Florham Park, N.J.- The Jets may be 9-2, but many of their fans are still nervous that the team has been unable to put together a complete game. Each week it’s a different unit of this team that has to make up for the poor play of another part of the team. If this keeps up the question will be, when, will the wheels fall off?
Thinking about the way these Jets games have been playing out reminds me of a scene from, what is in my opinion the best show in television history, “The Wire.”
“The Wire,” was an HBO series that never garnered the same commercial success as a show like, “The Soprano’s,” but it was an absolute hit among critics and had one of the most loyal and dedicated fan bases of any television series, a feeling Jets fans should have little trouble relating to.
The scene I’m referring to has the character of a drug dealer named Stringer Bell addressing his loyal subjects and lecturing them about not doing a good enough job.
Obviously the context of the scene has absolutely nothing to do with football, but I can’t help but think if Stringer Bell was the one giving the Jets a pep talk he would recite the exact speech he gave in the scene I’m talking about.
In said scene, after Bell’s crew got caught slipping, he unleashed an angry tirade on them for being complacent and for thinking what they were doing, just coasting by on name and reputation, would be enough.
“That’s good. That’s like a 40-degree day. Ain’t nobody got nothing to say about a 40-degree day. 50. Bring a smile to your face. 60, (Heck, everyone) is (darn) near barbecuing on that, (lovely weather). Go down to 20, (people start to get their whine) on. Get their blood complaining.” Bell says calmly before raising his voice to an eardrum-splitting level, “But forty? Nobody give a (Darn) about 40. Nobody remember 40, and y’all (guys) is giving me way too many 40-degree days! What the (Heck)?”
Okay so maybe that’s not the exact words that were used in Bell’s angry rant, but the show was on HBO for a reason and let’s just say HBO writers get to play with a different set of language rules than sportswriters.
Despite the drastic difference in context (the vulgarity, however actually sounds on par with what we would expect Rex Ryan to unleash), that speech could be used perfectly to sum up the feeling about the way the Jets have been winning these close games, albeit a bit less dramatic.
Obviously all that matters is that the Jets get the win in any one specific game, but when looking at the big picture it’s got to be a little worrisome to many that this team is still struggling to put together a complete game and give their fans more than just a 40-degree day to talk about.
These wins are like the 40-degree days Bell speaks of, because as great as it is at the time to get the win, no one is in a rush to celebrate and talk about how great those victories were weeks later, in fact it’s just the opposite.
Instead of focusing on the fact that the Jets are 9-2, many people are fixated on the sloppy nature that the Jets are winning with and talking about the losing records of the teams they have beaten recently (the Jets only have two wins against teams with a winning record, the Patriots and Dolphins).
The players and coaches don’t care, they will be more than happy to keep turning out these 40-degree wins, but the relentless media will not stop running the same stories unless the Jets can crank the temperature up a bit and have their fans practically out barbecuing to celebrate the victories.
Between the penalties, the stalled drives and missed field-goals Jets fans are feeling like Stringer Bell. They are happy to get the wins, but sick of all these darn 40-degree games. But with the actual weather literally dropping below 40-degrees the Jets will need to lean on the experience they have gained over these last bunch of brisk-weather games, if they expect to turn the heat up on the field and have it blasting in their locker room after the games are over.
It’s the self-inflicted wounds that have kept the Jets from breaking out and kept the temperature of the games around 40-degrees, but if they can figure out a way to stop beating themselves the Jets should be able to ride their own heat wave all the way to Dallas this February and give these fans something to talk about and celebrate years later.
If not, well it’s going to be a cold winter.