Thursday, January 24, 2008

New York Jets By The Numbers: #8

The #8 of greatest renown among Jets fans who appreciate the absurdity of our favorite team is also the winner of the #8 Booth Lustig Award for Funny Name: Browning Nagle. Jets fans love Browning Nagle because Browning Nagle was supposed to be our future, our new tomorrow, our bright star on the other side of Ken O'Brien. Then he wasn't. He came and went through our lives with such swiftness that he has become a metaphor in our kingdom for lost promise, less euphemistically phrased as "a washout." I like to think that all such quarterbacks are brought into the starting role too soon. But his season ended with a 20-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints. The next year he was a backup to Boomer Esiason. The year after that he was gone.

Nick Lowery played for the New York Jets during their very worst years. He is one of the NFL's all-time best, and when he was with the Chiefs, he was a guarantee three points every time. He was a good choice to follow Pat Leahy, and in his last season, he was still known as the man behind Jan Stenerud and George Blanda for points. He has always been a name known for his charitable causes. However, in 1995, in the midst of a frustrating 31-28 loss to the Patriots at Foxboro, he - yes - slapped a ball boy on the sidelines whom he felt was not warming up the footballs for kicking. Apparently the ball boy - a man in this thirties ("not a Wimbledon ball boy," as Lowery said later) - got mouthy (what a surprise) with Nick and got slapped. It's an unfortunate thing that is a largely forgotten footnote in his career, but if you're going to slap a ball boy, let it be a New England Patriots ball boy. I'm just saying.

Finally, in his final season in the NFL, Tom Flick was in a Jets uniform. He was a Rose Bowl winner with the University of Washington, but he had a below average career as the man who would fill in Joe Thiesmann's shoes in Washington, D.C. or Dan Fouts' in San Diego. He had no shoes to fill in with the Jets, and his injuries ended his career. Flick's a funny name; in caps looks it looks like "Fuck" if you squint your eyes. Nevertheless, what's funny about Tom Flick is that you can pay him a $10,000 speaking fee today so that he can talk about what it takes to rebound from disappointment once your career has gone south. Is this something Jets fans really need? Someone to tell you how to rebound from failure? Shouldn't we be getting speakers' fees for talking about just that? That gives me an idea...


Anonymous said...

Marty - last I saw of Nagle, his name was on the Club Champtionship board in the mens locker room at Ridgeway C.C.

Martin Roche said...

Let me guess: big club shots, poor short game, mid-level handicap.