Saturday, September 18, 2010

Patriots-Jets: A Bitter War Sends a Reality Check to Lackluster Jets

It doesn’t take long, just unforeseen drivel and everlasting trash talk, before a long-awaited Sunday sends each team into a bitter clash and lures television viewers, as the game of the weekend is Patriots vs. Jets, a pair of teams set to meet on a collision course in a late afternoon war.

So now, it’s a traditional birthright to anoint a couple of teams that have fueled a hated rivalry and allured fans all over the world, magnetizing our minds and hearts as loyalists wait to be entertained by a resentful feud in an emotional contest. If there’s anybody more whimsical and comical, it’s New York Jets' head coach Rex Ryan, the funniest man who tells jokes about his own belly during news conferences and becomes famous in a community, where local tabloids tease the next comedian to make Broadway laugh.

If there’s a villain everyone despises greatly, it’s Bill Belichick, of course: the Spygate criminal and arrogant mastermind who really wasn’t a modest genius, but a devious con artist for ruining the aspects of football with his slick demeanor. Now, suddenly, we are witnessing an unfriendly tale in football and a competitive symphony between the Jets and Patriots.

By now, it is known that the Jets disclosed the truth and accused the Patriots of cheating, shockingly disgracing and embarrassing Belichick as three of their Super Bowl rings were called into uncertainty and tainted. The full-blown history of animosity comes as no surprise, and it was exactly not surprising a few weeks ago when Tom Brady was asked if he watches “Hard Knocks,” the Jets reality show and said bitterly that he loathes the Jets.

“I hate the Jets, so I refuse to support that show.”

This was a harsh statement for the Jets, who are now fiery and ready to take on the enemies of the AFC East division. It was a modest assessment that those were retaliation words, more than senseless words, and could easily force the Jets to be meaner, disciplined, and more violent. Maybe this is a wake up call entering the second week of the regular season, currently 0-1 in the standings.

Maybe this cures any thoughts of another meltdown as the Jets take on their foes in a critical matchup early in the unpredictable season. Seen as darlings and a rebirth in football, the overexposed show on HBO has advertised the Jets as primary contenders in an unsettled division. As recently, the team wearing green in New York is overrated, unprepared, and incapable of riding to the Super Bowl.

But with plenty of talent and reinforcements, the Jets are capable of punching a ticket to Dallas. As it is, no one expected the Jets to begin the season 0-1, but at the New Meadowlands Stadium, particularly with a feel of desperation to avoid an 0-2 skid, the Jets will enter the game with a stronger, urgent mentality and partly because of its opponent. In many instances, the Jets seem very vulnerable and have to withstand the pressure as doubt becomes immense for a team which embodied much fluidity.

For now, of course, the Jets are a respectable pick to win the division, despite the slow start that can suddenly transform into a credible streak. But with all the adversity, New York is suddenly facing hard times. And ever since they collapsed on Monday Night Football in their season opener against Baltimore and accounted for the most penalty yards in 22 years, learned defensive star Kris Jenkins will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury, and lastly, were accused by a female reporter who filed a harassment complaint against players and coaches, the Jets hit a downside.

In a way, this is a huge advantage for the Patriots. This is supposed to be an ecstatic game in the most intense atmosphere. The Pats will treat it as if they are contending for a playoff berth or like this is a postseason matchup, still upset over the revelations of Spygate. Back in the day, Jets owner Woody Johnson hired Eric Mangini from Belichick’s staff. From there, it sparked an ugly feud, and Belichick refused to talk to him as he clearly was viewed as a traitor for accepting the coaching gig in New York and converting to green attire. He simply broke NFL rules for spying on teams, publicly creating a fuss once the Jets exposed evidence of his secretive tapes. That explains why THE BRADY BUNCH hates the Jets, as well as BELICHEAT, right?

Exactly, end of discussion.

By working underneath the so-called mastermind, Mangini obviously knew all of Belichick’s secrets and infected schemes. Ever since then, the Pats disliked the Jets. Ever since then, the Jets disliked the Pats. So, it’s a mutual feeling of hate and bitterness, no doubt. And publicly announcing that a player strongly dislikes a team builds rivalries, and the Pats and Jets have become the biggest, most appealing rivals in the NFL. This isn’t just another game. This is a violent game with lots of implications.

The Pats and Jets are expected to collide with powerful blows and brutal contact, to spill blood all over the turf. How interesting we are gazing at yet another rivalry happening before our very eyes, more fun and exciting than the Lakers-Celtics, Yankees-Red Sox, North Carolina-Duke, or Candiens-Bruins. All that matters is a bitter rivalry on opposite sides. As it turns out, Ryan is bombastic and silly, but more than ever, he’s a flawless defensive specialist with innovative tactics to inhibit Brady’s passing display, another way to make his task miserable.

The problem is, of course, the Jets offense and Mark Sanchez’s miserable performance. In comparison, he’s a pretty boy as was Joe Namath, who recently tweeted “conservative play calling style,” referring to the Jets' struggling offense.

Sanchez has the intangibles to be the best quarterback in the league, but as of now, his body language reveals frustration and paranoia terrified to hurl downfield passes and worried about throwing interceptions for an encore season, tossing a mere 22 picks last season, and pitifully lost 31-14 to the Patriots last November.

He badly tossed four interceptions, and New England’s top receiver Wes Welker caught 15 passes for 192 yards. But this time around, Sanchez is looking to rebound and get even with the demons standing in their way, just as the Pats are looking to maintain an edge over the Jets.

So here we go, ready to watch the Jets-Pats war.

Let the fight begin.