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Hope ends in despair for Jets fans across LI

A Jets fan reacts in the fourth quarter

A Jets fan reacts in the fourth quarter as the Jets lost to the Colts during the AFC Championship Game on Jan. 24, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Credit: Getty Images

Come for the baptism, stay for the football.

The Jets fans weren't hard to find Sunday at the christening party for 4-month-old Leah Julia DeRosa at the Metropolitan Club in Glen Cove. Huddled around a television Leah's father Dominic arranged to have on display, they cheered and groaned through the AFC title game.

"Let's go, Jets!" screamed 4-year-old Gianna Iadevaia, as her cousin Leah - still decked out in her white dress and bonnet - lay in a stroller, oblivious to the drama unfolding on the screen.

>> PHOTOS: Colts defeat Jets, 30-17

It was not meant to be. With the Jets' 30-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, Leah's christening no longer had to compete to be the most joyous event of the day for the DeRosa's friends and family.

"We're bummed," said Joe Macchia, 30, of Westbury, whose wife Katerina is a cousin of Dominic DeRosa, also of Westbury. "But we're still happy we got to where we got to."

That mixture of hope and despair buffeted Jets fans in more traditional football-watching settings. At Changing Times Sports Pub in Farmingdale, green jersey-clad fans with stricken faces hugged in sorrow as it became clear the Jets would lose.

"Next year," said Anthony Sarlanis, 30, a Dix Hills resident who said he has had the same table at Changing Times for Sunday football since 1998. "I've been saying that for 25 years."

And yet, a sense of optimism endured. A round of applause went up and a chant of "Jets! Jets! Jets!" after the game clock struck zero.

Same Old Jets? Not this time, with rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez leading a talented core group of players into the future.

"You made us proud," said retired Nassau police detective Paddy Dowling, 58, of the Jets. "And we are proud of you. And next year is another year."

For a few fleeting moments in the game's first half, it seemed the Jets wouldn't have to wait until next year. With his team winning 17-6, James Gould, 32, of Greenlawn, left the DeRosa christening party for a moment and came back inside wearing a Wayne Chrebet Jets jersey over his dress shirt.

"I might be the only person wearing a collar under his Jets jersey anywhere today," Gould said.

>> PHOTOS: Colts defeat Jets, 30-17

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