Thursday, September 17, 2015

I’m Back.

I like to spend my Sunday night wishing it wasn’t Sunday night.

Sunday mornings are another story. Football is back, and so am I, after taking a year off from rooting for my favorite team, the New York Jets.

The Jets broke my heart last season when they signed Pit Bull killer Michael Vick. I stopped following them immediately.

I must have been pretty disappointed, because in a day and age in which you can’t avoid sports highlights, I went to bed on opening day not knowing whether the Jets had won or lost for the first time since I was 12.

The guys who watch the games with me respected my decision. On our trip to Green Bay last year, my friend Jeff, who remained a Jet fan (and is not a dog lover), thought my shirt sent the exact right message:

But as the Jets went through one of the shittiest seasons in team history, several friends congratulated me on picking “the right year” to stop rooting for them. Yeah, my team signed the most despicable man on the planet and completely let me down. I’m the luckiest guy in the world.

My friends meant well. Someone who didn’t mean well is my now ex-friend Frankie, who had this exchange with me on Facebook:

FRANKIE: Where you watching the game Sunday?
ME: I’m suspending my Jets’ allegiance as long as Vick is on the team
FRANKIE: What? That’s stupid
ME: I’m a Pit Bull owner
FRANKIE: Yeah? Well you’re not a real Jets fan
ME: Apparently not
FRANKIE: You’re such a stupid asshole I hope the Jets win the Super Bowl this year just to screw you
ME: Take care

Why the Jets risked losing thousands of fans by signing Vick was baffling to me. And even more baffling to ESPN on-air talent Michelle Beadle, a huge Jets fan who gave up her allegiance permanently. Michelle favorited one of my tweets:

When Michael Vick became a free agent this year, my best friend Chad, a Steelers fan, heard his team might sign him. Here’s how Chad reacted:
The Steelers wound up signing Michael Vick. Sorry, bro.

So now the new season has begun, and the two men most responsible for the Jets signing Michael Vick – head coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik – have been fired. It gives me an even cleaner slate to come back.

But I don’t forget.

When Michael Vick signed with the Jets, he said, “Right now, my past is irrelevant.”

This past:

“As the little red dog lay on the ground fighting for air, Qaunis Phillips [one of Vick’s accomplices] grabbed its front legs and Michael Vick grabbed its hind legs. They swung the dog over their head like a jump rope then slammed it to the ground. The first impact didn’t kill it. So Phillips and Vick slammed it again. The two men kept at it, alternating back and forth, pounding the creature against the ground, until at last, the little red dog was dead.”
– from The Lost Dogs, by Jim Gorant

As long as that guy doesn’t play for my team, I’m a fan of the New York Jets.


Leslie Rae Mosier said...

Damn right, Matt. So easy for people to just put Vick's
actions behind them but nobody needs a man like that on their team.

Love that t-shirt.

Matt Shevin said...

Thanks, Leslie Rae.