Stranger In A Strange Land – A Jets Fan In France

An overview of what it is like to be a New York Jets fan in France from Maxime Habert…

One of our readers, Maxime Habert, sent over the following article on the life of being a New York Jets fan in France. Make sure to give him a follow and feel free to submit your articles on being a Jets fan to JoeC@TurnOnTheJets.com

You know it’s not easy to be a fan of the Jets in the US, let alone in the New York area where the Giants have been way better for the past decade. But let me tell you: it’s even worse to be a fan of the Jets in France, I can assure you.

I got introduced to US football by Superbowl XL in 2005 because a French national tv channel broadcasted the game and I was able to record it. For a few years, I only watched Superbowl because I didn’t have unlimited Internet at my house and I was way too obsessed with basketball anyway. Everything changed when we were granted access to the Internet and data with no limits in my small town, which allowed me to watch more football without depending on French TV.

The first game I watched online opposed two teams I had never heard of. It was January 29th, 2009 and the Cincinnati Bengals were playing against the New York Jets. I really don’t know why I ended up prefering the Jets over the Bengals (or any other team, for that matter), but I know for sure that it all started a little over 8 years ago. And to this day, my love for the Jets couldn’t be stronger.

However, being a Jets’ fan here in France is a real pain in the ass; I dare to say it’s harder than loving the Browns, the Jaguars and every other dysfunctional team in the league. Here are a few reasons:

Patriots
◦ Because we are not in the US, we choose who we want to root for based on other aspects than location and feeling of belonging. A lot of people love to root for winning teams or teams featured in streetwear and fashion. In the NBA, it’s Cleveland, Golden State and Chicago. In the NFL, it’s New England, Seattle and Oakland mostly. And of course Tom Brady has been in the foreground since the Middle Age so it’s really not fun to explain to people that you love the Jets, when Pats and Tom Brady exist worldwide.

Buttfumble
◦ Yes. I know. It was a long time ago but people are still referring to Mark Sanchez and the infamous buttfumble to make fun of the Jets. You won’t believe how many (bad) jokes I had to endure at the football club, where I played in Paris for two years.

Rex Ryan
◦ After the whole buttfumble story, it’s Ryan’s tattoo that caught attention in my side of the world. It wasn’t pretty at all.

Christian Hackenberg pick
◦ Hackenberg is like a headache for everybody, whether you’re a fan of the Jets or not. The amount of bashing the franchise has taken for the pick of the former PSU QB online is unprecedented and it gets worse when one of the biggest Twitter accounts following the NFL in France never miss a chance/an opportunity to bash your team.

So while it’s not easy to love the Jets in France, it’s also a blessing and I really don’t care about all the sick jokes anymore. Because since I decided to run a Twitter account in French dedicated to the Jets a few years ago, I’ve been able to find some die-hard French fans like me along the way. We’re spread all over the country but we’re hoping to meet up in Paris someday or maybe in London or even better at the Meadowlands for a game. If it happens, I can assure you we’re going to be the loudest of the pack out there.

I’m fan of the Jets and it’s though as hell, but it’s also the beauty of it. We love our team as much as you guys do in the US. You’re the Gang Green Nation and so we are.