Dear Jets and Fans,
Despite what the title of this article may imply, this is not a hate-filled rant vilifying the Jets and praising the football gods for finally ending this team's season. Instead I merely aim to provide a personal response that came to my mind as my Facebook and Twitter feeds were filled with both "thank god the Jets lost" and "we had a good run Jets" messages.
Personally I did not care for the Jets this season. Beginning with HBO's infamous Hard Knocks, the team was already too outspoken and over the top for my tastes. While I fully understand coach's vulgarities and player's personal issues (i.e Antonio Cromartie's child situation and later continuing in what in my opinion was an embarrassingly lax punishment for Braylon Edwards' DWI) are a part of football, to me there was something different about the Jets.
They seemed to revel in the frat house atmosphere stemming from head coach Rex Ryan, whom I find about as pleasant as the prospect of working for Al Davis. Growing up as a fan of the ever professional (while some ACC referees may differ) Coach K, I have been rubbed the wrong way by Ryan from the beginning, almost entirely due to his cockiness.
I understand a coach cannot be very successful if he does not believe in his team, but Ryan guarantees of postseason glory were needless bravado which I felt detracted from the team.
With that being said, I have only good things to say about the players and coaches as they undeniably had a strong season and another solid playoff run. Despite some rocky moments, and he is a second-year quarterback so growing pains are inevitable, Mark Sanchez developed quite nicely.
As a Kansas City Chiefs fan, all I wanted out of Matt Cassel was that he grow into a good game manager and not lose games, but I often found myself saying the same thing about Sanchez.
On a team with such a sturdy running game and defense, he did not need to make that many great throws, but he still did, even during tonight's final game. LaDainian Tomlinson, one of my hated Chiefs killers, proved almost all the critics (including me) wrong and showed he wasn't a burnt-out old man.
Receivers Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes, despite all the off-the-field issues and dropped passes, played well all season long and left me cursing at my TV as a big catch snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
Even my mortal enemy Rex Ryan's defense, did its job for the majority of games. While they were not the punch-you-in-the-mouth, force multiple turnovers defense of last year, they came up with big plays and kept the sometimes shaky offense in the game. Ryan's schemes kept offenses guessing all year long, making it hard for me to fault him as the defensive mastermind he was billed as.
In conclusion, I won't deny that I disliked this team and even rooted against them in almost every game I watched. Personally their attitude and cockiness just rubbed me the wrong way, and I honestly cannot stand Rex Ryan and his mouth (which may actually be bigger than his waistline).
With that being said, though, you had a really good year and came up a few plays short of the Superbowl, where anything can happen. On the field you were just a good team (second New England, Green Bay and a few miscellaneous quarters aside).
Perhaps most importantly, you proved last year was not a fluke, and you aren't part of the New York lovable losers (Mets, Islanders and Jets) anymore. So during the next few years, while you're still a legitimate contender, I'd like you to do two things. First, keep growing and becoming more consistent; you'll win the big game again eventually. Second, keep talking. As much as I hate it, that's what you and your fans do (I don't mean that as an insult to any Jets fan).
Keep being cocky, keep being yourselves, and don't mind the haters like me.
Don't be too down or give up yet,