There were two heroes in my house growing up. Elvis and Joe Namath. Now Namath will tell you today that his one finger salute was not a Super Bowl guarantee but what a nice story it created. It was great to be a Jets fan. We were Champions. We were winners. Joe Namath walked around in a mink coat and wore pantyhose on TV. What more could we want?
Well, we could want to have a team that doesn’t drive us to therapy or at least the antacid section of the drug store. We want a team that doesn’t have a lead and somehow messes it all up and loses by the two minute warning in the 4th quarter. We want a quarterback that doesn’t look like he sucks on lemons while warming up and throws the ball to the guy at the end of the field who is wearing green and white. Too much to ask?
Now I’m going to be honest and say that despite having three brothers and a father who talked routes, stats, QB ratings, and schemes, I don’t have great knowledge when it comes to football terminology. I just watch it. No, I’m not more interested in the uniform colors or which player is a cutie. I watch the game and I love the game. My son watches with me and we pound our fists at a touchdown and throw things at the television with the inevitable screw up. It’s a special kind of family time.
My daughter gets involved too and watches on occasion. She’s pretty smart. She usually sits down, eats some wings and then says they really stink. Why do they let them play? My son and I usually scream some unintelligible thing at her, but she’s made her point and I have to give it to her. She’s right. Why do they let them play? Really she could be a sports analyst. It’s easy during a Jets game. Sanchez fumbles. Sanchez intercepted. Again. Sanchez sacked.
For that matter, why is Rex Ryan still our coach? If I were a billionaire and owned this football team, as someone who can’t tell you all the terminology, I can tell you that the team stinks and is progressively getting worse, so as the billionaire owner, I would never be sitting at a press conference at the end of such a disastrous season saying things like I think Rex Ryan is perfect for the New York Jets. Never, never, never. Please let me be very clear for those who don’t understand. The answer is never.
It also boggles my mind that owner Woody Johnson could use terms like sophisticated to describe Rex. Sophisticated? Maybe if you drink your wine out of a box. I say that as someone who was very excited when Rex came. I bought into it every time he said this will be our year.
What was the deal with Tim Tebow? How many plays a game did he average? What was the big plan there? Have him stand there and look good? I just don’t get it. And there is nobody who has an even greater football knowledge than me that gets it. I don’t think even Woody or Rex get it.
Our team is a disaster. Maybe things have changed. We don’t need our football players to be heroes. We don’t need them to be great media stars like Broadway Joe. But we do need them to know how, in girl speak, to get that stupid ball past that stupid line. I don’t care if they throw it, run it, sneak it, or walk it into the end zone. That ball needs to get there and it needs to get there often.
Until we have a head coach and a quarterback and an even an owner who understand that and know how to get it there, we’re still going to be living in the heyday of Joe Namath. Joe Namath is still a hero in my house. But that was 1969. Isn’t it time to bring our team into the present?