Monday, January 17, 2011

Jets, Mets and teams that expect to win

Why did Squawker Lisa predict a Jet win over New England, while the Squawker who is actually a lifelong Jet fan was just hoping for a competitive game? Is it because she's a Yankee fan who always expects to win, while I'm still trying to get used to the idea?

A day after one of the most glorious wins in Jets history, I'm still in a state of shock. But it's not just because Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez outcoached and outplayed Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. It's because I've entered unusual territory for those of us that root for the Jets and the Mets. I now expect my team to win.

Sure, I didn't think the Jets would win yesterday until the Jets responded to the Patriots cutting the lead to 14-11 with Jerricho Cotchery's 58-yard catch and run early in the fourth quarter. And next Sunday against the Steelers, I'll be all too aware of the Jets' blowing double-digit leads in last year's AFC title game and the one in January 1999.

The last time the Jets faced the Steelers in the playoffs, Jets kicker Doug Brien blew the game. Yesterday, current kicker Nick Folk missed a 30-yard field goal.

But now I expect the Jets to win. Now, when I think of Folk, I think of the game-winner in the wild-card round against the Colts.

When I think of those blown double-digit leads, I'll remember how the Jets gave back some of yesterday's double-digit lead, but still won the game.

Now I'm looking forward to the Favre Super Bowl - Jets vs. Packers - seeing two teams rise to great heights after cutting ties with Brett.

Or the Cutler Super Bowl - Jay Cutler and the Bears against the team that some thought should have drafted Cutler in 2006. (Of course, the same old Jets would have drafted Matt Leinart. Instead, they waited three years, then drafted a USC quarterback who just tied the record for most career road playoff wins.)

The Mets brought Sandy Alderson in to change the culture, and so far I am optimistic that will happen. But Alderson has a way to go to achieve what Rex Ryan has done in under two years. I can only hope that "same old Mets" disappears as fast as "same old Jets" has under Ryan.

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