New Yorker: God Help the Jets

An alternative viewpoint to the Tim Tebow to the Jets move comes from Adam Gopnik at the New Yorker’s Sporting Scene:

First, even allowing that we all do our best work in highly competitive circumstances—a dubious premise; most of us do our best work when we feel confident that the boss has our back, that we have room to maneuver, and even a little space to fail in—this does not give the newly re-signed Mark Sanchez helpful competitive pressure, but merely weirdly competitive pressure. That is, the moment Sanchez has a bad game or even a bad quarter—which he is bound to have, as all quarterbacks do—then the crowd, the bloggers, and some announcers will all cry for Tebow to come in and rescue the situation. That is, his presence won’t lead to a technical calculation about who can best lead the Jets; it will lead to an hysterical overreaction as to who can do what. Tebow’s reputation is not, after all, as a cool hand who will steady the ship, but as an unduly lucky man who will agitate it, and the fans. Even if you consider only the question of “chemistry,” what you are doing is adding an even more volatile ingredient to an already volatile brew. It can only blow up.

Yeesh, how do you really feel?

He goes on to suspect that Woody Johnson, the Jets owner is behind this decision because of some kind of right-wing agenda, which I think is a bit ludicrous. But his further point could be on the money.

My own dire prediction is that Sanchez will be inconsistent, the tabloid back pages will be exhausting and enervating, Tebow will then be thrown in and will create some excitement and win a game against the Bills or someone—and then, as more and more defenses catch on to the limitations of a college quarterback playing what amounts to a high-school style game, he will fail, big-time, and then Sanchez, left on the bench, will return, only now even more confused and demoralized than he has ever been before. It’s not a pretty picture. One wants to believe that pro-football decisions are made on cynical brutal, pro-football grounds, i.e. that the coaches would take a pentagram-drawing Satanist if he drew pentagrams that moved the football.

So perhaps the Jets are desperate enough to throw up a prayer by signing Tebow, but perhaps Tebow’s signing is an indication that they have also sold their soul for media hype?

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Believe in the Power of the Doggie Jersey

I’m not much into superstitions but…

The New York Jets won their playoff game over the Bengals yesterday, and more importantly, my dog haze was wearing his Jets jersey. Every time he wears it –the Jets win. Believe in the power of the doggy jersey!

I wanted to get him the number “1/2” but they don’t do fractions.

While we’re discussing Dogs and sports, Clark Gillies who played for the Islanders in their glory days when they won 4 Stanley Cups dumped a can of dog food into the illustrious trophy and let his mutt eat his dinner. Someone asked “Why did you let that dog eat his food out of the Stanley Cup ?”

His response was brilliant: “Because he’s a good dog!”

And trust me from the stories I have heard about that Cup, the dog’s mouth might have been the cleanest thing to touch the inside of that cup in years. In fact, it was probably more dangerous for the dog than any of the players.

And speaking of hockey, I attended my first Sabres game last night at HSBC Arena with my newfound friend Steve Spear (husband of the legendary youth and young adult minister here, Patty Bubar Spear). He got me up to speed on Sabres history and while we left saddened by a Buffalo loss to Colorado, they at least got a point by taking the mighty Avalanche to a shootout. A great game and a great time with a new friend.

I was never a huge hockey fan. I mean I rooted for the Islanders in their hey-day and then got to work on Rangers broadcasts and I have a picture of me with the Stanley Cup thanks to the Devils future Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur (who brought the cup to the radio station and let me carry it out to his car!). But I was lukewarm about the whole thing, riding the wave when hockey captured the attention of New York City as the Islanders did in the 80s and the Rangers Stanley Cup season after a 54 year drought. But I always thought I should have been a bigger hockey fan, because by and large hockey players are the nicest pro-athletes around. I don’t think any Met or Yankee would let me touch the World Series trophy, much less, carry it out to the car. The intimacy of that trophy is renown. I even told my wife at our wedding to hold her bouquet up like she was holding the Stanley Cup.

She just looked at me oddly. And yet, she married me anyway!

Regardless, Steve informed me that these Sabres have never won the cup. Well, fasten your seat belts because there’s a dog who’s about to get this gift very soon…

Believe in the power of the Doggie Jersey…

And go Sabres!