It has been one of the craziest years in New York Jets history, whether it was Rex Ryan’s one-finger salute at a MMA event during Super Bowl week to the uncensored look at the team during HBO’s Hard Knocks training camp series. And just when you felt it couldn’t get more controversial for the Jets, then another completely bizarre story broke the very next day.
Here are the top five moments from 2010 for the New York Jets:
The Jets found themselves in the middle of a media firestorm following the early-morning arrest of their star receiver Braylon Edwards, as the general public demanded them to deactivate him for their next game. The team wanted to appease both sides of this high-strung issue without creating a scene within their own locker room. Oh, the Jets did express their anger towards Edwards but didn’t impose much discipline on him, as he is a player who can score touchdowns on Sundays.
In a year cluttered with controversy, no two non-football individuals gained more attention than TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz and former Jet sideline reporter Jenn Sterger. Both claimed to have been harassed (Sainz in the locker room and Sterger by receiving lewd pictures from Brett Favre) by current and past team members. And each case, the lack of response from Jet management brought more shame to an already troubled organization.
There was a celebrity-sighting in the foot fetish world, as a couple in a 2009 video had a striking resemblance to Rex and Michele Ryan. This could have been a non-story, but then the Jets issued a statement that created a media frenzy. Their quote was “this is a private matter and Rex will have no comment on the matter,” and this confirmed everyone’s suspicion that it was indeed the Ryans in the video. This was another case of poor judgment by Rex Ryan, as that video should have been removed from the site once he accepted a high-profile job in one of the major-media markets in the world.
Rex claimed he knew nothing of his strength and conditioning coach, Sal Alosi, ordering his players to form a wall on the sidelines that led to him tripping Miami Dolphin Nolan Carroll during a return attempt. Some will say that this attitude begins from the top and trickles down. Once again, Jet management refused to fix the problem by admitting to Alosi’s actions. Finally, the league had to step in to restore order, as the NFL suspended him for the remainder of the season without pay. Their hope is this is an isolated incident that doesn’t turn into an epidemic all throughout the league.
Some will say the Jets backed into the playoffs, but no one can take away their dominant performance against the Cincinnati Bengals in the wild-card round. This momentum continued the following week in their stunning 17-14 defeat of the high-powered San Diego Chargers. Trailing 7-3, the Jets scored 14 unanswered points in the final quarter, culminated by Shonn Greene's 53-yard touchdown run. This victory sent them to Indianapolis and their first appearance in a conference title game in 11 seasons.