Tuesday, January 19, 2010
madman or genius?
An A.F.C. divisional playoff win by the NY Jets, led by head coach Rex Ryan, and a 4 episode season premiere of 24 starring Kiefer Sutherland is about all the adrenaline rush my body can handle over 36 hours.
Taking into account that the Fox Network just rolled out its eighth season premiere of 24, other than a plot change, the action packed drama provided me with few revelations. I did learn though that I prefer Jack Bauer trying to transition into life as an ordinary citizen about as much as I like Superman wearing glasses—no rush at all.
As for the NY Jets, the learning curve was indeed dramatic. All week, prior to Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers, people I know (and some that I don’t) were asking me what I thought about the Jets chances. My consistent answer was that a Jet win was highly improbable and that my expectations were low.
The Chargers are an excellent football team, and they were coming off an 11 game winning streak before this match up. The Jets were 9 and 7 during the regular season. Many critics felt the Jets were a mere .500 team. And if not for the famously debated removal of the Colts star quarterback, Peyton Manning, midway through the third quarter of the Jets-Colts game last month, the Jets would have been watching and sulking from home. Instead, the Jets went on the road to beat the Cincinnati Bengals in the A.F.C. Wild Card contest and stunningly prevailed against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
Only a couple of weeks ago I thought that Rex Ryan was beyond comical and moving toward delusional when boasting that the Jets were headed for a Super Bowl victory parade. Now I wonder if there is a method to his madness. As a team they are getting the job done. Their rookie quarterback, Mark Sanchez, looks more like a veteran than a neophyte. Their offense executes blocks when needed and delivers timely inspiration for their running game. Their defensive play has been tireless and managed to hold the Chargers below 20 points for the first time in 23 games.
Why is this? Are they not the underdogs? Is it all luck? If the Bengals and Chargers could find kickers that would not choke in pressure games would the Jets even stand a chance?
This week the unclassified and still largely unknown Jets will face the daunting task of trying to beat the imposing Peyton Manning and the celebrated Indianapolis Colts for real. Doing so would position the team on the door step of Rex Ryan’s confident Super Bowl prediction.
The odds are still quite improbable. But I am learning that stats are unimportant to a 9 and 7 team. Attitude seems to be their secret weapon. They are being led by a bold man who has nothing to lose. Their lacking fear of failure seems to be providing fuel for their road trip to success. Hopefully, Indianapolis just becomes another stop along the way.
(c) 2010 Christopher's Views