The New York Jets are feeling themselves a bit, buying big into the offseason hype that after decades of failure, things will finally materialize and the 39-year-old Aaron Rodgers will lead them to the promised land.
Their newfound ego has them resembling the boastful Rex Ryan squads of old. And with that puffed-out chest comes a renewed attempt to assume control of The Big Apple.
For the Jets, that means turning their attention to big brother — the New York Giants.
In a Week 3 preseason game against the Giants, the other New York team played all of their starters, including Rodgers, and even appeared to game plan for the contest a bit. They poured every bit of intensity they had into the game, which was evident when wide receiver Randall Cobb delivered an illegal hit to safety Bobby McCain, leaving him concussed.
That dirty play led to an exchange between Rodgers and Giants linebacker Jihad Ward, which has since spilled over into the media and even HBO’s Hard Knocks.
The Jets ultimately won their Super Bowl, defeating the Giants’ reserves by a score of 32-24.
There was no banner or parade for the victory, but the Jets were celebrated on the back page of several area newspapers. It was their most meaningful victory since the last time they defeated the Giants in the preseason.
So, what’s that like for second-year general manager Joe Schoen? How does he handle the fight for the right to represent New York? The same way the Jets do: by focusing on the Giants.
“They were here last year,” Schoen said earlier this week when asked about sharing a city with the Jets. “We’re just focused on us. That’s all we can do. We’ve got to control what we can control and it’s us coming in here every day to work and trying to get better as a team. If we control our business and take care of our business, hopefully we’ll see positive results. I respect those guys over there but we’re just going to focus on what we can control.”
Meanwhile, out in Florham Park, the Jets find themselves concerned with the name of MetLife Stadium. They feel the name “JetLife Stadium” would be more appropriate.
“That’s what (Rodgers) called it? JetLife Stadium? I guess, if that’s how he’s feeling,” wide receiver Sterling Shepard said this week, via the New York Daily News. “If that’s how he feels then that’s cool. I don’t feel that way. Obviously. I mean, everybody is gonna pull for their squad, obviously. I feel like when we step on the turf that’s our home, we want to protect it. That’s what our job entails is to protect our home stadium.”
If you’re experiencing a case of deja vu it’s because we’ve all been down this road before. It was Christmas Eve in 2011 and we all know how that chapter ended.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.