New York Jets Fans Need Attitude Adjustment

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It all makes sense now.

As I watched Mark Sanchez give his post-game press conference in the aftermath of Sunday’s sloppy but exhilarating win over Buffalo, the third-year Jets quarterback never once even came close to cracking a smile.  After such an emotional and important win, the quarterback exuded zero positive energy.  He said, stone-faced, that he was “thrilled” with the win, but his body language suggested otherwise.

Sanchez was certainly being self-critical, as he was well aware that outside of two drives, he didn’t play well.  But I also think he was still bristling, with a bruised ego, at the lack of support he and his teammates received from their supposed home crowd.

Jim Leonhard revealed today in an interview on WFAN that he and presumably a good number of his Jets teammates were miffed at the fact that their starting quarterback was booed by the MetLife Stadium faithful.  No, not during the game (though that happened too). BEFORE the game.  During pre-game introductions; the organized theatrics that are designed for the sole purpose of pumping up both the team and the fans for an important game.

And come to think of it, did Sanchez celebrate any one of his 4 touchdown passes on the day? There was an article earlier today noting that Sanchez was actually caught on camera in a noticeable rage after the go-ahead score, screaming at an unidentified coach/teammate.

It’s hard to articulate how infuriating, stupid, shortsighted, classless and wholly “Same Old Jets” this situation is. Yeah, I just dropped those three words.

Because this is what Jets fans did BEFORE Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez and the change of culture that those two men have brought about. Before Rex, the media and fans surrounding the Jets couldn’t wait for their athletes and coaches to fail so they could release the hounds. Unlike any other fan base in sports, it seems that Jets fans particularly relish these moments.

Most notably and recently, they did it to Chad Pennington, who was guilty only of playing hard and playing hurt. Congratulations, Jets fans.  You ran Chad out of town (he went and won the division the next year, by the way). And in return, you got Kellen Clemens and Brett Favre.

But I digress. The point is that those days were supposed to be over. Those days are over. But that doesn’t mean the Jets are an invincible force. This year, they’re just another team scrapping for a playoff spot.  There’s nothing wrong with that, especially after making it to two consecutive AFC Championship games.

So why are we not proud of this team?  Why not revel in the excitement of meaningful football in November and December?  Why not cheer as loud as possible to give the Jets a boost rather than kick them while they’re down?

Why do we show up at MetLife Stadium (about 50% of us at least 15 or 20 minutes late) and boo the starting quarterback before the game starts? What does this accomplish? And what does this say about the franchise?

Perhaps because of Rex’s blustery personality and endless Super Bowl guarantees, Jets fans expect the team to go 16-0 every year. Those are unreasonable expectations. As are the expectations that Mark Sanchez will become Peyton Manning overnight just because this is supposed to be the Magical Third NFL Season. Keep in mind that Ryan and Sanchez are probably the two biggest reasons that 2009-2011 have been three of the most successful years in Jets history, even in the midst of all the most recent struggles.

The bottom line is that Jets fans need to change their attitude, or they’re going to be at least partly responsible for returning that all too familiar toxic, losing atmosphere to East Rutherford, NJ.

  • Jimbo

    No post has made me happier than this one. I may get killed for this…but I think too many Yankee mentality Jets fans expect winning every year…and in football it’s a lot harder to do that. We can’t all have Tom Brady or Peyton Manning (Who both haven’t won a superbowl in a few years btw). I have faith that in the next 5 years we will finally be happy and get the Superbowl win my life needs. until then, I will consistently be positive and support my JETS!!!

  • Joe

    pointless article. I’m assuming the author is not from metro area and therefore does not know how it works around here.

    what is needed is more maturity from Sanchez, better output from the O, the D, and Special Teams, and better leadership from Rex.

    NY fans don’t demand perfection, we just happened to have volatile relationships with our teams. For us, booing = passion. Just ask Joe Namath, who threw for more INT than TD in his career, what the upside of our passion can do for a player.

    The major problem is not the fans nor Sanchez but an internal dynamic issue with Rex treating his QB like a liability and allowing his team to pick up on his attitude.

    Almost every team fan base boos when things go south, even temporarily. I sincerely doubt that it has ever been the primary catalyst for a “toxic, losing atmosphere.”

    – A diehard Jets fan that occassionally b*tches about Sanchez

  • bleedin_jets

    Give me a break! Sanchez had not been playing well, he needed to hear it from the fans. Jets fans have giving Sanchez a pass the last few years and he was awefull at times. He threw two pick 6 the last few games, with season on the line the fans were just nervous. Though we won, if the Bills db’s were catching the balls he could have thrown at least 3 int.

  • Rob Celletti

    Correction: the author is from, and lives in, the metro area. He also has attended at least 4 Jets games every season for the last 18 years.

    Also, I fully condone booing a team when it’s underperforming…during the game. That’s the right of a paying customer. However, considering every single football game is a separate event, booing Sanchez or anyone else during pre-game introductions could have had absolutely no positive impact.

    Don’t believe me? Ask Jim Leonhard.

    Also, this site’s curator made a good point: if you boo Sanchez before he throws a pass in a game, don’t bother to cheer when he throws a game-winning touchdown.

  • dmd13

    Well this is an all time low for the Jets fan base, blaming the other fans for poor play, as a Giants fan this is the only thing that has made me happy for the passed 4 weeks, that and Novak pissing on the sideline last week.

  • LUIS

    JET FANS ARE A BUNCH OF EROGANT IDIOTS.THEIR SUCH IDIOTS THEY REMIND THEMSELFS HOW TO SPELL J E T S
    EVERY GAME.

  • Joe Caporoso

    You have to love Luis criticizing Jets fans spelling and then spelling “Arrogant” as “Erogant”

  • Chris

    I think it is the paying fans right to boo who they want, and if Sanchez took it to heart it should prove to motivate him not make him play worse. He is a high paid professional. The truth is it doesn’t take much to realize with the targets we have who are weakest link is. Mark holds this team back any serviceable qb should be able to get the ball to a huge Target like Plax so why is it so tough for our Qb?

  • S-Chiodi#1 fan

    Wow that’s a good point. I don’t agree with the fans booing before the game I don’t ever boo my team. I mite get pissed off for most of the game but never boo your team. Go to Philli for that, and look how good they are. I think Rex is to blame always talking trash and not backing it up. Mark you will pull through just know that you have really great fans out there along with some terrible Jet fans. 4 TDs not to shabby

  • TIBETAN SOCCER TEAM

    well thought out and written..congrats..out with the SOJ mantra…and keep up the great work…

  • http://yahoo bob

    JETS FANS NEED TO BACK OUR QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY THREW 3 PICKS IN A GAME THIS YEAR DID THIER FANS BOO HIM IN INTRODUCTIONS THE NEXT GAME. BACK OFF THE GUY HE TOOK US TO TWO AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES IN A ROW AND HES CLUTCH WHEN IT COUNTS. REX NEEDS TO QUIT RIPPING HIM IF HE MAKES A MISTAKE AND BACK HIM OR BENCH HIM. LET SANCHEZ RELAX AND PLAY AND WELL BE GOING TO THE PLAYOFFS AGAIN THIS YEAR. GO JETS

  • Joey C

    u guys are too funny sometimes…u wanna boo someone, then boo the defense dammit….they cost us the games at New England & Denver….in both games Sanchez had this team either ready to win it or already in the lead & the SUPPOSEDLY GREAT defense couldnt get a crucial stop

    the guy is progressing whether u choose to see it or not its true….he is either on pace or ahead of where alot of top 10 qbs were at this time in their 3rd year

    show me a game other than the Baltimore game & MAYBE our home game against New England (both of which he had ZERO protection) where we lost cause of Sanchez and not the defense

    i know this is NY but this is way too much blame bein put on the kid who started only 16 games in college…and then people wonder why his confidence is shot and hes so down

    its time for guys like Pettine & Schotty to start takin alittle more blame

    in closing….Bart “CAN’T WAIT” Scott, PLEASE MAKE A DAMN TACKLE OR SUMTHIN!!!!

  • Keith

    @ Joe the team needs better leadership from Rex ryan are you kidding me how fast he turned this team around is nothing short of a miracle… Sanchez needs to get better BUT GUESS WHAT so does 80% of other teams QB’s. Flacco Matt Ryan dont get booed at home this writter is dead on. Sanchez MUST get better but BOOING him isnt helping!!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/brian_hodge Brian Hodge

    Jets fans are officially caricatures of themselves.

  • Coach

    Joe, Forced to write after reading so many comments that appear equally divided on your article. First off, ALL PLAYERS GET BOOED! Even in NE they booed Tom Terrific when they got smoked by the Ravens a couple of years ago and Tom’s reaction was very professional, as usual. I recall him saying something like “I would have booed to if I were in the stands”. Mark grow up and stop saying, basically, “My Bad” every week, it is as old as your coach saying “This is the year we win the Super Bowl”! Anyway, it’s good to see that some of the blame is falling on “Old Rexy”. After all it is his team, the one he built, like the Yankees spending the owners money, and making all those promises of glory. He is still, in my opinion, a terrible game manager! This team has a lot of talent but have become so predictable on both O&D that he is clearly out coached almost every week. Now I don’t expect any JETS fan to agree with me because after all he get to back to back AFC Championship Games. But his overall record is somewhere around .500. Right where they are now and where they will probably be in the end. They have major flaws from the front office to the sidelines to the field. Free agency aside they have developed very few players and they are getting very old on defense by the second. Good luck moving forward with this group.

  • Rob Celletti

    15 comments, is that a record? Now I know why Boomer Esiason has been saying for the last two weeks, “Don’t fight the mob, the mob always wins.”

    Coach, your point is well-taken, perhaps I should have been more clear. I’m totally okay booing during the game, when the team plays poorly. To boo before the game is just a waste. The reason I wrote this article is because, outside of a situation where a team is winless on the season, I can’t imagine this happening in any other NFL stadium. This level of negativity is unique to Jets fans, it seems. It’s almost as if we want the team to fail, to vindicate our own pessimism.

    It bothers me deeply, hence this article.

  • anthony c

    We need a coach not a clown. We need an offesive coordinator, We need better scouting and draft some great rookies and build this team back up. It will take several years to compete with the pats. They know how to win. It good coaching and finding talent. The jet front office fails terribly.This team has a lot of holes, Sanchez is a good QB BUT WILL NEVER BE GREAT.

  • Mike

    This is a little late, but what the heck! Mark Sanchez is not the problem. He has been getting better every year and has given us all that he can being handcuffed by an offensive system that was set up for who? Chad Pennington, who don’t get me wrong was a very good and very accurate quarterback, but he had one of the weakest arms in NFL history. Mark Sanchez’s arm is a thousand times stronger, yet every time he throws the ball its a screen or a slant over the middle. The only time this team goes deep is when we are losing at the end of the game. Guess what those pick 6′s don’t happen if you aren’t throwing every ball in an area of 15 yards. What happens if you throw the ball 50 yards down field and it’s picked? Not usually a pick 6. My point is stop blaming Mark Sanchez he has been great. Put the blame where it belongs, With Brian Schottenheimer (probably butchered that name).

    Look at Pennington when he left schotty he had the best year of his career and brought a not very good Dolphin team to the playoffs.

  • kenny

    you can kiss my ass. everyone knows that sanchez is not the best QB ever, though he may not be the worst. Jets fans don’t wait in the stands eagerly watching to see if one of OUR players fails…we might as well like the pats if thats what u think. the jets haven’t been blessed with a great QB and if anyone needs an attitude change, its the author of this article.