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No fear? Jets already selling 'AFC Champion' merchandise

Merchandise available on the Jets website bearing the

Merchandise available on the Jets website bearing the AFC Champions logos. (Jan. 21, 2010) Photo Credit: Jets.com

Give the Jets credit for this: For a team that hasn't been to the Super Bowl in 41 years, they are not the least bit superstitious.

The AFC Championship Game isn't until Sunday, but the Jets this week have been offering their fans the chance to pre-order hats, shirts and pennants with the words "Jets AFC Champions" plastered on them.

Heck, you can even pre-order this item: "Jets 2010 Super Bowl program."

When you click on one of these items, you receive this message: "In the event that the Jets do not advance to the Super Bowl, this item will be cancelled from your order and your credit card will not be charged."

But in a sports world dominated by the belief in jinxes, curses and miracles, the mere fact the Jets are putting the images of AFC championship gear on their Web site is eye-opening.

The NFL already makes this gear available through the league's shopping Web site, with the exact same items available for all four teams still alive.

But according to a league spokesman, each NFL team controls its own shopping Web site, providing the ability to keep off items that prematurely denote championships.

The Jets are the only team still alive that is making championship gear available before the game is actually won.

When you go to jetsshop.com, the first image you see is of their AFC championship sweatshirts, T-shirts and hats available for pre-sale.

"I think this franchise under the direction of Rex Ryan has demonstrated the power of positive thinking," said Matt Higgins, the Jets' executive vice president for business operations. "We'll have no talk of a curse."

Higgins called the practice of pre-selling this type of merchandise a matter of "practicality" from a business perspective, saying, "There's a large group of fans who put a great value on being first."

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