The Mets and Jets: Shea Stadium Twins?
Often times, doesn’t it feel like the Jets and Mets are twins? Both tenants of Shea Stadium from the days the doors first opened in 1964, how many agonizing Sundays have Jets fans spent over the years watching Gang Green let a game or season slip away at the hands of some lesser opponent? Especially after a big win against a quality club the week prior.
The Mets appeared to have injected life into their own wayward 2013 season by sweeping the first place Yankees in four straight games during last week’s Subway series…this until the worst team on earth, the Miami Marlins, swept the Metropolitans three straight times over the weekend.
If you’re a Mets fan, the sweep was painful. If you are a Mets AND Jets fan like many naturally are, the Marlin disaster was painful, familiar, and predictable all at the same time.
Joe Namath and the First Amendment
Joe Namath was and always will be larger than life. No ex-Jet aside from Broadway Joe can make national headlines by providing opinions on the current state of the team the way that he can. What bothers the “open door” Jets these days is not that Namath now speaks his mind on a weekly basis with ESPN Radio and other outlets about his beloved former club. It is that what he says from time to time, has some merit to it. The truth is a powerful weapon and something to be feared. Espeically if it can potentially affect PSLs and the gameday gate.
As far as Joe and the Rex Ryan era Jets disagreements go, Namath first saw a devastating ‘overconfidence’ storm coming before it wreaked it’s total havoc, back in early 2011 Namath believed the Jets had prepared poorly for the lowly Raiders and pointed it out publicly after the Jets disappointing 34-24 loss in Oakland.
Namath said: “It starts at the top. Coach Rex Ryan I think has been doing a great job getting the team to two (AFC) Championship Games. But if there’s one thing about the athlete, if you keep telling him how good he is, he’s going to start believing it, to the point that he may not be preparing not quite the way he should. He may be losing some respect for the other team.”
Ryan defended himself days later in the press. Weeks later though, the club then had an offensive mutiny of sorts behind closed doors. One involving disgruntled wide receiver Derrick Mason prior to a 34-17 drubbing in Baltimore. The turbulent ride continued all year as the Jets fell from AFC title game participants two years straight, to 8-8. It was the beginning of what has been a precipitous drop in NFL elevation from contender to rebuilder.
Was Namath so far off last week either, when he said that the team has been dishonest with the fans as of late? Ryan called the 2012 roster the most talented one that he’s had as Jets HC, and the QB circus at the end of last year was embarassing. The three-ringed drama never gave the fan base true answers as to why Tim Tebow was eventually skipped over for Greg McElroy, or what in the world took so long to sit Mark Sanchez.
Granted, Namath famously made a fool of himself and in essence, the organization back in 2003 when he hit on reporter Suzi Kobler while drunk during a sideline interview in prime time. Yet he is being shunned according to Namath by the club now?
Woody Johnson should just hire Joe in some role, and allow him to offer his opinions in exchange for a more toned down public persona. Free speech is a basic right in this country and has been in full bloom in Florham Park since 2009 when Eric Mangini left the building. Maybe Namath’s can be bought up to some degree by Johnson. Money talks.
We Hear That…
Anotnio Cromartie is mentoring young Jets on how to be frugal with their money early in their careers. Who better to learn from, than a guy who has certainly experienced the challenges of spreading himself thin financially with ten children, while buying up expensive cars left and right. Cro, who is coming off of a fabulous year, is poised to be a leader in more ways than one in 2013. We expect him to be one of the new leaders of this team. From day one.
Hayden Smith appears to be much improved. The 6’6 Smith was a tremendous rugby player prior to joining the Jets last season and learning NFL style football on the fly. If physicall skills that include agility and great hands, are now blending with a growing understanding of the game, the Jets may be on their way to uncovering a hidden gem this summer.
Mark Sanchez looked in control, and accurate in his throws at practice last week. This after the notable three interception day. Sanchez will make mistakes. Yes, you can count on that. It is how he handles the play after, the drive after, the game after those errors that will determine his long term fate in New York. Was news that he rebounded a good sign, or too early to use as any sort of measuring stick?
A Thought on Quinton Coples
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to watch second year pass rusher Quinton Coples break out this year? We can’t stop thinking to ourselves that there is no better candidate for “game and season changer” on the Jets roster aside from the QB1 position, than Coples. A first round pick turned dominant pass rusher. Imagine that.