Mike Donnelly with a much needed rant to New York Jets fans to kick your week off…
Read that title again, Jets fans, and let it sink in. I’ve observed an inordinate amount of arguing, fighting, name-calling, and general assholery permeating through the Internet since the Jets traded for Tim Tebow — and it is only getting worse as we get closer to the season. I’ve seen trouble-making writers with bad hairpieces like Mike Florio play the Tebow vs. Sanchez card to generate some interest in their columns or blogs; I’ve seen fans spew vitriol on Twitter toward one another in an attempt to bash and belittle Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow, depending which one they support; I’ve witnessed people call other people idiots — that’s the G-rated version — for supporting either Sanchez or Tebow, respectively.
These things are to be expected from the men and women of the media who are always trying to create a buzz, or from rival Patriots and Dolphins fans engaging in varying levels of trash talk (Speaking of which, if Dolphins fans want to talk down about Sanchez, all Jets fans should throw the big LOL right back at them for the lethal Garrard to Ochocinco connection). But that’s only a small part of it. The majority of these comments and attacks I’m talking about aren’t coming from bozo writers or Masshole Pats fans; they are coming from Jets fans and are directed at Jets fans, and it’s getting ugly. That’s right, it’s Jet fan on Jet fan crime, and it has to stop.
Take a deep breath and let the following sink in:
Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow are both Jets players. It’s not Mark Sanchez versus Tim Tebow this year. It’s Mark Sanchez AND Tim Tebow, and they’re taking on the NFL. As teammates. As New York Jets.
Full disclosure here: I am an unabashed Mark Sanchez fan and supporter. I am Team Sanchez all the way, and I’ll defend him against any and all critics. Is he the best QB in the NFL? No, certainly not. But he’s a damn fine quarterback with a ton of potential who has been mishandled by the Jets organization throughout his career (Check out the book excerpts I was fortunate enough to be able to share in that column). Despite that, he’s improved every season, showed great big-game moxy, and led the team to four road playoff wins in his first two seasons. The Jets can win with Mark Sanchez as they’ve shown, and I support him all the way. Under no circumstances do I think he should be replaced by Tim Tebow this season, or ever.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t support Tim Tebow, too. Trust me, that’s allowed, I checked it out and everything. Tebow is a Jets player now, and when he’s on the field I’m going to be rooting for him to do well and help the Jets win a football game. All Jets fans should. We don’t have to choose just one of them to root for, because it’s Sanchez and Tebow. On the same team.
Now I’m not naive enough to think that is going to actually be the case with all Jets fans this year, however. I know full well that whether I’m sitting in the stands of MetLife or watching the game from a sports bar, I’m going to hear nonsensical comments from both Jets fans and Jets haters (unfortunately sometimes one person fits both categories). I know there will be Sanchez fans who won’t cheer if Tim Tebow makes a big play, just like there will be Tebow fans openly upset when they see Mark Sanchez throw strikes down the field to Stephen Hill with great success. I know this is going to happen.
Jets fans, we’re going to hear enough crap this year from all angles when it comes to the Jets and their quarterback spot; we don’t need to give it to each other too. There are already enough Jets — and Sanchez — haters out there. We already see and hear enough garbage about Sanchez: the made-up stats like “near-interceptions”, the discrediting of his good play by saying “Oh, he was wide open, so what?”, or pointing to his stellar line and running game his first two years, as if he’s the only quarterback who needs help on the field and can’t do everything himself. The haters like point to Sanchez’s shortcomings like his completion percentage instead of acknowledging the positives like the 32 touchdowns he contributed last year. And it comes from all over the place. Heck, we even had disgruntled former Jet Plaxico Burress take shots at Sanchez recently and imply he doesn’t think Mark can lead the team to the Super Bowl (That’s probably good though, since before the genius shot himself in the leg, he had similar things to say about Eli Manning and we know how that turned out).
And if you think all of that’s bad, get ready, because we’re going to hear more than our fair share of Tim Tebow chatter coming up. Every time he skips a pass across the turf or gets sacked this year, there will be pointing and laughing form rival fans. We know that. So if you’re really a fan of the Jets, there’s no need to pile on and hurl insults at your fellow Jets fan standing there in his Tebow jersey; just like I don’t need that same guy with #15 across his chest telling me I’m an idiot for supporting Mark Sanchez while he’s rooting for him to fail so the Messiah–err, I mean Tebow, can come into the game. The goal of Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow this year is for the Jets to win games. That should be what we want too, no matter how it happens. We’re all in this together.
So think about it, Jets fans. I know how many of you feel. I was against the Tebow trade at the time like many others, but there’s nothing to be done about that at this point; he’s a Jet now, which makes him one of us. And as a Jets fan, if he’s out on the field helping the Jets win football games, we should all support that and cheer when he does so. You don’t have to love him as a person, or get down on your knee to “Tebow” when he scores, but you absolutely can cheer that he helped the Jets win without feeling guilty about it, or as if you are cheating on Mark Sanchez (you can also do everyone a favor and just take that snarky Tebow joke you spent half the night thinking of and lock it up in a box somewhere).
And I didn’t forget about you Jets fans who loved the Tebow trade or just simply think Sanchez should be benched for some silly reason. As much as it may pain you to do so, when Mark Sanchez makes a few nice passes this year and leads a touchdown drive without Tebow, take that sour puss off your face, unfold your arms, and cheer! Be happy that Mark Sanchez just helped the Jets win. Get used to it too, because it’s going to happen a lot; and when it does, we can all do without your half-assed (or worse) analysis of why you think he still stinks and Tebow is better, thanks. Afterall, if Tim Tebow is on the sideline cheering his teammate on — and you know he will be — why can’t we all?
Remember, it’s not Mark Sanchez versus Tim Tebow this year. It’s Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow versus the NFL. It’s Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow versus the Patriots, versus the Bills, the Dolphins, the Steelers, the haters, the critics, the writers, and we should be supporting both of them the whole way. It’s Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow versus the world pretty much. Together. As teammates.
As New York Jets.