So I realize that I didn't write anything after the week 11 loss to the Patriots. I guess it just didn't seem worth it. Didn't really have another "man, this team sucks and why do I bother rooting for them" post in me. Another "Mark Sanchez is a turnover machine" game. Fine, whatever.
As for the win against Carolina, the best thing about it was that I was there. In terms of a football game, it was sloppy, and probably the least inspiring win I can think of. The Jets tried to give it to Carolina, turning the ball over often. Luckily, Carolina turned it over even more, and the defense managed to play a really stellar game (for the most part.)
But let's talk about being there, since it will be my final game at Giants Stadium. They move to the new building next year, and I won't be in Jersey for either of the last two home games. So this was it for me.
Many of the games I've gone to have been on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, since that is the Sunday during the season when I am always home.
Never, though, has the weather been this perfect. Unseasonably perfect. It was in the low 50s, and sunny. It was actually pleasant to be outside.
Also, major props to my friend Jared, who has a great tailgating setup. A highlight were the sliders and the breakfast sausage that had marinated overnight in maple syrup (off the charcoal grill, and even better than you think.)
The atmosphere was relaxed. I was with friends I've known forever. We ate, had a few drinks, threw a football around, and made fun of people (particularly each other.)
The seats were great. 50 yard line, 2 rows from the top of the stadium. You can see every thing that happens from up there, see plays as they develop, see the open receivers that your rookie QB inevitably missed.
The game wasn't particularly tense. The Jets were more or less in control the whole game, despite the turnovers keeping it closer than it should have been. So we were relaxed in the seats, cracking a few jokes, complaining about our team, and throwing paper airplanes.
It was a perfect cap to my week back home. It was a perfect personal send-off to seeing the Jets at Giants Stadium - a win, but not one I could feel all that good about.
The team is 5-6. The next two games are Buffalo and Tampa Bay, which are winnable, even for a majorly flawed team like the Jets. At 7-6 they'd be in the mix for the playoffs. Then, of course, they'll blow it, but that's how this team always is. Give you a bit of hope, snatch it away so that you promise you'll never get roped in again, win a bit so you get roped in again, and then be left ultimately and in retrospect inevitably disappointed.
It's a lifetime of frustrating mediocrity, being a Jets fan. But at least it's a comfortable frustration.