The League

Michael Kun
Author

Michael Kun

Co-author of The Football Uncyclopedia. He is also the author of six other books and is a practicing attorney.

Jets Fans Be Mad!

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Where are the Jets fans?

Since when have Jets fans ever held their tongues about anything that even remotely touches upon the Jets? At a time when Jets fans should be outraged, all you can hear are the proverbial crickets chirping.

And make no mistake about it -- Jets fans should be outraged.

Outraged, I say.

By what?

By Brett Favre.

By now, you and I have read more than enough about Favre and his Shakespearian struggle to determine whether to continue to grace us with his presence on the football field.

If there has ever been a less decisive public figure than Favre, it's hard to think who it might be.

And, no, you can't count boxers who come out of retirement precisely because their judgment has been impaired by all those blows to the head.

Favre has no such excuse. He wears a helmet to work. When Favre came out of retirement last year to play for the Jets -- a team he made clear was not his first choice, we heard from the outraged Packers fans. And last month, when he threatened to come out of retirement to play for the Vikings, only to remain retired, we heard from the outraged Packers fans once again. And this week, when he changed his mind again and decided in fact to play for the Vikings, we heard from the Packers fans again.

I won't waste your time summarizing why some Packers fans are so outraged other than to say that I get it.

But nothing from the Jets fans. Not a word. Just the crickets chirping. Why should Jets fans be outraged, you ask. I'd be happy to answer. Because Favre manipulated them, too, and left them worse for the experience. In short, they are weaker at the most important position in the game because of Favre's nonsense.

A year ago, the Jets had a perfectly good quarterback in Chad Pennington. Highest completion percentage in NFL history. Go ahead, look it up. Great leader. Great teammate. The only reason the Jets don't have Pennington this year is because he had to go once they picked up Favre last summer. Last year, the Jets had 38-going-on-39 year old Brett Favre. And the only reason they don't have Favre this year is because he retired. Again.

Now, the Jets have a rookie at quarterback, Mark Sanchez, who, if he's lucky, will turn into Chad Pennington in a few years. Which is still a good thing, mind you. But Sanchez the rookie is not as valuable as Pennington the veteran. And Sanchez the rookie is not as valuable as Favre, the 39-going-on-40 year old. So, the Jets are weaker.

Why blame Favre?

Well, the Jets wanted Favre to come back this year. At least that's what they said publicly, and there's no reason to believe that's not true. Think the Jets didn't want Favre to sell a few more seat licenses to their new stadium? Think they didn't want to sell a few thousand more of those jerseys with Favre's name on them?

But when Favre said he was retiring, again, the Jets didn't have much of a choice. They couldn't wait to see if he changed his mind, again. They needed a quarterback. They needed a name to sell seat licenses. They had to give their fans someone they'd recognize to stick his hands under center. They either had to trade for a new quarterback, or trade up in the draft to get one. Which they did. Despite other needs, they moved up to select Sanchez because of Favre's retirement. And Jets fans celebrated and continued to celebrate.

Only, once the Jets selected Sanchez, Favre asked the Jets to release him so he could go somewhere else should he decide to un-retire again.


"I can't come back to play for you," Favre essentially told the Jets, "because you just selected Sanchez." Which, of course, he had forced the Jets to do by retiring. The Jets quitely granted Favre his release, paving the way for Favre to end up in a Vikings uniform.

Why release him? Perhaps because they didn't want to go through the same public humiliation the Packers had gone through. Perhaps they didn't want to deal with a season of Favre moping because he really wanted to play for the Vikings. Perhaps because they didn't want to screw up their salary cap by having enormous contracts for both Favre and Sanchez on the team at the same time in the event that Favre unretired, again.

Now, it is certainly possible that Favre could have come back to play for the Jets, and Favre could have tutored Sanchez. I'll bet Aaron Rodgers might have something to say about Favre's skill as a tutor were Rodgers not such a gentleman. But the fact remains that Favre jerked the Jets around just as much as he jerked the Packers around. Only the Packers will be a better team despite Favre's antics.

The Jets? Sorry, but they would have had virtually the same season last year with Pennington as they had with Favre. And they would have had a better year this year with Pennington than they will with Sanchez. And you can blame Brett Favre, Jets fans.

Now, please, stop being so quiet about this. It's disturbing.

By Michael Kun  |  August 20, 2009; 2:53 AM ET  | Category:  Brett Favre , Minnesota Vikings , NFL , New York Jets , Quarterbacks Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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As a season ticket holder the past 8 years, I can't tell you how sick I was of Chad Pennington by the end of 2007. His high completion %age was all about dink-and-dunk passes that typified a blahzé offensive schematic from 2003 onward. The guy was never the same after shattering his wrist in a 2003 preseason game against the Giants. The TWO rotator cuff surgeries didn't help either. Is he a smart QB? Yes. But that doesn't change the fact that all defenses stacked the box due to complete lack of respect for P-ton's arm. Thomas Jones got killed in 2007 because of it. Miami had to resort to the wildcat in order to get defenses to back out of the box, if not they wouldn't have won the division last year. Sparano just knows how to use his tools well! Kudos to him...

Favre actually gave allowed us to have running game. As old as he was, most teams still respected Favre's arm, and it showed by our successes halfway through the year (8-3 after beating a previously undefeated Titan team in week 12). Unfortunately, Favre hurt his shoulder in that game and his typical gunslinging approach was out the window. Teams employed the same strategy they did with Pennington the last 5 games. I can't tell you how many times we said "There's no way Pennington makes that pass" last season with Favre back there.

As far as us sounding off goes, why would we care? Packers fans are buzzing because he signed with a division rival, why would Jets fans care about Favre tying political knots in the NFC North? If the guy signs with the Bills, it's a completely different story. Show a little common sense before you write about us Jets fans, Michael.

Posted by: BrooklynNY | August 20, 2009 1:10 PM

It's simple really. Favre has had the crap kicked out of him playing the game of football and despite being a broken banged up shell of what he used to be, he is still a tremendous talent.

He only wants to play if there is a chance he can go out with a superbowl win, and the current Jets team won't get him there. He plays in pain, he does not want to play in pain for a team that he cannot turn into a championship team. He gave Jets fans a lot, but broke his body (again) in that process.

BrooklynNY's analysis was spot on. Did Favre contribute as a Jet? Yes. Did he give it his all including his health? Yes. Do 90% of Jets fans understand and apreciate that? Yes. Are the Jets likely to win a superbowl with Favre this year? No. Does anyone in the footbal world imagine that Favre is part of a good five year plan? No.

Posted by: AndyShep | August 20, 2009 6:41 PM

Well, if it doesn't bother you that the Jets didn't even get a draft pick for Favre because of the way he manipulated them through his retirement-forced release, then that's fine. At the very least, I'd have wanted him still under contract to the Jets so, if he did decide to come out of retirement, they could have at least traded him to the Vikings and picked up a draft pick.

Posted by: MichaelKun | August 20, 2009 8:17 PM

I think that Brett never promised the Jets a second season with them. If I remember correctly when he came there, he said he would only take it one year at a time. The Jets have a young quarterback to play for them now in Mark Sanchez, so why be mad at Brett? The Packer fans have a long history with him, so it is a completely different situation.

Posted by: bonniea1 | August 31, 2009 1:30 AM

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