Prior to the start of the season, controversy arose when Inés Sainz, a reporter for Mexico’s TV Azteca, was subjected to footballs being thrown in her direction during a team practice and players' catcalls inside the locker room afterwards.
This embarassing incident came on the heels of the Jets’ highly publicized appearance on HBO: Hard Knocks, which served to highlight the arrogance, boldness and confidence of the front office, the coaches and the players.
But although the aforementioned complaint had the potential to rock the team's foundation to its core, the Jets emerged from the ensuing melodrama virtually unscathed.
However, less than two weeks later, enigmatic wide receiver Braylon Edwards was arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Police officers initially stopped Edwards for excessive tinting on his white Land Rover but Edwards’ bloodshot, watery eyes and the strong smell of alcohol in the vehicle prompted further investigation.
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Subsequently, Edwards consented to and failed a breathalyzer examination, where it was determined his blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit, leading to his arrest. Among the four passengers in Edwards’ vehicle at the time of the arrest were teammates D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Vernon Gholston.
The Jets disciplined Edwards with a token first quarter suspension against the Miami Dolphins and his case has been adjourned until January 11, which also happens to be the week of the AFC Divisional Playoffs.
So in a span of ten days, the Jets organization found itself ensconced in two scandals that could have sent their season into an unrecoverable tailspin. But undaunted, Gang Green regained their swagger by winning eight of its next nine games as the aforementioned cases gradually dissipated from the public consciousness.
Unfortunately, while in the throes of a two-game losing streak, the Jets have become the subject of an NFL investigation for the third time in three months, including the ongoing Brett Favre-Jenn Sterger inquest.
During last Sunday’s game against Miami, Jets strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi deliberately tripped Dolphins rookie cornerback Nolan Carroll as he was running near the sideline on a punt return. In response, Alosi issued an immediate apology before being fined $25,000 and indefinitely suspended from the team.
The Jets maintain Alosi acted alone despite player testimony and visual evidence suggesting head coach Rex Ryan and special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff were fully aware Alosi engineered the formation of a wall along the sidelines, leading to the tripping fiasco.
Thus, while Alosi seriously contemplates a name change to Lee Harvey Oswald, the Jets have once again stained the NFL’s image with behavior that reflects the personality of their head coach.
In the 1970s and the 1980s, Oakland Raiders general managing partner Al Davis transformed the "Silver and Black" into a cast of mavericks and outlaws with trademarked slogans such as “Commitment to Excellence,” “Just Win, Baby” and “Pride and Poise.”
Now it appears the Jets have become the league’s "New-Age Outlaws," which, for professional wrestling fans in the know, happened to be the name of a popular WWE tag team in the late 1990s that ran with a stable appropriately dubbed Degeneration X.
Degenerates? Outlaws? Is this how owner Woody Johnson wants the New York Jets to be remembered in this decade?