How Much is the Media Responsible For the Jets Circus?
By Jets standards this offseason has been nothing short of a relaxing walk through the park, as there’s been hardly any drama. Even the usually over-the-top head coach Rex Ryan has given up on the superbowl promises bit and has become more modest and focused on building the team. The much ballyhooed Tim Tebow pickup has even failed to make a dent so far on the drama richter scale, contrary to many reports he and Sanchez seem to be getting along just fine. So is it that every time you look in the sports page of a newspaper, go on a sports site or flick on ESPN the top story is a non-story about the Jets and some impending drama that fizzles before anyone can even stay tuned. It seems to me that the media got so wrapped up in relying on the Jets for comic relief and intrigue that they’ve forgotten that they’re a football team first and foremost.
Stop the presses, breaking news: Bart Scott said that Mark Sanchez is capable of being a top ten quarterback! Because, after all a teammate supporting another teammate is a completely foreign concept and cause for breaking news on Sports Center. That report most likely came as a burst bubble to the media who seemed so keen to try to hone in on how the team allegedly hated Sanchez and didn’t support him. Then of course there was Tebow-gate, the presses salivated over the acquisition before the ink on the contract even dried–the most controversial player in the league coming to the most controversial team in the league, what could it be better? Lo and behold the chagrin on the faces of sports journalists when Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez haven’t already killed each other and the season hasn’t begun to play out like the movie ‘Dream Girls’ before September rolls around. Have we hyped ourselves up for a brawl only to get a kiss and make up session? I believe so.
The Jets know that their window for being considered a Superbowl poised team is closing, if it already hasn’t, in the minds of fans and analysts alike. So with that harsh reality came a maturation process–yes, it seems that even the rowdy Jets are capable of getting themselves together. As a spectator when hearing the news of the Jets acquiring Tim Tebow I scoffed at it and immediately chalked it up to be yet another publicity stunt on behalf of the frat house of the NFL. Then, when you stop to think about it maybe the Jets know something that we do not, it seems so far that the Jets actually gave credence behind their signing of Tebow and have actual use for him besides an attempt to grab headlines. Tony Sparano was signed on as offensive coordinator before Tebow was even on the trading block, so who’s not to say that the Jets front offense didn’t see this as a perfect opportunity to revive a dying offensive stratagem and give it some edge.
The Jets have gained a not so desirable reputation as the biggest hams in the league, there isn’t a camera they don’t seem to like. From the Mark Sanchez backlash, to the Superbowl predictions, to the in-team fighting and so forth it seems like the Jets have become the media’s best and most reliable friend. Now, fast forward to just a few weeks before official kick off and all is quiet on the Western front–no braggadocio, no predictions just practice and game day prep…how could it be? Have the Jets undergone an overnight transition from class clown to valedictorian, and if so when will the media take them for who they now are and stop trying to wait for an inevitable train crash back to their former selves? The media seems hard pressed to be a spectator at a circus that hasn’t even made it to town.