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A Time To Be Thankful
By Chris Pine
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
November 25th, 2003
All Jets Fans (especially Herm Edwards) should be thankful for Chad Pennington.
All Jets Fans (especially Herm Edwards) should be thankful for Chad Pennington.
With Thanksgiving fast approaching I thought maybe I should try and write something in the holiday spirit. I guess I can try and come up with all of the things I have been thankful for so far during this rather thankless football season. Quick story to tell everyone how dumb Chris Pine can be: I was in a spelling bee in the mall when I was about twelve and the word that got me knocked out was “Thanksgiving”. I forgot the “s”. Now what is more embarrassing? That I was in a spelling bee or that I misspelled “Thanksgiving?” I digress.

Well…without further delay, I am thankful for:

...Chad Pennington. My prayers were finally answered the day this young man stepped onto the football field over a year ago in Jacksonville. I remember some time before that occurred I was talking with my good friend Jon (who from now on will be referred to as “Malm-Head”) about how all I wanted was for the Jets to have a quarterback like Brett “Fav-rah”, not so much with the talents and skills but more along the lines of someone who you felt confident in every week. Someone you knew who would be capable of winning the game. I loved having Testeverde on the team but even with Vinny you were always holding your breath waiting for the other shoe to drop. Normally before a game starts I have this little mental checklist of concerns for a game and I would keep note of them throughout. I don’t know what the exercise did for me but it just became a habit of mine. With Chad at the helm I have permanently removed “quarterback” from that list.

...for Brittany Spears kicking off the NFL season in all-out sexpot style. Nothing seemed better than catching those photos and ABC spots with Ms. Spears clad in some skimpy Jets attire (insert Homer Simpson drooling now and muttering something like “marketing-licious”).

...for Shaun Ellis, finally he has shown up. Of course it is happening so dangerously close to his walk year which can put the Jets in a prickly situation come next off-season. Will we be scratching our collective heads when he does get retained for a few more years and reverts back to his previous form? What happens if he proves to be the more reliable of the two defensive ends on this team? If memory serves me correctly, Ellis has not missed any significant playing time during his career and has participated in every playoff game for the Jets since 2001 which cannot be said for John Abraham. I don’t recall Shaun Ellis getting the flu. He also has never been arrested for DWI or received any kind of suspension or fines from the league. I can hardly recall Ellis getting flagged for a penalty. He has done everything this franchise has asked of him which has included switching positions in an ill-fated attempt to convert him into a defensive tackle and when he did fail he took all of the blame and responsibility in the papers instead of the coaching staff, which is funny to me since I always thought it was the coach’s job to put their players in the best possible situation to excel and win the game. I don’t recall Ellis ever complaining or trying to defend himself. He just quietly took the hits and kept trying to improve. Maybe Ellis is the one Jet we cannot afford to lose, just a thought.

...for Mo Lewis, Marvin Jones and Sam Cowart. Thanks guys for showing me that youth is fleeting. Is it just me or did these guys turn into Methuselah and Gilgamesh. You have taught me that I must look at my own mortality straight in the eye, and appreciate what life gives you instead of holding on for something else. I will never again lose sight of the precious nature that is life as it passes by. Thank you Jet linebackers….

...for whoever it was who came up with the idea of low riding jeans and baby t-shirts. Oh the magic that is the curves of a woman…uh…sorry about that…let’s move on.

...for the fact that Jay Cross is the president of the New York Jets. We all know he was hired for one reason. To get us a stadium we fans could call our own. We will finally have a home. Yes, most Jet fans will have to sacrifice a lot of little details like ample parking and somewhere to tailgate, but the Jets will be the only team who can claim New York City as their home. Saying that should be a source of pride for them.

...for Santana Moss and the fact that I haven’t heard the name “Laveranues Coles” in quite a while.

...for all that Wayne Chrebet has done in a Jet uniform ever since he walked onto the field almost nine years ago. It is a sad notion getting thrown around that Wayne may have played his final game. I have a wait and see approach to our diminutive star. I think if anybody is tough enough to overcome something as damaging as a concussion it would be Wayne. He has always shown a toughness and grittiness on the playing field and would make catches that just amazed and disgusted you all at once. None of the athletes that I have ever seen playing in professional sports ever appeared as un-athletic as Chrebet. Yet he will go down in the annuls of Jet lore as one of the best to ever play for this team.

...for Mike Westoff. It seems that whoever he gets to concentrate on as a kick return man they will eventually succeed. Now if only they could kick field goals and stop a punter from punching one in every now and then.

...for the fact that this season took a few years off my life by waiting until the last minutes of a game to lose it. I figure I won’t miss those years anyway. It isn’t like they took 34-37 from me so when I get there I just jump over those years. They are just taking the ones off the end.

...for Ted Cottrell and his “No Tackle” defense. I never thought an entire season could play out where every running back that faces the Jets could have a career day. Do you realize that after the Dallas game Troy Hambrick was picked up in 85% of all fantasy leagues? I actually looked that up!

...for football games on Sunday, cold beer and a big plate of wings. No explanation needed.

...for all the ways in which the Raiders stink.

Finally I am thankful for Jets Insider.com for letting a guy like me have somewhere to let out all of my thoughts and tasteless jokes. Who would have thought that some random internet search for some Jet info would lead to almost eight months of magic which includes writing articles, getting to go to training camp, and talking on the radio. (Yes, I am sucking up.)