Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Same ‘Ol, Same ‘Ol

This is certainly a time for excitement for me as the Yankees are one win away from reaching the World Series for the first time since 2003. The Yanks were one win away in 2004, but a monumental collapse against the hated Red Sox was on the horizon. This one feels different. Yet, I’m not blogging about my favorite baseball team. This one is about my beloved New York Jets.

The Jets suffered an infuriating loss against the lowly Buffalo Bills this past Sunday. There is the dreaded notion of the “Same Old Jets” or SOJ, that is, that this team has experienced excruciating losses and disappointments over the last 40 years since Broadway Joe Namath made his deal with the devil to win Super Bowl III. Of course, a loss that happens 20 years ago or even last year has no bearing on what happens now. Yet there are fans that invoke SOJ at every unfortunate loss as if the past has a bearing on the present. These are doom-and-gloom Jet fans. The world is crumbling at every loss. A classic example is WFAN’s Joe Benigno, who got his radio job after being a longtime caller on the station’s midnight show. On his 10 a.m. morning show, Benigno said, “I’ve seen these kind of game for 40 years, this kind of garbage!”

Dan Leberfeld of JetsConfidential recently asked Jets head coach Rex Ryan whether Benigno’s SOJ rants “poisons” the minds of his listeners. Ryan responded, “We’ve got to do something to get that changed. I don't believe it, the ‘Same old Jets.’ My ‘Same old Jets’ would be my dad, who won the Super Bowl. I’ll sign up for that. If you want to go back to karma, let’s go for that.”

The thing is New York Daily News’ Jets beat writer Rich Cimini wrote a scathing criticism of Leberfeld for asking the question. In fact, Cimini calls criticism of SOJ as the “same old whining.” Yet Cimini is the last person who should lecture anyone on responsible journalism. For instance, last year CNNSI’s Peter King wrote an article where he presented a hypothetical quote by New England Patriot’s head coach Bill Belichick saying that he would not have Jets star safety Kerry Rhodes on his team. Cimini, in his classic lazy reporting style, went straight to Kerry Rhodes and presented this made-up Belichick quote as if it was something the coach actually said. Of course, there was a negative reaction by Rhodes to this obvious diss.

Moreover, Cimini is the quickest to invoke SOJ, even titling his post game blog entry “Same old Jets ... only worse.” The reason why the term persists is because of fools like Benigno and Cimini insist that it is relevant. Of course there are fans that invoke it. Heck, just scan the Jet fan message boards and after a 3-3 record there are fans calling rookie Mark Sanchez a bust (after his first 6 games of his NFL career) and Rex Ryan a bad coach doomed to failure. These are known as SOJF, that is “Same Old Jet Fans.” Benigno had a good description of the loss, but the term is more appropriate to describe his and Cimini’s mindset in covering the team: garbage.


  1. Steven, I am a born and bred Bostonian. Grew up right in the heart of the city. I am no Yankees fan :-)

    I remember 2004 like a gorgeous dream. Funny thing was, my husband and I were in Ireland and we were hitting an internet cafe every day just to see how the Sox were doing. When they were 3 games behind, we stopped checking. Imagine our surprise when they came home and had won the division and were playing in the World Series?

    Whenever someone tells me they can't do something now, I always refer to that comback. Now, I think anything is possible!

    I'm so glad the curse of the Bambino is over and that I saw it in my lifetime.

    As for the Yankees, ummm...lets just say I have nothing to say :-)

    Have you been to Fenway? To Boston?

  2. Jets fans are the quickest to turn on their players and franchise when things go south fast. I know, I'm a HUGE fan and get frustrated when everyone turns negative. It's too easy to do.

    People forget that Sanchez is a Rookie and to expect these bumps in the road. I'm also getting sick of of the SOJM (Same Ole' Jets Media).

  3. Hey, Lisa.

    As odd as it sounds from a Yankee fan, I wasn't upset that the Curse of the Bambino was over. I love baseball above all, so the Red Sox winning it in 2004 was great for baseball. It was also a "market correction" as they say in securities trading for all the years of suffering.

    And, unfortunately, I've never been "in" Fenway. I've been to Boston and around the stadium, but never there for a game. It's definately something I want to do.

  4. Hey, Erik,

    Great points. It's definately too early to make definitive statements, but it doesn't stop the fans or media. And you are so on point about SOJM.

  5. "Market correction." I love that! I read in a newspaper once, just before the win in 2004, this local newspaper man say, "The Red Sox killed my father, and now they are coming after me." I am still laughing over that.

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