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Winthrop High School's Premier News Site Since 2019

The Viking Times

Winthrop High School's Premier News Site Since 2019

The Viking Times

Confessions of a Teenage Jets Fan

My+family+tailgating+right+before+the+game.
My family tailgating right before the game.

Yes, yes, yes.  I am a Jets fan.  Born and bred.  Green is in my blood.  My dad’s side has been Jets fans since 1964.  And I live in New England—one of the worst places in the country for a green girl like me to live.  So sue me.  The Jets are notorious for losing; they only won one Super Bowl in 1969 (thank you, Joe Namath).  If you do the math, the Jets haven’t seen the Lombardi Trophy in over half a century.  The last time they were in the playoffs was in 2010 (I’ll give some credit to then-QB Mark Sanchez and then-head coach Rex Ryan).  Heck, the Jets haven’t even had a winning season since 2015.

That one, glorious moment in Jets history was when they won Super Bowl III on January 12, 1969.  They beat the Baltimore Colts 16-7, becoming the first American Football League team to beat an NFL team (the AFL merged with three of the ten NFL teams to make the American Football Conference).  It seems even back then there wasn’t much confidence in the Jets as a winning team.  Prior to the Super Bowl III win, Joe Namath guaranteed that the Jets would win the Super Bowl.  Despite being one of the best quarterbacks of his time, he was laughed at.  Reporters would hound him, doubting how a team like the Jets could win a championship title.  But Broadway Joe shut them all up with a historical win.  My grandfather fondly remembers this game, saying that the Jets fans were now the ones laughing at the Giants fans, “because, for two or three years, we were getting ripped about being fans of this rinky-dink team.  The Giants didn’t even make the playoffs!”  Some may say that the Jets still play like a rinky-dink team today…

For the 2023 NFL season, Jets fans were hyped about one player in particular: their new quarterback Aaron Rodgers.  The ex-Green Bay Packer would be trading Cheeseheads for Gang Green.  As a family, we were even thinking that our Jets ornament would make it to the front of the Christmas tree.  On September 11th, Jets Nation had hopes of an amazing kickoff to the season, with Aaron Rodgers leading the way.  In the fourth snap of the game, a mere three and a half minutes in, Rodgers gets sacked, tearing his Achilles tendon, marking the likely end of his season.  Who would’ve thought that Aaron Rodgers’ highlight of his season would be running out onto the field carrying the Jets’ flag.  Only something like this would happen to the Jets.  Although, the Jets did manage to win their opening game, miraculously (it is their only win so far).

I went to the Patriots-Jets game in East Rutherford, NJ this season with my dad’s cousins, who are Jets season ticket holders.  The energy both in the parking lot and in the stadium was electric.  We started tailgating at 9 AM, even with the rainy weather.  It was one of the most fun times I’ve ever had at a sporting event.  No one seemed bothered by the start of the season, or the ones in the past, for that matter.  We were amongst die-hard fans, and there were way more Jets than Pats fans.  Grills were fired up, music was playing, and campers, trucks, and vans were decked out with all the Jets gear imaginable.  It was a celebration of a team and a community, not just a team’s reputation.  The energy carried over into MetLife Stadium when the chants went all the way up the escalators to the top level.  People screamed for the team’s introductions and throughout most of the game.  I will say, of all the football games I’ve watched, I’ve never seen a quarterback get booed on his own turf, like our very own Zach Wilson.  Even at the last minute of the game where there was a small glimmer of hope for a win, the fans still cheered through the rain and the cold, only for the Jets to lose yet again.   It is the same glimmer of hope that fans have during every season; despite the Jets’ overall 64-season record of 422 wins, 540 losses, and 8 ties, maybe there will be a good season.  Eventually.  And maybe, just maybe, our Jets ornament will make its way to the front of our tree.

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    Chris Summa c/o Winthrop High SchoolOct 10, 2023 at 12:23 pm

    Shan,
    This was such a fun read and I love your enthusiasm! I learned some new things about the Jets…but I knew about Joe Namath; he was known as “Broadway Joe” (back in the day). Keep cheering them on because one day they will bring home the trophy once again. By the way, I would hang that Jets ornament in the front of your tree this year! Great job!

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