Monday September 21st, 2009

My friend called last night. He was giddy.

"J!" he said.

What?

"E!"

Uh ... huh?

"T!"

Oh, boy.

"S!"

Are you done?

"Super Bowl, baby! The Jets are going to the Super Bowl!"

You're, ahem, 2-0.

"Yeah, but look at my team! New coach is tough as nails. Rookie quarterback playing like a veteran. And our defense -- have you seen our ..."

Can I ask you a question?

"Sure! But did you watch Chansi make that ..."

Remember Lam Jones?

"Gulp."

Remember Mike Haight and Dave Cadigan?

"What are you getting at?"

Remember A.J. Duhe's three picks?

Remember drafting Ken O'Brien over Dan Marino?

Remember Blair Thomas against the Bears on Monday Night Football?

Remember Bruce Coslet?

Remember Doug Jolley?

Remember ...

"Stop it! Stop!"

What?

"You're bringing me down. We just beat the Patriots, and you're bringing me down."

So you're feeling good?

"Incredibly good! For the first time in years, I believe the Jets are gonna do something special. At long last, they're ..."

Remember 1995?

"Coolio's big year?"

No, remember what you said? That, after decades of living in the NFL wilderness, the Jets were finally about to make some noise? That Rich Kotite was the man to carry New York football's fortunes on his back?

"Well, yeah. But ..."

And remember Browning Nagle?

"Not especially."

Browning Kenneth Nagle. When the Jets drafted him in 1991, you declared that they'd uncovered the next Joe Namath.

"I don't think I said that."

You know how many touchdowns Browning Nagle threw in his career?

"I heard Julie & Julia is a great movie. Do you wanna ..."

Eight. And 20 interceptions.

"What's your point?"

My point is that Jets fans do this all the time -- and it never, ever, ever, ever, ever works out. Never. You build up a sense of false hope, then curl up in a ball on your green-and-white football-shaped couch when things fall apart.

"But this year is ..."

No, it's not. It's not different. It's never different. You're the Jets. You'll find a way to lose.

"But what about Leon Washington and Thomas Jones? We've never had two backs with ..."

Freeman McNeil and Johnny Hector.

"But what about the hot rookie quarterback who'll ..."

Matt Robinson.

"But look at the veterans we've added. This guy from Philadelphia, Lito ..."

Remember what you said about Damien Robinson?

"Who?"

Exactly.

"OK, I get your point. Really, I do. But are you one to talk?"

Sure. Why not?

"Don't you work for Sports Illustrated?"

I do.

"Uh, didn't your magazine pick the Mets to reach the World Series?"

Did you say Julie & Julia?

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