Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Sorrow and the Pity: Jets Week 1

I have become a football fan in recent years. I lived under a roof with a father who once had Giants season tickets, and went to a college that produced one of the 1980s' more celebrated quarterbacks, but it never sank in. Only after I spent four years as the roommate of a Jets fan, including the dark years of 1995 and 1996, did I begin to absorb the sport. By the time the Jets had turned things around at the end of the millennium (aka, the thousand-year period between Herman Edwards's ascent as coach and Super Bowl III), I was hooked. I have no deep understanding of the sport, but it is now part of my autumn experience — and autumn is my favorite season.

I spend football Sundays at the gym. I park my doughy ass on an aerobics machine and watch the 1:00 game, which has the questionable effect of improving my health while inviting a heart attack. Such a cardiovascular quandary was in the offing today, with the Jets's season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. Thus far, the season should have stayed closed.

Explaining New York's series (thus far; the game is in the late 3rd quarter) of missed opportunities and flat-out foul-ups cannot be placed solely on it being an away game. It's like watching the Jets from 2003, not the team that came within a couple of playoff games of the Super Bowl last year. Fumbles, turnovers, and at least one KC TD that could have been taken off with a review. Aside from Vilma, new acquisition Ty Law, and McCareins, they're acting like they're in training camp.

KC, by contrast, has been on fire. They've been crashing through the bemused Jets defense like Red Army tanks through the smoldering suburbs of Berlin. As if to underscore this, they just scored again. The extra point will be the 27th unanswered point on the board.

This could all be my fault. While on my most recent Las Vegas trip, I bought Felix — the Jets fan cited above — a ticket for the Jets to win by 3. This bet can still win if they lose by no more than 2. Now, at the beginning of the fourth, this would be the reversal of the weekend.

Might be a long season. We shall see. There's always . . . er, what's that sport with the ice?

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