Cubs Nation likes to think they’ve cornered the market on being tortured and cursed by their beloved team, but Jets Nation can put up a pretty good fight.
Okay, so it’s been 108 years since the Cubs won the World Series and just 48 since the Jets won the Super Bowl, but at least Chicago is in the Fall Classic now. In fact, the Cubs won back-to-back titles in 1907 and 1908 and although this is their first trip to the World Series since 1945, at least they already have two world championships.
That’s twice as many as the poor Jets.
Who knew when Joe Willie Namath ran off the field at the Orange Bowl on Jan. 12, 1969, with his right index finger waving in the air, that anybody born one second after that game is still waiting not only for the Jets to win another Super Bowl, but just get back in?
That one moment of glory was Super Bowl III. We’re now up to Super Bowl LI this season. That’s 48 more roman numerals and barring a miracle comeback from the Jets dreadful 2-5 start, it’s going to be at least Super Bowl LII before the Jets make a return trip.
And let’s face, they will not be the favorites to get there.
The Cubs have been loveable losers. The Jets have been losers.
Cubs pose after defeating the Dodgers 5-0 in Game 6 of the NLCS.
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The Cubs lost in the NLCS in 1984, 1989, 2003 and 2015.
The Jets lost in the AFC Championship Game in 1982, 1998, 2009 and 2010.
At least the Cubs have Wrigley Field, one of the historic stadiums in the country. The Jets have gone from the Polo Grounds to a baseball stadium (Shea Stadium), to another team’s stadium (Giants Stadium) to a $1.8 billion building with no character they share with the Giants that looks like an air conditioner vent on the outside. Advantage: Cubs.
How bad has it been for the Jets?
Rex Ryan told heckling Jets fans to “Shut the f— up.” Not to be outdone, Geno Smith told heckling Jets fans “F— you.” Maybe they were embolded to speak their mind by Leon Hess, who when he owed the team, made his annual Thanksgiving pilgrimage to practice in 1995. The Jets were 2-9 on their way to 3-13. He gathered the players around him. “Let’s go out with dignity and show ‘em we’re not a bunch of horses’ asses,” he said.
They won two of their next 21 games. Go ahead, top that Cubs Nation.
Just to show 3-13 was no fluke with Rich Kotite, the Jets were 1-15 the next season, leading Hess to steal Bill Parcells away from the Patriots. But not even The Tuna could get inoculated with the antidote to protect him from the Curse of the Jets.
Joe Namath and Jets win Super Bowl III.
In Parcells’ first season in 1997, with a playoff berth on the line in the final game, Neil O’Donnell was playing a very solid game. Parcells had no use for O’Donnell, even though he was a Jersey Guy, too. With about seven minutes left and the Jets down three, Parcells took the ball out of O’Donnell’s hands and allowed Leon Johnson to throw an halfback option pass that was intercepted in the end zone by Bryant Westbrook.
Replays showed Westbrook didn’t have control when he fell out of bounds.
Big problem: Instant replay review was first used from 1986-91 but then was voted out of the league. It came back in 1999. This was 1997. Just the Jets luck. Or curse.
The following season, Parcells was 12-4 and the Jets beat Tom Coughlin’s Jaguars in the divisional round to reach the AFC Championship Game. The Jets led John Elway and the Broncos 10-0 just over three minutes into the second half after blocking a punt and recovering at the Denver 1. They were outscored 23-0 the rest of the game.
The Cubs curse won’t officially end unless they beat the Indians and even if it they don’t get it done this year, they are young enough and good enough that they could end the drought in one of the next few years.
But what about the Jets?
They are so dysfunctional that Namath questioned the severity of Geno Smith’s knee injury on Twitter on Sunday because he was standing on the sideline in the second half. “How bad can it be?” Namath wrote.
Cubs fans hold signs after the team advances to the World Series.
(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
By the way, Namath would have been a must-follow if they had Twitter when he played. Anyway, 24 hours after Dr. Namath’s diagnosis, an MRI revealed Smith tore his ACL. “My bad Geno,” Namath tweeted on Tuesday.
This is how cursed the Jets are: They reluctantly gave Ryan Fitzpatrick a one-year, $12 million contract in July, but his benefit of the doubt ran out after just six starts, a 1-5 record, 11 interceptions and the worst QB rating in the league. He came into the game in relief Sunday after Smith was injured and helped game manage the Jets to a victory over the Ravens.
After the game, he ripped into Woody Johnson, Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles for losing faith in him. Fitz is too smart to say something so stupid. Smith was criticized one week earlier for saying he was “antsy” to play and for pacing on the sidelines in Arizona with bad body language after another Fitz end zone interception.
What Fitzpatrick said after the game was far worse than what Smith said and did. But neither will have a long-lasting impact. They are both free agents after the season and it’s extremely unlikely either one will be back.
Namath might be an alternative, but apparently he’s busy with his new career as an orthopedist.
The Cubs curse could be over in the next week or so. The Jets curse lives on.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News