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.
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.