When I came into this game, I fully expected something reminiscent of the Jets' loss to Oakland a few weeks ago, a game that left me silent, troubled and withdrawn. Well, I'm always a little troubled, but that's an issue more appropriate to discuss with my mental heath care professional. No, I expected the Jets to let me down as they have done, historically, week by crushing week, year after year. But for all the wailing and gnashing of teeth that goes into the hype of being a Jets fan, most of it occurs when the Jets win.
I've said this before - it's actually more stressful when the Jets win because winning raises the stakes of hope. Last season had its dismal sides, but after a while most of it had to do with my job. Things at the Meadowlands went quickly from bad to worse and didn't really get better in 2007. I got used it, I accepted it (I've had plenty of experience) and felt...well, not comfortable, but at peace with it, just as one must always finally accept the prevailing limitations of human existence, living as we do with free will and subjective powers of abstract consciousness. On the other hand, though, some bad shit was going on last year at work, and I had to really fucking deal with it. And deal with it I did, and with much better aplomb than the Jets did with Brian Schottenheimer's offense scheme.
In this way, the losing Jets are the dulling reminder, the momento mori of human existence. Things suck, don't they? You can get that message from a lot of places, too. From the local or international news, perhaps, or maybe even just by looking outside, like in Walt Whitman's "I Sit and Look Out." Or from Dylan's "Blind Willie McTell." This Rams team appeared ominously tidal coming in; one of the reasons why I was doubtful about the game was because the Jets were exactly the kind of team that the Rams would find appealing for a rebound matchup from a previous loss. But this was a win so effective that the Jets' starters got a rest for Thursday night's game. And when the Jets win, they tend to conjure the ubiquitous refrain of "Yes, We Can!" over and over, a cry so encompassing that it becomes the truth in one's mind, the way most political slogans do. The Jets won by 44 points, a franchise record. (Yes, we can.) Thomas Jones ran for 149 yards and three touchdowns. (Yes, we can). Brett Favre didn't throw any interceptions. (No, he didn't! Yes, we can). Jay Feely hit one from 55 yards away, another franchise record! (Yes, we can). Eric Barton had another great game. (Yes, we can).
But hold on there, little dawgie. There's Thursday. Then there's the unbeaten Titans (I wish we could wear our Titans unis for that). This is only the flush of excitement before the wash of gloom. There's still a crumbling economy, a plummeting stock market, a vanishing workforce, a lost sense of international respect. What about that stuff? Can we handle that? There's no other way to frame it. Right? Big wins like this one always raise questions, like how big? If the Jets managed this kind of domination of a team like Those of Whom We Do Not Speak, then it would be different, wouldn't it? Ah, the crushing spectre of hope again. Against the Rams, the Jets' front line was scarily effective, opening up enormous holes for Thomas Jones. In the image above (photo taken from New York Times) you see the lyrical poetry of an offensive line performing their job. Click on it and it suddenly seems as if you are looking at a work of art, a neo-classical painting, complete with the master's sure eye for symmetry, depicting the tableau of some ancient combat. Even D'Brickshaw Ferguson lying on the ground to the lower far right seems an intentional touch. With such an inspirational image, there's no way we can't keep hope alive. Surely now there is a means for opening the holes up the middle for Jones that were missing in week 2.
Ugh. God help us.
Anyway, regarding my earlier, strained metaphor above between economics and football, it seems as if the Jets' financial prospects are in good shape, especially after successfully selling their PSL's at inflated prices for next year's opening. One guesses that most of their seat buyers weren't CEO's for companies recently bailed out by the Federal Government, but were probably regular folks of a variety of backgrounds and incomes likely hurt by this economy. Go team, huh? Yeesh. Woody Johnson invested his money in Alan Faneca, Damien Woody, and Brett Favre, so apparently the Jets are a much more appealing expenditure for fans who mortgage their livelihoods for PSL's. King Woody's investments have yielded rather a merciless profit for the company. Next time take note, General Motors.