By Jason Klein
Dear Mr. Woody Johnson,
I needed an escape.
I’m a life-long fan, and season ticket holder, and typically, the New York Jets are my escape. While I can’t escape the inclement weather inside your inexplicably roofless stadium, I do rely on your team to help me seek refuge from life’s everyday stresses, drama and nonsense. Unfortunately, this season, your team stressed me out with a lot of its own excess drama and nonsense.
So, I needed an escape from my escape.
I wanted to personally thank you for providing me that retreat. By going into hiding for nine days, you’ve given me the much-needed opportunity to cleanse my mind of the filth that was the 2012 New York Jets. When you resurface, Tuesday morning, I hope you begin to show some accountability. On the field, your team was bad. Off the field, they were worse.
Just two short years after reaching back-to-back AFC Championship Games, your club has become an attention-seeking, controversy-creating, butt-fumbling disaster of a franchise. Following some questionable offseason decisions, this season was dead on arrival. With every day that passed, the stench of a decaying Jets carcass seemed to intensify.
Your roster was filled with no-name players and your staff was filled with unnamed sources. When Peyton Manning passed, you couldn’t pass on a quarterback that can’t pass. Hey, “you can never have too much Tebow,” right?
Your staff single-handedly sabotaged the season by bringing in, and then misusing, Tim Tebow. It was a distraction that divided your locker room, and your fan base. Things got so ugly in the stands, iconic super fan, “Fireman” Ed Anzalone, hung up his fireman’s hat and “retired” as the symbolic head of Jets nation.
I know Coach Rex Ryan’s stomach is stapled, but it was clearly in knots all season long as he uncomfortably answered Tebow questions each week. He looked tired and beaten during his weekly pressers and did everything he could to avoid answering questions directly. Tebow certainly has all the character in the world, but he was obviously the wrong character to play the role of “back up” quarterback for your club.
Constantly looking over his shoulder at a cult figure, Mark Sanchez regressed and seemingly lost all the confidence he had shown early on in his career. I guess that was to be expected, considering he was provided the necessary tools to fail.
Your offense was “grounded” during the pre-season and “pounded” during the regular season. You lost your best defensive and offensive players to injury, and Coach Ryan became defensive when offensive players anonymously ripped your “back up” quarterback.
I left a table full of warm turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving to sit in your cold stadium, and watch your Turkeys get stuffed by the Patriots. Then, amid an uncomfortable and mismanaged quarterback carousel, I watched your team lose their last three games in embarrassing fashion, finishing up at 6-10.
You disrespectfully relieved your General Manager of 16-years by releasing a lame memo to the media and then let your Offensive Coordinator twist in the blustery Meadowlands wind. Then, you allowed Coach Ryan to flee to the Bahamas, to reveal his ridiculous Sanchez tattoo, and leave an irate, confused and abused fan base left in his wake.
To top it all, it was apparent to every devoted Jets fan that you would have rather seen Mitt Romney elected President of the United States than see your football team hoist a Lombardi Trophy. How do we know this? Well, you told us, live, on Bloomberg TV in October.
Please, don’t mistake my harsh words for those of a Jets-hater. I am a glutton for Jets punishment each and every Sunday. I’ve been doing it since birth. I’ve just reached a point of uncharted frustration, the depths of which Rich Kotite didn’t even navigate towards.
Over the next few months, as Jets fans, like myself, look to escape the carnival-like atmosphere surrounding your team, I hope you re-dedicate yourself, and your resources, towards building a winning product. Go chase Super Bowls, not headlines! The best way to sell through your precious PSL’s and win the back page is to win football games. Win a lot of them!
Please, no more controversies, no more half-truths, and no more circus attractions to grab eyeballs and credit cards.
No more stress, no more drama, and no more nonsense.
Just give me a football team I can be proud of, not embarrassed by.
Give me an escape.
Jason KleinFollow @ByJasonKlein