Jim Baumbach is an investigative / enterprise sports reporter for Newsday. A Long Island native, he started working
It was one thing for Jets fans to attend a Super Bowl party, put on a happy face and watch two of their most despised opponents -- the cross-state Giants and the division rival New England Patriots -- vie for the championship that the Jets have been longing for since 1969.
But the post-Super Bowl celebrations brought the torture to another level. One Jets fan woke up Monday morning, realized the game he watched the night before at a friend's house wasn't actually a nightmare and responded by venting online.
In a www.thejetsblog.com post appropriately titled "What It's Like to Be a Jets Fan Today," New York University student Daniel Marcus began by pointing out that the next day's ticker-tape parade meant "it is only going to get worse before it gets better."
The 19-year-old's blog post apparently struck a nerve with many jolted Jets fans, with many of them forwarding Marcus' words by email throughout the day. His main point was simple but effective: Though the Giants and their fans deserve congratulations for their remarkable run, he and his fellow Jets fans already were sick of hearing about it. And the celebrating had just begun.
In a telephone interview this past week, Marcus said he knew the doomsday scenario for Jets fans (Giants vs. Patriots) was going to happen long before they won the conference championship games. Jets fans are like that; so many seem to be born with the trait of always expecting the worst.
Marcus, however, can't help but wonder if he jinxed his team in a way only Jets fans might.
When the Giants were losing to the Cowboys in the fourth quarter of Week 14, he started calling a few Giants fans and crowing about how their January was going to be playoff-less. But then Eli Manning led the Giants on another late comeback and Marcus thought, "Uh-oh."
What happened in the following two months -- the Jets' dysfunctional collapse combined with the Giants' second Super Bowl title in five seasons -- is what Marcus calls "karmic justice" for his premature celebration of the Giants' demise.
Come Super Bowl Sunday, many Jets fans were torn, but not Marcus. He attended a Super Bowl party filled with Giants fans and admitted to "quietly rooting" for the Patriots, if only because he didn't want to live through another week of celebrations like February 2008. No such luck.
So essentially, he spent the week in sports hibernation. Surely other Jets fans can relate. "I couldn't listen to sports radio and I couldn't watch 'SportsCenter,' " he said. "I couldn't watch the news. It's been nonstop Giants."
Now, however, the week is over, the Giants celebrations have calmed down and Jets fans can go back to arguing whether they should make a run at Peyton Manning if the Colts set him free. Or, if you're like Marcus, you can move on to other pressing matters in the sports world. He said, "It's baseball season, if you ask me."
Say this much: Life as a Jets fan always is interesting.