Jets fans are tired.
They are tired of losing. They are tired of excuses. They are tired of paying Broadway prices for high school musical performances. They are tired of Christopher Johnson. Tired of Adam Gase. Tired of players taking dumb penalties. Tired of bad draft picks. Tired of hearing about offseason rebuilds and long-term plans. Tired of Sunday afternoons being ruined.
This is what I see from the Jets fans who email me, reach out on Twitter or hear from the Jets fans I know personally. It was what I heard at gate C2 at the Fort Lauderdale Airport on Monday morning as Jets fans who made the trip to South Florida tried to figure out what just happened in a loss to a Dolphins organization that is trying to lose.
At 1-7, this season is already lost. There is not much else the Jets can do to make their fans feel better.
But there is one thing: beat the Giants on Sunday.
Give your fans a happy Sunday night and Monday morning, Jets. Let your fans walk into work or school Monday morning with their heads held high. Let them face the idiot in accounting whose twins are named Lawrence and Taylor and feel good about themselves for one morning.
No, a win over the 2-7 Giants is not going to turn the season around. It is not going to propel the Jets to a playoff berth, but it can stop what has felt like a weekly avalanche for their fans. It can prevent them from being the butt of jokes for one week.
The Jets have only beaten the Giants five times out of 13 regular-season meetings since they first met in 1970. Their most famous game may have come in the preseason of 1969 when the Jets validated their Super Bowl III win with a 37-14 win over the Giants at the Yale Bowl.
For Jets fans under 60, though, the most cherished win over the Giants came on Dec. 18, 1988, the last week of the season. With a win, the Giants would have clinched the NFC East title.
A 9-yard pass from Phil Simms to Lionel Manuel gave the Giants a 21-20 lead late in the fourth quarter and it looked like the visitors at Giants Stadium that day were on their way to the playoffs.
That is when a drive Jets fans would not forget took place.
If you have 10 minutes this week, look it up on YouTube. The bright green turf with the red Meadowlands logo at midfield looks like a Christmas decoration and reminds you what football looked like around here in the ’80s.
Verne Lundquist telling viewers to stay tuned for “60 Minutes,” “Murder She Wrote” and the CBS Movie “A Very Brady Christmas” brings you back to wherever you were the week before Christmas 31 years ago.
Bobby Humphrey begins the Jets drive with a long kickoff return to midfield. Then Ken O’Brien marches the Jets down the field. The sideline shots show Joe Walton clutching his clipboard with offensive coordinator Rich Kotite to his right. On the opposite side, Bill Parcells with his wool cap pulled low and Bill Belichick to his right.
With 37 seconds left, O’Brien finds Al Toon, who catches the game-winner over Tom Flynn and brings a chorus of “Tooooooon” from the stands.
The Jets won 27-21 and knocked off a Giants team two years removed from one Lombardi Trophy and two years away from a second.
This Giants team is nowhere near that team. But a win Sunday would give Jets fans a reason to smile just like that win in 1988 did.
Jets fans are not asking for a Super Bowl this year. They would just take a happy Monday morning.
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