Thursday, August 07, 2008
Growing up in Connecticut you have a lot of options as a sports fan. You're close enough to New York to pick one of the big apple squads but you're still in New England so you can always choose to cheer for the squads in Boston. So as a little kid in Connecticut when picking a favorite football team you have three options the Jets, Giants and Patriots. So when picking my squad I had two logical options. See my father grew up in Central Mass, yet when he was a little kid the AFL had yet to form and the Patriots did not exist. So he picked up the closest NFL team to cheer for which happenned to be the New York Giants. And when the AFL was finally formulated and the Patriots because Massachusetts team, instead of dropping the Giants from his fanhood he adopted both squads. Hell, they techhnically weren't even in the same league so there really was no conflict. After engraining this fanhood in his childhood he has kept rooting for both teams to this day.
So being his son it would have been logical to pick one of those teams to cheer for. But alas my youth and favoritism was stronger than a fathers disjointed devotion. I've been on God's Green Earth for over 25 years now and for as long as I can remember I have only had one consistantcy favorite, my affinity for color the green. For whatever reason Green has been my favorite color so when it came to choosing a favorite football team as a little 3 or 4 year old the kid in me made a choice based on one thing, jersey color. I asked my mom for Jets dolls and Al Toon action figures and created a Jet fan for life.
And since I made that decision over 20 years ago nothing has ever seemed to work out. During that span the Giants have won three Superbowls including the most dramatic and shocking win in history. The Pats created the last dynasty in football winning 3 Superbowls in a 4 year period. Additionally they got to the big game 3 more times in my lifetime, that's 7 Superbowl trips in 25 years. To put it bluntly there has rarely if ever been a moment when being a Jet fan was something to be boast about. Sure there have been bright and enjoyable moments, like leading Elway in the AFC Title Game (we didn't win), watching Wanny throw away the division in 2002 or pummeling Peyton Manning in a Wild Card game but there has never been that we're on top of the world (or even the northeast) moment. There has never been a reason for the rest of the world to really care about whether or not you are a Jet fan. Until today.
Whether the Jets go 6-10 or 12-4 this season they are relevant today. Even though everyone had their fill of Brett Favre news about 3 weeks ago, today they are still interested in Jet fans. People come up to you and say, so how pumped are you, or what do you think about this year, or are you excited. And come September they will actually desire to watch Jet games. Hell, Jet fans most of the time don't even want to watch Jet games nevermind the general population.
So ya, did I get a little carried away with excitement today for a 38 year old quarterback well past his prime? I sure did. In 25 years my fandom has never been truly relevant to the sporting world until today, so I'm going to cherish it.