As the 2011 NFL season comes to a close with a Super Bowl clash between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, there’s a detached air in New York City. There are no more random battle cries of J-E-T-S. Rex Ryan’s personal league-wide vendetta is a thing of the past. Green jerseys lay balled up in the back of closets or the bottom of dumpsters, stained with beers and tears. There’s a game left, but for us –– that is, Jets fans in the East Village and other parts of New York City –– the season’s over. We’re tired. We’re confused.
For the first time since August, we have nowhere to turn. Since the football season began in August, many of us have gravitated toward the Jets, with their scrappy play. For New York City transplants, the gradual adoption of the Jets meant defecting not only from the Giants (the other “New York” team that plays in New Jersey) but also hopping fickly from less fortunate childhood teams in other states and cities.
Throughout the team’s improbable playoff run, it felt like every New Yorker was a New York fan, every bar was a Jets bar.