What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
If you aren’t familiar, Tales of Depression and Sorrow is our series in which we interview sports fans to let them tell their tales of certain instances or specific seasons which would make sports fans cringe in horror and pain, or expands on that to take a hard look at the long-suffering fans of franchises who have tortured their supporters for decades.
The idea is rather simple. As ESPN continues it’s descent into a maelstrom of shameless self-promotion, political correctness, and all sorts of non-sports evils, the art of story-telling is dying in the sports media. Tales of Depression and Sorrow is our attempt to rage against that dying of the sporting story light, and what better way to illicit such a rage that to play on the collective pain of sports fans?
The bottom line is this. There simply isn’t enough good story-telling in sports media today, which is a shame because sports fans are some to the best story tellers out there. Why is that? Because the best stories have some pain in them, and what sports fans don’t have volumes worth of pain built up inside them?
Today’s pain sharer is the Unknown Blogger. This isn’t his first appearance on Dubsism; he’s been part of many things, most notably the Blogger’s Roast of J-Dub. We would love to tell you more, but there’s a reason why he keep his real identity under a paper bag. Nevertheless, he’s here discuss a life of pain being a fan of the New York Jets.
J-Dub: How long have you been a fan of the New York Jets?
UB: I was born and raised on Long Island. By playing in Brooklyn, then in Queens, that made the Jets “our” team out there on the island. The Giants were the “city’s” team. My dad was born and raised in Queens, and he went to his grave never forgiving the baseball Giants for abandoning him for San “Fag”-cisco…his words, not mine. The Mets were to us just a bullshit replacement. So, we had the Jets.
J-Dub: So this was a Long Island thing? Were you also a fan of the New York Islanders?
UB: No. I can’t fucking stand hockey. Bunch of Canadians and other goddamn foreigners. I’m a fucking American. Baseball and football is all I give a shit about.
J-Dub: Well, that’s where we part ways. I enjoy many sports.
UB: Of course you do, sitting there in that San “Fag”-cisco Giants cap. Its’ funny actually because most people would think you’re too fat to be a fag. I think not only do you suck dick; judging by your weight you deep-fry it and gobble it by the foot.
J-Dub: Yeah, that’s big talk for a guy whose wardrobe choices are limited to “paper or plastic.” Are there any other reasons you became a Jets’ fan?
UB: Yeah, hating the New York fucking Giants. I know you’re an Eagles fan, and when I worked for ESPN, I got a chance to meet Chuck Bednarik. I’m not a big fat fairy like you, but I almost sucked him off for what he did to Frank Gifford back in 1960.
J-Dub: Someday, I really want to have a chat like this with you about your days at the World Wide Bottom Feeder, but that’s for another time. Who is your all-time favorite Jets player?
UB: Most people would think from my age that it would be Joe Namath. Fuck him. Yeah I know he “guaranteed” that Super Bowl win over the Colts, but a lot of people forget that if it weren’t for Sonny Werblin, that Super Bowl would have never happened.
J-Dub: That’s a good point. Tell us that story.
UB: Nobody ever remembers that when the old American Football League was founded in 1960, they tried to go head-to-head with the NFL in three markets. The Chargers lasted in Los Angeles for one year before they moved south, the Raiders would have gone belly-up without financing from former Bills’ owner Ralph Wilson, and by 1962, the then New York Titans are dead broke and are rumored to be ready to break the pro football expansion into the south. At this time, the closest thing to football in the south are the Washington Redskins and the expansion Dallas Cowboys; There’s no Carolina, Atlanta, New Orleans, Jacksonville, Tampa, or Miami yet.
In ’62, Werblin buys the Titans and fundamentally transforms them. The first thing he does is change the name and the uniforms. Werblin was a television executive and therefore a media expert. He knew that the Titans blue and gold color scheme looked boring as fuck on black-and-white TV’s, which is what most people had at that time. That’s why he changed the name to “Jets” because again, at that time, jet-powered air travel was the hot new thing, and he brought in those distinctive high-contrast green and white uniforms. In no time, even if you were watching on the shittiest 8-inch black-and-white, you knew who the Jets were.
Then, to go with the new look, Werblin becomes the first AFL owner to outspend the NFL for a college star. It’s no accident that Werblin the media expert wanted a guy who he knew he could make a star out of. That’s Namath value. He wasn’t a great player, but he was the AFL’s first superstar.
J-Dub: What about a player you liked?
UB: Most of those would be from when I was a kid. I was a skinny, slow white kid, but I had great hands, so I wanted to be Don Maynard. Another guy I always liked was Randy Rasmussen.
J-Dub: “Mr. Jet.” You know me, I’m all about the offensive linemen getting some love. Why did the Jets never retire his number 66?
UB: I don’t know. I never had a problem with Alan Faneca wearing it, but seeing that fat cunt Willie Colon wearing it makes me puke. You go back and look at highlights of the Jets in their day. The good Jets teams could always run the goddamn ball, and you see so much of Rasmussen pulling out in front of guys like John Riggins, Matt Snell or Emerson Boozer. At the end of his career, he was doing the same for guys like Freeman McNeil.
J-Dub: Funny you mention him. Jets’ fans have a love/hate thing with him. Where are you on that?
UB: Let me tell you something. The Jet fans that hated McNeil are the same ones you say became Patriot fans 15 years ago. In the early 80’s, he and Johnny Hector were one of the best running back tandems in the fucking league. The guy was a three-time All-Pro, retired as the franchise’s leading rusher, and if he didn’t have injury problems later in his career, he’d have been a borderline Hall-of-Famer. If you’re a Jet fan who hates Freeman McNeil, go lick Tom Brady’s spooge off a locker room floor. We don’t need you.
J-Dub: You mentioned earlier your belief that Joe Namath wasn’t a great player, yet he’s your signature Hall-of-Famer, Ring of Honor member and starting quarterback on your All-Time Team.
UB: Fuck that shit. The legend of Joe Namath is built on two fucking seasons. The greatest quarterback in the history of this franchise was Ken O’Brien. The Jets of the 1980’s were the definition of “underacheivers,” but that was due to the fact they were coached by ass-licks like Walt Michaels and Joe Walton. Just look at what he did in his career in New York; over 25,000 passing yards in the days before the NFL became just like the pass-happy CFL. O’Brien was the first quarterback to earn a perfect NFL 158.3 rating. I don’t know exactly what that means, but nobody else did it for 27 years. He was easily the most accurate passer I’ve ever seen.
J-Dub: I saw O’Brien up close for a season at the end of his career when he backed-up Randall Cunningham in Philadelphia. I always thought if the Bears had drafted him in 1983, they would have won maybe three Super Bowls and O’Brien could have been in the Hall-of-Fame. Jim McMahon has to be a favorable comparison for you to Namath. Another not terribly skilled NFL quarterback, but a larger than life media figure.
UB: Exactly. McMahon was another guy who really thought his shit didn’t stink, just a giant pain-in-the-ass. There were so many people at ESPN who took great delight in watching his career hit the shitter after the Bears ditched him.
J-Dub: Let’s talk about some Jets you didn’t like. Who is your “brother-in-law” player, meaning guy you hated, but you tolerated him because he was on your team?
UB: Easy. Mark Fucking Gastineau. I’m a lot like you; I’m an “old-school” guy. I loved the “New York Sack Exchange,” but I hate these motherfuckers dancing around like they’ve got a live crab in their jock because they did their fucking job. Sack the quarterback, get back up, line back up, and do it again.
J-Dub: Who is your “bad, but hot girlfriend” player, meaning the guy who you loved but you knew was bad for your team?
UB: Pick any of the “used-up” quarterbacks we were trotting out for a while: Boomer Esiason, Neil O’Donnell, Bubby Brister, Vinny the Testicle, and “Captain Cock-Pic” himself. After O’Brien, we almost always had a mediocre quarterback who we left out there until he sucked so bad, we would have cheered Osama bin Goat-Fucker as our next guy.
J-Dub: What is your personal highlight moment for being a Jets fan?
UB: The Super Bowl III win over the Colts…I mean, what else could it be? Taking the Patriots out of the play-offs in 2010 was pretty sweet, but it’s a distant second. The thing about that Super Bowl win…was it was a “man landing on the moon” moment for pro football. David finally fucked up Goliath. The NFL didn’t take the AFL seriously before that. They had no choice but to do so after that.
J-Dub: What is your personal lowlight moment?
UB: I’m sure that if you asked that question to just about any other Jets fan, you’d get a lot of “Butt-fumble” jokes. But I think there’s at least two moments worse than that.
The first is when “Fireman Ed” walked away from this team after the “Butt-Fumble.” A lot of people thought the reason why he hung up his helmet was the teams’ fucking pathetic play at that time, but he said it was he couldn’t take other Jets fans at that time. I think you fucking nailed it with your bit on Jets and Giants fans and how a large number of them are just band-wagoners. So many of these “so-called” fans are just haters of the first order; all they want to do is scream shit and pretend they are tough guys. You know, like the time I was glad you’re a big fat guy and you beat the holy living shit out of two guys at the old Giants’ stadium.
J-Dub: No comment. Is there a statute of limitations on assault in New Jersey? What’s the other moment?
UB: Fuck, I don’t even want to say. I’m getting ready to barf just thinking about it. At least the “Butt-Fumble” was one moment in time, but 1976 was like 13-game long prison rape, and the guy shoving his cock up your ass is Lou Holtz.
J-Dub: I had a feeling you were going to say that.
UB: Let’s talk about great disasters of my lifetime. Challenger, Chernobyl, and the ’76 Jets. We’re eight years past Super Bowl III, and in that time I’ve gone from my first memories of Jet football having them on top of the fucking mountain, and since then, it’s been a steady descent to the depths. Our Hall-of-Fame quarterback has knees made out of Spam, so naturally, he gets hurt and thus begins the Richard Fucking Todd era. I don’t know how we weren’t the worst team in the league. We only had two players who weren’t absolute dogshit…Randy Rasmussen and Greg Buttle. Guys like Abdul Salaam and Jerome Barkum would be OK later on, but in ’76…fuck me.
Three goddamn wins and two of them were against Buffalo. All they had then was O.J. Simpson and Joe DeLamiellure to lead him wherever he went. The other win was against the expansion Buccanneers. Somehow, we were supposed to believe that Lou Holtz was the savior and we knew that was horseshit after the 46-3 ass-hammering we took from the Broncos. Holtz skulked out of town before the season was even over, and when NFL Films made the “highlight film” for that season, it featured the legendary voice of John Facenda saying “Perhaps the best thing to say about the 1976 New York Jets season is that it’s over.”
J-Dub: Was there ever a moment when you considered changing teams?
UB: I wouldn’t say I was ready to start being a fan of another but the Tim Tebow trade had me ready stop supporting the Jets. It was so obvious after two straight AFC Championship games that Mark Sanchez wasn’t the guy to get the job done. Rex Ryan told (general manager Mike) Tannebaum he needed a quarterback, and what’s he get him? The problem is that this kind of shit isn’t going to get any better as long as Woody Johnson owns the team.
J-Dub: If your team re-located to another city, would you remain a fan?
UB: Really, they already did. People out there in “fly-over county” don’t think the 20 miles between Flushing, Queens and East Rutherford, New Jersey constitutes “another city” since they are really all part of the greater New York area. Here’s the problem. To get from where Shea Stadium used to be (the current site of the Mets’ Citi Field) to the Meadowlands complex in Jersey where Met Life Stadium sits is a much larger undertaking than hopping in your car and driving to the next town 20 miles down the open road.
If you aren’t familiar with the geography of New York City, going from Queens to East Rutherford means either going through or around Manhattan. Google map it, and you’ll see hilarious numbers like “42 minutes” for the route that takes you along the Harlem River crossing into Jersey on the George Washington Bridge. Yeah, maybe at 3 A.M. There’s no fucking way you’re doing that in under an hour. The route which goes right through Mid-Town? Think more like two hours. Or, you can take the long way around by cutting all the way through Brooklyn, across Staten Island, then back up through Newark. Again, two hours minimum if you’re lucky. I could drive from Queens to Philadelphia in two hours.
But, the thing is we all knew moving out of Shea Stadium was inevitable. Sharing with the Mets always meant having to spend most, if not all of September on the road. Even when the Jets got to play at home, the field was so chewed up from six months of baseball that Jets games were more often than not mud festivals. When Sonny Werblin sold his majority share of the Jets, he became head of the commission looking to build a football stadium in the Meadowlands.
My only surprise was it took until 1984 for the Jets to move to Jersey.
J-Dub: If there was one personnel decision you think could have changed your team’s fortunes, what was it and what would you have done differently?
UB: A complete elimination of the guys allowed to make player personnel decisions between Jim Kensil and Bill Parcells. Mike Tannebaum and John Izdik were both a special kind of stupid, but that cast of clowns between the mid-80s and the mid-90s are the ones who legitimized that ass-wipe Mel Kiper. It’s one of the truest things you ever said when you noted Kiper’s made an entire career off saying “the New York Jets have no idea what the Draft is about.”
J-Dub: Wasn’t that the year they took Jeff Lageman in the first round?
UB: Goddamn right. And about at least the next five drafts involved taking stiffs at the top.
J-Dub: What was your toughest off-field moment being a Jets fan?
UB: Living in New York and working in an office full of Giants fans after their second Super Bowl win over the Patriots. Not only did I have some pretty heavy cash on Marcia Brady and the Patriots, but having to listen to all those fake-ass, band-wagon Giants fans at a time in the previous couple of years when I KNEW the Jets had a plausible shot at a Super Bowl if they didn’t have Mark Sanchez as a quarterback.
J-Dub: If you could wave a “magic wand,” what is one thing about the Jets you would change?
UB: Well, considering you’ve dredged up all my painful memories, I wouldn’t have done this interview. Go kill yourself, pig fucker.
For more in our series of Tales of Depression and Sorrow, recent episodes of “Tales of Depression and Sorrow” can be found here, and archived versions can be found here.
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