Bowl QB, Drew Bledsoe, in a victory in the second game of the season. The Patriots were forced to use a back-up quarterback, Tom Brady, the remainder of the season.
The Jets failed to win the Super Bowl that year. The Patriots actually did win the Super Bowl, and Brady has gone on to have one of the best NFL careers of all time. But that doesn't matter to Jets fans; they won the September Super Bowl and beat the beats all fall.
One cannot blame Jets fans for their premature fist-pumping. Only very, very old Jets fans remember their team playing in the Super Bowl. The Jets last played a Super Bowl in January 1969. Woodstock took place eight months later. This was the same season that OJ Simpson won his Heisman Trophy for USC. That was a long, long time ago.
Fans of the New Jersey Jets have no idea what it is like for a team to actually make the Super Bowl. They do not understand the year-long struggle and growth that a team must go through in order to be playing in February.
Jets fans only know fall glory.
Meanwhile, Jets fans have had to watch their two greatest rivals celebrate year after year after year. Jets fans have a severe inferiority complex when it comes to the New York Football Giants and New England Patriots. Since 1985, the Patriots and Giants have played in a combined 12 Super Bowls, six each, and have won the game six times, with three each.
In that same span, the New Jersey Jets have only topped 10 wins in a season once. No wonder Jets fans are so overzealous every fall—they simply want to be as successful as their hated rivals.
Anybody who has ever attended a Jets game in New Jersey is aware of the smell that lingers throughout the stadium. A unique combination of Axe Body Spray, Drakkar cologne and decomposing garbage. And anybody who has ever met a Jets fan in the fall knows that nobody celebrates the October Super Bowl better than New Jersey Jets fans.
So next time you see a New Jersey Jets fan on the street, do two things. First, congratulate him/her on winning the Fall Super Bowl. Second, cover your nose.
—TJ Corbs, tackling the hard hitting issues of the northeast corridor.
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