Not Easy Being Green on Super Sunday

By Jason Klein

As Seen in In New York Magazine  – 2/3/12

Wait, there’s a game this Sunday?  Who knew?

OK, I admit it; I’ll watch the Super Bowl.

I don’t want to, but I will.

Let me explain.  This native New Yorker has the fanatical misfortune of rooting for the wrong team in town.  As a Jets fan, I admit that my allegiance is misguided.  I’ve accepted my role as a second-class citizen within New York’s football fandom.

Over the years, I’ve watched Jets teams lose games, seasons, and their minds in ways that would make the Bad News Bears blush.  I’ve witnessed Super Bowl dreams, seemingly within reach, decimated by injury, ignorance, and ineptitude.  This franchise is a bigger tease than a Kardashian.

A Giants/Patriots Super Bowl Will Be Tough for Jets Fans

Kermit the Frog had it right: It’s not easy being green.

Despite my eternal pessimism, I continue to passionately support them and hold out hope that one day, my Super dream of a championship might be a reality.

Until then, I’ll watch other teams compete for a Lombardi Trophy each February.  On Sunday, I have the distinct displeasure of watching New York’s more successful team, the Giants, battle the Jets’ biggest rival, the New England Patriots, for a Super Bowl Title.

It’s like being forced to watch your school’s bully and most popular kid fight to the death over the girl you have been chasing your whole life.

Yeah, I’m bitter.

I don’t dislike either team.  I really don’t.  I respect what the Giants and Patriots have accomplished this season, and in previous campaigns.  Yet, the perennial dysfunction that seems to infect Jets seasons past and present leaves me green with envy over the successes of my team’s two biggest rivals.

Even Jets Pro Bowl Center, Nick Mangold admits, “No matter who wins the game, it’s going to be a bad outcome for us as players and for the fans.”

It’s my obligation as a football fan to watch the Super Bowl.  I get it.  I’ll be more interested in the wings and beer than the game itself, but yes, I’ll watch it.

The cathartic viewing will tweak my pigskin inferiority complex, but ultimately build character.  When it’s over, I’ll emotionally hit the reset button, and await a new beginning in 2012.

There’s always next season.  The optimistic cliché represents all that is great about sports.  Especially in the NFL, a league predicated on parody.

Before that new beginning, there must be an end.

Apparently, the Giants and Patriots will do the honors on Sunday.

At least that’s the rumor.

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Like Namath, Rex Ryan Intends To Keep His Promise

By Jason Klein

Originally Written For The Official Steiner Sports Blog – 1/12/11

Joe Namath once guaranteed Super Bowl triumph, and delivered.

Rex Ryan pledged the same thing two years ago.  His quest continues Sunday in Foxboro against the Patriots in their AFC Divisional Playoff Game.

Rex Ryan Looks To Deliver a Title for the Jets

Forty-two years ago today, January 12, 1969, “Joe Willie” made good on his promise, defeating the Baltimore Colts16-7 in Super Bowl III.  Not since then have the Jets had a personality quite as colorful or brash.

Since his arrival in New York, prior to the 2009 season, Rex Ryan hasn’t been coy with his intentions.  He doesn’t just want to win a Super Bowl.  He plans on it.

During his introductory press conference, he assured Jets Nation of a pending trip to the White House following a title run.  This summer, he even hand signed an ESPN Tour Bus with an inscription of, “Soon to be Champs.” Ryan is ultra-confident and doesn’t care who he offends.

“I’m not apologizing,” he said this past August.  “I just know what’s going to happen.  My crystal ball, I’m seeing a Super Bowl trophy in there.  I could be wrong, but that’s what I see.  But every time I go to work, that’s what I look at.”

Ryan can thank Namath for the trophy he ogles over each day in Florham Park.  For forty-two years, that Lombardi Trophy has stood alone.  Ryan insists he is the green & white Messiah to add another to the collection.

He faces, perhaps, his biggest challenge this weekend.  Coming off of an embarrassing 45-3 Monday Night Football thrashing last month, Ryan knows this rematch with New England will not be easy.  However, he’ll tell anyone who will listen of his plans to pull off the upset and even out-coach the former HC of the NYJ, Bill Belichick.

His bluster might seem dumb, or even reckless on the surface, but Rex Haters must understand one thing:  he just doesn’t spew anything without purpose.

Right or wrong, and always controversial, Rex Ryan takes calculated risks with each bold statement he dangles to the media.  His intentions are almost always targeted at taking pressure off his players and coaches, and putting it squarely on his own shoulders.

It’s hard to argue with the results.  In two years, Ryan has posted an impressive 20-12 regular season record, made an appearance in the AFC Championship Game, and won a total of 3 playoff games (so far), more than any other Jets Head Coach in history.

Love him or hate him, Rex Ryan delivers.  If he can pull three more victories out of his Jets cap this year, and make good on his promise, he’ll own New York.

Just like “Joe Willie” did, forty-two years ago today.

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