I have been a Yankee fan for as long as I can remember. My earliest recollection of being a fan was my birthday in 1956 when I was six years old. My Uncle Al worked for Railway Express and had Yankee Stadium on his route.
He frequently went into the locker room with a delivery, and as my birthday neared, he asked for an autographed hat for his nephew and God Child. Being 1956, he got Mickey to sign a hat.
Anyway, for over sixty years, I have been a die-hard Yankee fan. During those sixty-plus years, the Yankees have been a source of great joy, and I have cherished every moment, even the losing seasons.
But then, in 1965, when I was fifteen, I went to my first professional football game.
My brother had just gotten season tickets for the American Football League New York Jets, and he took me to a game. Now, you must know my brother and I were die-hard New York Giant fans and loved all of their stars. Tittle and Gifford and Huff were some of our favorites, but you could never get a ticket to a Giant game, and you only saw them on TV when they were playing an away game.
Thank God for Marty Glickman and Al DeRogatis, who expertly described the games on the radio.
So, in 1965 I attended my first football game and watched Joe Namath throw a football like no one I had ever seen.
It was love at first sight.
Eventually, my friend Mike and I got our own season tickets in 1968, and we won the AFL Championship Game, which we attended at Shea Stadium, and then the Jets won the Super Bowl.
The Jets did a lot to earn our love, and through the years, we have been loyal fans.
Lately, however, the Jets have not done much to sustain our love. They haven’t loved us back. They have taken our love for granted and have broken our hearts on a seasonal basis.
But, when you are trapped in a relationship, it is tough to walk away. You believe them when they hire a new coach who promises to be a winner. You believe them when they draft a new quarterback who will restore the team to greatness. You believe them that things will get better.
To be sure, there have been times when we had every reason to believe that the Jets were sincere about their love for us. We had some very satisfying years. I am not talking about winning a Super Bowl but a season where the Jets are still relevant at Thanksgiving.
Lately, the Jets haven’t been relevant on Columbus Day.
Love hurts when you are taken for granted, and when your feelings aren’t acknowledged by your beloved. But you disdain the concept of loving another. You refuse to move on. You still think there is hope for this relationship.
It’s hard to believe that you are still stuck in this quagmire, but you always wear your Green proudly even as people look at you in dismay.
So it’s still J E T S Jets! Jets! Jets!