Following on from last week’s look at the Jets’ history with the Pro Bowl, this week it’s a look at links with the Super Bowl. On first glance you might assume that this would be an incredibly short article as the Jets have only made it to the World Championship game once. Super Bowl III (1968 season) was and still remains the high point of the franchise’s history. Led by Broadway Joe Namath who came through on his guarantee, this was the first and only time the Jets could call themselves World Champions. Similarly to English soccer fans who look back longingly to the 1966 World Cup (the only time they have won it), the nostalgia has been somewhat replaced with frustration about why it’s never been repeated. The Jets have come close, making the AFC championship game four times, but have never managed to jump the final hurdle. However, through players and coaches there are some interesting links between the Jets and the biggest game in the NFL season.
- Super Bowl 50 will include two former Jets, one who played a more prominent role than the other. Denver safety Josh Bush, who signed to the Broncos part way through the 2015 season has averaged more snaps per games in that time than in his entire Jets career. He was drafted in the 6th round of the 2012 draft and released in 2014. On the other hand Carolina Panthers wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery holds a fonder place in Jets fan’s hearts with impressive numbers from his seven years in green and white. He racked up 524 catches, 6,623 yards and 34 touchdowns. Cotchery is the oldest player the Jets drafted who is still playing in the league and Mike Tannenbaum reportedly stated that cutting Cotchery after the 2010 season was his biggest regret.
- The 2015 Jets roster boasted a handful of former Super Bowl winning players. Darrelle Revis and Stevan Ridley both grabbed theirs from the Patriots victory in Super Bowl 49. James Carpenter and Breno Giacomini picked up their rings in the Seahawk’s Super Bowl 48 victory at Metlife Stadium.
- A number of former Jets coaches have Super Bowl rings. Bill Belichick is the most prevalent with six titles. Pete Carroll, who was the Jets’ head coach in 1994, also picked up a ring with the Seattle Seahawks in 2014. Former Head Coach, Bill Parcells won two Championships with the Giants in the 1980s. Aside from taking the Jets to victory in Super Bowl III, Weeb Ewbank also won two NFL championships with the Baltimore Colts in 1958 and 1959.
- Moving to the front office, Ron Wolf, who served as the Jets’ personnel director between 1990 – 1991 won three Super Bowl titles, two with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders and one with the Green Bay Packers. Although he had limited impact during his time with the Jets he was recently a key part of the recruitment process for Coach Bowles and Mike Maccagan. This was alongside Charley Casserly, who also won three titles in his 23 years in the Washington Redskins front office. Not a bad Super Bowl CV for those entrusted to pick the men to try and turn the franchise around.
- Brett Favre, in his one and only season in Green and White, is the only Jets starting quarterback aside from Joe Namath who has ever won a Superbowl. Others who had a stint at the Jets after they took home the Lombardi include Plaxico Burress who won with the Giants in Super Bowl 42 and Percy Harvin who won with the Seahawks in Super bowl 48. Most other Jets alumni who have won a Championship did so in Super Bowl III.
To win a Super Bowl Championship requires a lot of factors to come together at the right time. The right players, the right coaches, the right climate in the rest of the league and sometimes a bit of luck on the right side. Time and time again, one or more of these factors has caused the Jets to fall short as illustrated by their limited mentions in the pages of Super Bowl History. As Maccagnan and Bowles continue their ‘Project Jets’ in 2016, they’ll need to hope that the ingredients can all come together at the same time.