With the season and fans’ hearts on the line, the Jets on Sunday suffered another late-season implosion — this one at the hands of their former quarterback Chad Pennington.
The Gang Green supporters who gathered at Third and Long bar in Murray Hill mourned their run, which ended with a 24-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins at Giants Stadium. They were more than familiar with the disappointment.
“It’s been bad for so long,” said Jen Jabis, 35, of Murray Hill. “I’ve been a Jets fan since I was 5, so I’m kind of used to this.”
Jabis and friend Antonia Koller, 37, a Giants fan, had kept their fingers crossed for an all-New York Super Bowl. “We had very high hopes early in the season,” Jabis said.
The Jets’ playoff fate was dependent on losses yesterday by the New England Patriots or the Baltimore Ravens. A Patriots victory over Buffalo earlier in the day dampened early postseason hopes, but then the Ravens clinched the wild card with a win over Jacksonville and erased those hopes altogether.
Quarterback Brett Favre’s once-promising team had again collapsed, losing four of its last five games.Pennington, unceremoniously dumped in the preseason for the legendary Favre, may have found some consolation in his new team’s success and its unlikely AFC East title.
“When you come back to New York for a game that has this much at stake, there’s got to be some emotion,” said Chris Langrill, 29, of Williamsburg.
After the first touchdown of the game went to the Jets, faithful fans celebrated with high-fives all around. Later, they debated the futures of Jets head coach Eric Mangini and Broadway Brett, who is in his 18th season of pro football.
“Brett’s going to stay, and Mangini’s going to go,” said Jabis, who favors former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher as a replacement. “They were playing better when Brett wasn’t listening to Mangini.”
“It’s going to be tough to keep him,” Luke Sullivan, 33, said of Mangini. “He hasn’t done anything special to keep his job.” Asked how many seasons Favre still had in him, the Sunnyside resident formed a zero with his thumb and index finger.
“Three weeks ago, the playoffs would have been a definite yes,” Sullivan said. “Now, it’s a no.”
Teal-clad Dolphins fans at Third and Long yesterday were careful not to gloat.
Spiro Maroulis, a 35-year-old from Flushing, reminded his rivals: “It’s all in good fun.”