This Jets fan’s reaction to the news of the Tebow signing, directed at loved ones and overheard by countless neighbors, reflects the the general sentiment felt by anybody who wants to both (1) root for the Jets, (2) not hate the Jets with a passion found only in the darkest corners of the heart. This particular fan is finding such a task incredibly difficult, if not impossible.
The fan, who has chosen to remain nameless until “the Jets win the pennant,” was oceans away at the time of the signing, mercifully spared from the shit-media storm that characterized the acquisition of Tim Tebow. While most Jet fans became forced spectators to a week-long nauseating migraine, this fan has received the shock all at once, leaving him without explanation, without hope.
“I thought we just re-committed to Sanchez.”
“I thought we already signed a backup quarterback.”
“I thought we wanted to dial back the drama and put together a coherent gameplan.
“All the other fans make fun of me. I just want to be normal.”
For Jet fans, “fuck” is right. The best (the worst) is yet to come.
“We can all agree on two things,” said one highly esteemed sports fellow, “that deliberately trying to injure an opposing player is unequivocally abhorrent, and that somebody, somehow had to knock Brett Favre into retirement.”
“This creates a tricky, gray area,” he added.
Though the original bounty put out by the Saints may not have succeeded in taking out that grizzled, gunslinging warrior of a quarterback who refused to quit, the general sentiment behind it could be seen rippling throughout both the league and the general public.
The New York Jets, Aaron Rodgers, Levi’s Real, Comfortable Jeans, the federal government and that local high school whose field he always occupies for personal use during the offseason have all stepped forward and admitting to having a bounty of their own on the head of Brett Favre.
“Did anybody see Favre’s last game in a Jet uniform?” asked Jets general manager, Mike Tannenbaum. “After we were certain he had effectively thrown away our season, we may have taken a different approach to ‘protecting the quarterback,’ along with transferring $75,000 dollars to Jason Tayler of the Miami Dolphins.”
“This is the shit we had to do,” he added.
Brett Favre’s bounty was, in the end, picked up a year after it’s original warrant, by the Chicago Bears.
As the saying goes, ‘you can’t win ’em all,’ and in pro football this rings especially true. When the good teams lose, they learn from the game film, move on, and win the big one when it counts. After a 15-1 regular season, the defending champion Green Bay Packers entered the playoffs with the highest of hopes only to lose, handily, at Lambeau Field to the 9-7 Giants. But like a true champion, the Packers have emerged from this heavy cloud of disappointment with a newfound focus on the challenge that lies ahead.
“We’ve got to just dust ourselves off and come out strong this Sunday in the Pro Bowl,” said NFC starting QB, Aaron Rodgers, who will have the pleasure of receiving snaps from Green Bay center Scott Wells. “We played the worst game of our season a few weeks ago and it proved costly, but we are determined to not disappoint in Honolulu, discount doublecheck,” he added with confidence.
With the entire country watching (for no more than 3 minutes after stumbling across the game while flipping through channels,) the Packers, who can boast the most players in the Pro Bowl and the least in the Superbowl (tied with 30 other teams,) have the opportunity to put all of their focus on this one game and turn their season from a bitter disappointment to a roaring success.
“With the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, Arian Foster and A.J. Green lining up against you, it’s like fifty playoffs games all rolled into one,” observed starting linebacker Clay Matthews, “which is why Charles [Woodson], B.J [Raji] and I have been poring over this new defensive system to make sure we are one-hundred-percent prepared for anything our opponents have to throw at us.”
“The new defensive system just tells us to play defense,” noted Raji, who has been working tirelessly to get up the hill leading to the Aloha Stadium for the game. And play defense they will, for losing this time around simply is not an option according to veteran safety Charles Woodson.
“We can’t be fooled by the lack of enthusiasm, the strange way the sunlight plays on the field, or the fact that everybody is running around at half-speed and telling racist jokes in the huddle,” commented Woodson, “this game is all we’ve got, and we’re gonna get it.”
“Do we get like, a trophy if we win, or something? Maybe a commemorative t-shirt?” he added.
The Pro Bowl will be played at something weird o’clock, (5 P.M? 11:45 AM?) on a channel you will inevitably stumble across at some point during your day before chuckling at the idea of watching the pro-bowl and continuing on with your life. The winner of the game will in fact receive a $25 gift certificate from Modell’s Sporting Goods.
This Sunday we all bore witness to the true fragility of a season, and more so the dreams of all those who invest themselves in a football team. By missing a field goal that experts have deemed both “makeable” and “really fucking makeable” the Ravens’ Superbowl berth was ripped from their hands, ending their season in one bewildering instant. While moments in sports such as this one make us feel for the players on the field who have worked tirelessly towards unforeseen heartbreak, or the average fan who must wake up for work the next day still stinging from the loss, as is always the case, the ones affected most are the children. In this case, it is six-year-Old Ritchie Becque of Towson, Maryland, whose passion for life was irrevocably swept away with the errant kick of Billy Cundiff.
Since the Ravens’ loss on Sunday, little Ritchie has led a life devoid of any semblance of happiness. His previous six years on Earth, he recalls, were very much full of the joy and blissfully naive aspirations characteristic of a child. Before Sunday, Ritchie would tell you that his favorite food was ice cream and french fries, that he couldn’t decide, that once he dipped a french fry in his ice cream and decided that, though a tasty and delightful novelty, both were perfect on their own and that knowledge itself made him happy. He would tell you that once he, his mom and his dad drove down to Six Flags in Virginia , that it was the greatest day ever, and that the only thing that topped the log flume was staying in a hotel later that night. Coupled with the fact that his hometown Ravens had won the AFC North and were now playing for a Superbowl berth, it didn’t seem life could get any better for little Ritchie– that is, until, his father told him they were taking a “father-son trip to Foxboro to see his hero, Billy “The Kicker” Cundiff, in live action.”
Dick was just six and a quarter years old the day he saw Cundiff miss the chip-shot that ended the Ravens’ season. Though he is just six and a quarter and two days now, it seems he has aged a thousand lifetimes.
“Yeah I was happy on the drive up to Foxboro,” tells little Ritchie, who now prefers to go by “big Dick,” in an exclusive interview. “But I didn’t even know what ‘happy’ was then. How could I know something that doesn’t truly exist?”
Understandably alarmed, Dick’s parents sought medical attention for their son, who in the day following the loss set his once beloved stuffed animals ablaze and began smoking, on average, two packs of cigarettes a day. Doctors told them that it was too late to do anything for their son, that he wasn’t in imminent danger and they were calling after office hours. However, Mr. and Mrs. Becque did not need the medical world to tell them that their son was suffering from a hardened soul.
“I was a kid then,” recounts big Dick, looking back on the time when the Ravens held Tom Brady to his worst QB Rating in years, the team was poised to clinch a Superbowl birth and posters of Billy Cundiff lined his bedroom walls. “But I ain’t a kid no more. To tell you the truth, I don’t know what I am now. I left it all in Foxboro that day, and I don’t think I’m never gonna get it back,” he confessed while taking another drag from his unfiltered cigarette.
Big Dick now resides in New Mexico with his girlfriend of six hours, is in the process of publishing a tell-all autobiography entitled “No Hope” and often falls asleep on a couch that is a mere ten feet from his bed.
“What?! That team is shit!” cried a very anonymous, very black outside linebacker for the Washington Redskins after witnessing the New York Giants make the NFC Championship game. “They couldn’t block, couldn’t catch couldn’t run and sure as hell could not pass,” he continued, “that should be us in the NFC Championship game.” And in his defense, the team just one win away from the Superbowl looked entirely overmatched against the Skins this season.
“The Redskins?” scoffed the consistently-vocal Brandon Jacobs. “You fucking kidding me?” he added, staring off into the distance with a look of trepidation. “Man, I’m not gonna front, that’s the greatest team ever.”
With a game against the fearsome 49ers looming this Sunday one would expect the Giants to brush off any commentary from the 5-11 Redskins. However, after looking especially inept in both games against the Skins during the 2011 campaign, and for the better part of the decade for that matter, the Giants locker room seemed to agree with Jacobs’ sentiment.
Victor Cruz, the Giants’ breakout wide receiver who has averaged 145 yards per catch this season, expressed his relief that they were to face the Niners in the Championship game as opposed to the Redskins. “With those guys, sometimes it seems like there are, like, eleven defensive players on the other side of the ball. Their scheme is impenetrable. Bring on the Niners.”
The Redskins’ 2-0 record against the Giants and 3-11 record against the rest of the league is an anomaly of sorts. Their quarterback is Rex Grossman, their once-talented receiving corps plagued is with age, their defense is unremarkable and their running back is unidentifiable. However, as one Giants player put it, “their quarterback is Rex Grossman, their receiving corps has both the talent of youth and the wisdom of age, their defense is so unremarkable we end up throwing it right to them, and we don’t know who their running back is until he’s celebrating in the end zone. It’s fuckin’ unstoppable.”
With the Giants playing football well into January the Redskins are left wondering how the team they handled oh so handily this season has come so far, leaving them once again in the dust. “That should be us in the NFC Championship game,” lamented an indignant Rex Grossman. When asked if the Skins could have held the Falcons to a hilarious 2 points in the NFC Wild Card game, Grossman conceded they could not. When asked if the Skins could have beaten the Packers in Lambeau, Grossman conceded they could not. However, when asked if they could beat the surging Giants in a primetime game with Superbowl implications, Grossman said “I’d probably throw for 420 yards, 4 touchdowns, force a fumble somehow and we’d beat them by 20 points.”
“He’s right,” conceded Eli Manning. “All I can say is good thing the Redskins suck.”