Reports out of the various shit-stirring tabloids in New York are that Geno Smith will take over as the New York Jets starting quarterback. Depending on the report, the Jets either planned this all along, or only made the move because Sanchez is injured and they don't want to yank the rookie quarterback around. The reason doesn't matter, because the outcome will be the same; it's always the same. In four years we'll be having this conversation all over again.
The New York Jets, by virtue of a famewhoring owner with little-brother syndrome, a market that eats up schadenfreude and a media that knows the recipe, are stuck in a perpetual cycle of just-good-enough-to-never-get-anywhere. We are now in the third straight administration.
We start in 2000, when Woody Johnson bought the franchise, fresh off a highly anticipated season that ended as soon as it began. In 1999 Vinny Testaverde ruptured his Achilles in the season opener and the resulting shitshow ran Parcells and Belichick out of town. Who could have known then, when Tom Tupa was playing quarterback, that things could actually get worse.
The first true hire of the Johnson era was Herman Edwards, who took over in 2001, after Al Groh steered the sinking ship left by the Parcells and Belichick. Herm got the Jets to the playoffs his first two years and Chad Pennington emerged as the successor to the aging Testaverde. Chad didn't have Vinny's arm but he could command the offense almost perfectly. Simultaneous with Chad's ascendency, Edwards gave a wacky press conference. The Jets won the division that year but no one remembers that; all they remember is that you play to win the game.
Because Pennington, unfortunately, was made of glass; he was never on the field long enough to reach the potential we thought he had and the fans and media grew impatient. So when it was time for someone to go—to satisfy the bloodlust—the guy who had the wacky presser was painted a fool and traded to Kansas City for what would later become Leon Washington.
Eric Mangini was the exact opposite of Edwards and he was from the crazy-successful division-rival New England Patriots. He would bring order and get the most out of this roster. He would keep a tight lid on things and not cozy-up to the media. And he did! The Jets were 10-6 in his first year and Chad was Comeback Player Of The Year. Then Pennington got hurt again and the next season was lost. In 2008, the owner stepped in and Chad was tossed to the dogs for sexy, name-brand quarterback Brett Favre. It almost worked. When it didn't, Mangini took the hit.
Enter Rex Ryan. You see where this is going. Another sexy, name-brand quarterback and some more early success. Followed inevitably by years of struggling. Someone always has to pay the price, though. This is New York. You can't just be a loser, you've got to make heads roll and win. Those smart fans won't stand for anything less, we're told.
First it was offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, then the general manager was finally fired last year. Now, everyone is salivating at the thought of a Rex Ryan firing. Some outlets want him fired _days before the season starts._ And, today, Mark Sanchez has reportedly taken the fall.
When Geno Smith finally gets his walking papers in four years the only thing recognizable about the team will be how unrecognizable it is. Rex Ryan won't be there. The offensive coordinator will be gone, maybe even John Idzik, too. Just like Chad, Herm, Mangini, Schotty and the rest. _
The one constant is Woody Johnson, who keeps trying to duplicate the success of his roommates and rivals by doing everything exactly the opposite. No one is around long enough to gut the team, they just keep putting a different re-fab on the same shitty foundation.
I won't even wish you luck, Geno. It'll hardly matter.
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