Hot! Vick to the Jets Would Turn their Circus into a Carnival

The rumor that the Jets are considering replacing Sanchez with Michael Vick is so ridiculous that it must be true. If it happens, it would do little to help install the right culture in New York.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images & NY Daily News



As the headlines and links started popping up on my twitter feed I had to double-check to make sure they weren’t all coming from @SportsPickle. When I realized that these stories were originating from real, reputable news sources I quickly came to the conclusion that this was simply an early Christmas miracle for me and my fellow Patriots fans: Vick to the Jets? You cannot be serious.

Listen, I don’t need to delve into the details as to why this is preposterous. You guys don’t need me to explain why Michael Vick is no savior. Why signing an injury-prone, 32-year-old quarterback who has only played a full season once in his 10 year career might not be the best idea. No, you Jet fans are much smarter than than that because even though I know you’ll still run to Modell’s to buy your #7 replica jerseys, I believe that you know in your heart-of-hearts that this another disaster waiting to happen. You guys don’t need facts, maybe just a little perspective. Perhaps some New England Patriots perspective.

Outside of Sundays, the life of a Patriots fan is a boring routine. Patriot players never reveal anything interesting to the media or the fans, sticking to the Belichickian philosophy of speaking in tight-lipped clichés. They hardly ever make big splashes in free agency, instead preferring to stock-pile draft picks  year after year. Most importantly, in the past decade, neither our head coach nor our starting quarterback has sat on a lukewarm chair, let alone been on the hot seat.

And then there’s the winning, I have to admit it can get a little monotonous. Win in the regular season, win the division, win in the playoffs. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

The Jets, meanwhile, have their own routine, usually involving spectacular feats of buffoonery that are so outlandish you can’t help but watch, mesmerized by the constant barrage of absurdity. The Jets are a Patriot fan’s outlet; we get to sit back and watch our polar opposite arch-nemesis attempt football to the script of a Michael Bay film. (Yes, film/literature majors I know Man of La Mancha was clearly not done by Mr. Bay, but work with me here)

And so, any trade that would involve Michael Vick coming to New York is intriguing, as usual, and yet not the least bit surprised because it is so utterly, unmistakably Jets.

In order to be taken seriously, New York must stop with the gimmicks and get back to what got them to the two AFC Championship games in the first place. You want to know what scared Patriot fans? When your defense was unrelenting, getting pressure without the blitz, and swarming our glorified dink-and-dunk offense all over the field. When you had a quarterback who could at least pretend to manage the game and a running back who could control the clock. You want to know what delighted Patriot fans? Anytime a Jets personnel move ended up on the front page of the papers or created a splash.

Here’s a few off the top of my head: drafting Vernon Gholston (NFL combine freak), drafting Quentin Coples (character concerns), drafting Stephen Hill (another combine freak), signing Laron Landry (Hulk Impersonator), trading for Tim Tebow (Christ Impersonator). From a Patriots perspective, each of these made me relax the moment they were announced.

Look, I get it, Jets fans. Part of me would love all of these moves too, if I wasn’t so conditioned to the Patriot way of thinking. More often than not when it’s draft time or the free agent frenzy, I always want the Patriots to spend a ton of money, pick up the biggest, baddest, most hyped-up superstars, and ride them to multiple titles. But the part that has learned from watching Bill Belichick run the team is aware that I know squat about making personnel decisions in the NFL, since the reality is you win a lot more titles with unheralded guys like Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, and Kevin Faulk than you do with combine freaks and superstars.

If the Jets want to get back to competing, they should adopt this line of thinking: give up the relentless pursuit for the back page of the papers and start building a solid, well-rounded football team. Stars or not.

New York will always belong to the Giants, with the Jets playing the part of the little brother. The only way to lessen that inequality is to install a consistent culture of winning. Replacing Sanchez with Vick would only serve to widen this gap by turning a circus into a carnival. Then again, who wouldn’t want to see that?

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Jack graduated from Boston College with a double-major in Poverty, i.e. History and and Theology. He does most of his writing in his natural habitat as a cubicle monkey for a big corporation. Follow him on Twitter @ElNino22.


Jack McAuliffe

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