When I came to the United States, I couldn’t understand it. There was a bunch of guys, heavily geared; going after a ball thrown by a player everyone else seemed to want to get a piece of. Really, never caught my attention, mainly because I couldn’t understand what was going on. And why “football” when the game is played with hands?
That was my problem with American sports in general. It’s not easy to figure out rules at first. Take Baseball, for example. If you never played it or paid attention to it, it’s a bit difficult to figure out what’s going on.
Compare American Football and Baseball with soccer and you will understand what I am talking about. Kick the ball into the opposite goal and you score a point. Soccer is simple. No three points, no extra points, no points based on the way you score or how many players cross home base.
Ice hockey was the first sport I followed when I came to the US. I arrived right before the NY Rangers won the Stanley Cup, in 1994. From my apartment on 3rd Avenue, I could see New Yorkers going crazy when the Rangers finally won the cup for the first time in 54 years. I decided to become a New Jersey Devils fan after the playoff series the Devils played against the Rangers that same season. At the time, the Devils had never won a Stanley Cup, and I have a sweet spot for underdogs and underachievers. And besides, the Devils had Martin Brodeur.
And I liked hockey because I am from Portugal. We are always a contender for the hockey world cup title… in roller skates.
So, I got my first sport in the U.S. and decided to tackle the second one. Basketball was never my favorite sport. I can’t stand a full game. I find it boring and only really like the last 15 to 10 minutes. Growing up I liked the LA Lakers, mainly because of Magic Johnson. I knew about the players as I still know today, but I just don’t like the sport.
My second love was baseball, and the NY Yankees. I started paying attention to it when Don Mattingly retired, in 1997, and became a NY Yankees before they won the 1996 World Series A little secret: I learned baseball rules by playing video games.
And I really followed baseball. Went to a few games at Yankee Stadium but after the strike, steroids scandal and the home run record breaking farce, I lost interest.
Becoming a NY Jets fan
It was by that time I started paying attention to American Football, and my soft spot for underdogs led me to become a New York Jets fan. It was by the time Chad Pennington became the Jets quarterback, and there was lots of hope he would be the next big thing. And the kid was good, but those pesky injuries wouldn’t leave him alone. But he had heart and was tough as nails. If only Mark Sanchez had half of Chad Pennington toughness in him, he would be a hell of a quarterback.
Don’t get me wrong. I like Mark Sanchez, and still believe he can be good one day. Not great, but good. And the way the Jets have been through the years, I would be happy with just a good quarterback. In fact, I would be happy with a decent team, for a change. The Jets don’t have to win all the time, but make the playoffs in a consistent basis; let’s say every two/three years. And by making the playoffs I mean, go to the playoffs without help. Not because this team or that team decided to rest players or they don’t care anymore.
More defense for Ryan
This year I didn’t really pay attention to the draft. No big names, a poor draft class. I don’t know. I guess I am not into it because I know whoever my Jets get will probably be a so-so player, who will play for a so-so team, under a so-so coach. Not good, and never great, because the great players (insert Darrelle Revis here) are smart enough to run for the door whenever they have a chance.
As I write this, the Jets addressed their defensive needs by selecting Dee Milliner, CB from Alabama, to replace Darrelle Revis. It will be a daunting job for Milliner, but I think he can handle it.
The fact is, the Jets didn’t addressed their offensive needs, and we all know how badly the offense as played in the last two seasons.
I don’t think they should have drafted a quarterback, that would place Mark Sanchez in a rough situation and add more pressure to a situation that doesn’t look good as it is. But instead of picking DT Sheldon Richardson, why not address instead some offensive needs?