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What Makes One a Die-Hard or Dedicated Sports Fan

It has been an amazing season in the NFL.  I have not seen so many quarterback injuries and line up changes as I have seen this year.  The Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons have been leading the way not seen by their own fans let alone football fans in general.  RGIII and Andrew Luck providing their fans with a level of rookie excitement to fuel their desire to remain devoted to their team.

Every fan knows what it feels like for their team to endure a losing season.  Some fans know this better than others.  Look at the Cleveland Browns fans.  I think they have been waiting longer than many NFL fans for their team to shape up and make some run for a playoff game.  The Cleveland Browns have one of the most storied franchises in football.  I think they have waited longer than many.

We New York Jets fans have been though losing season more than we have witnessed winning seasons.  Every year we shake the Etch-A-Sketch in hopes that this year will be OUR year.  The year we make it into the playoffs and go all the way.  A chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy and show our big brother Giants that the Jets are capable of winning it all.

We have been through worse.  Jets faithful have been through a 1-15 season during the Rich Kotite era that ended in disaster.  Things could always be worse, but we expect them to be better.

This has been a tumultuous season for Gang Green and their fans.  Many felt let down by the team in their performance while other continue to support them and attend games, even in the face of jeers, boos, and the hope that the Jets will pull one out at home.  Which, they did this past Sunday against the Cardinals.

Even at the Cardinals game, before McElroy came in the fans let their presence be known.  Every fan voiced their opinion in that game.  Even though the stadium looked like Swiss cheese it was still a loud stadium.  The noise of Jets fans was something to be noted as it went in both directions.  From those who wanted to see them win while others figured these “same old Jets” would just lose.  I am glad they did not lose.

Even through fans disappointments and accolades, some believe they are more of a fan than others.  I keep hearing how some believe they are a “die-hard” fan.  That because they bleed green and show up to every game, that makes them a die-hard fan.  Sorry to say but it does not.

Here is a true definition of the term  “die-hard”:
die-hard also die·hard (dhärd)

adj.  Stubbornly resisting change or clinging to a seemingly hopeless or outdated cause.

n. One who stubbornly resists change or tenaciously adheres to a seemingly hopeless or outdated cause:

In regards to the true definition, One who believes they are a die-hard fan of the Jets could be using the term out of context.  I found this in a certain case.

On Facebook with a Jets blogger, he said that because he purchased his season tickets year after year does not make him stupid, it makes him a die-hard fan.

Does it?

No, It doesn’t.  If you buy tickets year after year in hope of change and that the team will be better means you are dedicated, not a die-hard fan.  A die-hard fan would be in support of the current product as it is.  Resisting how things could be better but in turn, keeps cheering along its current path.

They may wear bags, but they have tickets. Dedication?

 

A dedicated fan would buy tickets year after year, support changes in the organization, and be a rock where others slowly fade away.  A dedicated fan of the Jets have been their backbone since the 1060’s.  The one’s who come back even in the face of adversity and losses.

Here is the true definition of “dedicated”:

ded·i·cat·ed  [ded-i-key-tid]

adjective    1. wholly committed to something, as to an ideal, political cause, or personal goal: a dedicated artist.

So in actuality, if you support the Jets in their present form and you keep looking for change to be positive, you are a dedicated fan.  If you want to see Mark Sanchez remain the starting QB from now until the end of his contract, you are a die-hard fan.

I believe some fans need to know the difference before they decide what term describe them most.

A person who is a fan of the Baltimore Colts or Brooklyn Dodgers today is a die-hard fan.  Being a fan of both teams from then until present days makes you a dedicated fan.

Remembering all the stats from the past fifteen years makes you a dedicated fan.

Creating a blog, Twitter account, and Facebook page to update fans in real time about the team you have been a childhood fan of for years makes you a dedicated fan.

Dressing up in paint and nothing else in 20 degrees below zero weather makes you a dedicated fan.

Packing your tailgate with your teams merchandise, wearing your teams colors every game, and buying seats year in and year out makes you a dedicated fan.  It does not mean you are more dedicated than someone else because you opt to spend more.

Anyone  who is still a Jets fan through all the team’s ups and downs, no matter who is on the field, makes everyone a true dedicated fan.  We need to be considering the roller coaster they have had us on for over forty years.  Only true, dedicated fans would stay behind a New York team like the Jets.  Ask Mets fans about dedication.

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Jets On Non Stop Road To Destiny?

As the New York Jets were putting the finishing touches on Sunday’s remarkable 17-14 upset of the Chargers, you probably were wondering what the Colts were thinking about all this.  You know, the Colts team that helped create this green-and-white monster in the first place by rolling over and playing dead — aka resting their key starters — near the end of a 29-15 Week 16 victory by the Jets that helped them get into the playoffs.  Let me be the first to tell you that this has come as no surprise to the Colts.

And here it is: Jets-Colts Part II. For the right to go to the Super Bowl.  The Jets’ defense pounded Philip Rivers and the Chargers into submission and their “ground-and-pound” offense buried Shawne Merriman & Company in scoring another spectacular playoff knockout in front of a stunned crowd at Qualcomm Stadium.  Team of destiny? Sure is starting to feel that way.  The Colts played a big hand in giving the Jets the chance to get here by sitting down Peyton Manning with 5:36 remaining in the third quarter while holding a 15-10 lead. Colts coach Jim Caldwell passed on a chance at an unbeaten season, throwing in rookie Curtis Painter and opening the back door to the playoffs for the Jets.  I do not think anyone will forget his first snap and fumble.

The next week, the same thing happened. The Bengals rested several key starters and the Jets routed them to clinch a playoff spot.  More bad karma for the Colts? Well, the Bengals certainly paid with last week’s loss to the Jets. Might the same fate await the Colts? After what we’ve seen out of the Jets ever since they bottomed out at 4-6, there is no telling how far they might take this thing. They’ve won seven of eight since then.  The moment is now.

With the Jets forcing Rivers into two interceptions and the offense again grinding it out behind the running of Shonn Greene and some timely throws by Mark Sanchez, the Jets produced one of the biggest wins in franchise history — bettered, perhaps, only by the most magical moment of all in Super Bowl III more than four decades ago.  Same Old Jets? Sorry, not this time.

“We’re hoping we can change the DNA with this team and in this city,” linebacker Bart Scott said. “This isn’t Same Old Jets. We want people to understand this is a new era.”  An era that is beginning with one of the most delectable playoff runs in franchise history. And maybe their best chance at winning it all since Joe Namath wagged his finger into the Miami sky 41 years ago.  Another appointment with destiny in Miami next month?  Could be.

Jets Shock Chargers (Ha Ha I know)

New York Jets’ improbable run continues.  The Jets rattled off 17 unanswered points in the second half and kept the Chargers’ high-powered offense in check, escaping with a 17-14 victory over San Diego yesterday in an AFC divisional game at Qualcomm Stadium.  Might I add an offense who averaged over 21 points a game.  Next, the Jets will get a highly anticipated rematch with Peyton Manning, who is playing by the way, and the host Indianapolis Colts on Sunday with a berth in Super Bowl XLIV in Miami on the line.

Shonn Greene’s 53-yard touchdown run up the gut – the longest run in Jets postseason history – provided the Jets with a 17-7 cushion and silenced the crowd.  Nate Kaeding missed a 40-yard field goal on San Diego’s next possession, his third straight miss in the game after making his previous 20. Philip Rivers’ 1-yard touchdown on a quarterback keeper with 2:14 left whittled the Jets’ lead to 17-14.  Keading broke his streak on what could have been a Chargers’ victory.  Kerry Rhodes recovered Kaeding’s onside kick at the Chargers’ 38 with 2:13 to play, and the Jets ran out the clock when Thomas Jones converted a fourth-and-1 opportunity at the San Diego 29.

Trailing by 7-3 heading into the fourth quarter, the Jets cashed in a Jim Leonhard interception of Rivers, needing four plays to grab a 10-7 advantage. Sanchez hit Dustin Keller in the right corner of the end zone on third-and-goal from the 2, lifting the Jets to the 10-7 lead with 13:35 left.

It was an improbable comeback for the Jets, considering they were down by 7-0 at the half and never got into any kind of offensive rhythm, only four first downs and punting the ball to end each of their six first-half possessions. But a 46-yard Jay Feely field goal with 10:45 left in the third quarter finally got them on the board, and they were back in business despite mustering only 99 yards of offense in the first half.  By this point I was hoping the Jets would not come into the second half of the game the same way they played the first half.

They escaped even more trouble after Sanchez made a critical mistake on the Jets’ second drive of the second half. He threw into quadruple coverage looking for Braylon Edwards, and Quentin Jammer came up with the interception, quickly halting any momentum the Jets had gained with Feely’s field goal.  Everyone knew the turnovers might be the undoing of Sanchez.  But the Jets got it right back when Darrelle Revis intercepted a ball that rolled off the body of Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson.  That makes two interceptions in two games.  Standing alone on Revis Island.

The Jets didn’t capitalize on that turnover, but they did after Leonhard picked off Rivers in the shadow of the Chargers’ end zone. They grabbed their first lead of the game four plays later when Sanchez connected with Keller.  I myself just sat there at the end of the game, laughing.  I just could not believe the Jets won the fame.  When you are so used to a team losing and falling apart on you, it is hard to react to success.  Gang Green has my full support against Indy and hope they can give every Jets fan what they want, a trip to the Super Bowl.

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Just thought I would pop a random Jets pic in the mix

Gang Green Holding Their Head High

Afternoon everyone.  I am sitting here watching the Baltimore Ravens wallop the New England Patriots.  Well, maybe wallop was not the best word to use.  The score has been 24-7 for a while.  I am still in shock over the New york Jets victory yesterday.  I am not an analyst or in depth sports writer to get into all the stats.  So to refresh your memory of yesterday’s game, you can pay a visit to the NFL website to get a review.  Funny things about the Jets is, they played like the Jets.  This is how they should have been playing for years.  It seems the Jets had a moment of clarity at the end of the season.  The Jets talked about their Defense and their smash mouth, “all purpose” offense. How many sportscasters have laughed & shook off the Green Machine as true playoff contenders?  . It seems the plan is finally coming together and they will make the Playooffs a tough one this year for other teams. From Rex Ryan has been confusing  opponents and Brian Schottenheimer has been sending in very creative offensive plays.  Many opposing defenses have been confused & the Gang is marching along taking no prisoners.

Do not get me wrong, the Jets will be tough and not just let anyone run over them.  Cedric Benson and his 169 rushing yards was an exception since Carson Palmer did not do anything in the air. How many times has anyone seen the Jets defense been this strong and man handle offensive lines?  Even Mark Sanchez is showing one can move outside the pocket and run down the field if need be.   I think 1998 was the last time Jets fans have been proud to be a fan of the Jets, the fans have waited a long time to get behind the team.  The Jets have a shot to go along way, finally.  There is no fluff here, no big stars, no one guaranteeing anything, just a team of guys will hope on their side and a lot of determination.  Jets fans, like myself, have waited long enough to finally be proud to be a Jets fan.

I have to say Mark Sanchez played one of the best games he has played yet.  anchez deserves a lot of credit for hanging in there all year and for shining when the spotlight was on him the most. Except for eating that hot dog. The Jets are high on Sanchez and expect a lot from him in the future.  He has a bright future as long as he can play at this level. Braylon Edwards was supposed to be this great trade at wide receiver.  He has yet to truly be a wide receiver.  What I mean is, how many receptions has he had on the Jets?  Edwards is another player with a good future, just not so many dropped balls and mistakes.  The offensive line played damn near perfection.  They were pushing that defense around to open up hols for Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene and the Jets running game showed why they were #1 in the NFL.  A rookie back with 21 carries, 135 yards, & a touchdown was worth what the Jets needed to do to get him in the draft. With Jones and Washington already in the backfield, Greene definitely adds a surprise element.  He is one of the Jets bright spots for the future.  Jay Feely is the Player of the Game!  Steve Weatherford had an irregular heartbeat.  Rex Ryan found out right before the game and approached Feely to be punter.  Kudos and props to Jay Feely for stepping up his game.  Ochocinco, Revis had your number, and your reception!

The Jets are at a point where the fans are finally behind them.  If the Jets play to their potential against San Diego then the Jets could be for real.  If the Jets revert back to the “same old” Jets, then we know it was too good to be true.  Jets fans are skeptical, even when they win.  But for now we do have something to cheer for.  The fact Gang Green is still in the playoffs, and Pat the Patriot isn’t.  Today I stand proud to be a Jets fan.  I helped my mom move earlier today and Gina and I were decked out in so much green you could have smoked us.  The days of being looked down on for being a Jets fan may finally be behind us.  But for now, you can hold your head high.