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Why are they the S.O.J?


Ex-Rex
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I've read through about half the posts on this thread, and it's painfully obvious that those who say "SOJ doesn't exist" simply don't understand what it means. Nothing more. It is not a right or wrong thing - it is a failure to understand the mindset and mentality of the old-guard fans who have been through losses like this for over three decades. I have to chime in. This is a long one, my apologies to anyone who doesn't feel like reading all of this!

SOJ is NOT about losing a big game, it is NOT about what the team has done in recent years, it is NOT about the current state of the franchise, and it most certainly is NOT a negative mindset. It is just, quite simply, the acknowledgement of a pattern of losing in certain types of spots. Please allow me to explain further.

The Jets have not been a bad enough team since 1981 when things came together (with some exceptions) to be a sad sack franchise like Detroit, Cleveland, or what teams like Buffalo and Oakland have turned into in the past 20 years. Prior to 1981 and after the Super Bowl in '68-'69, they were as sad sack as any of those teams. Notable exceptions, of course, were the Kotite era and the last 1-2 years under Rex where no SOJ moments existed because the team was simply terrible. Most of the rest of the last 34 years, the Jets have been anywhere from mediocre and middle of the pack to just-short-of-very good. Rarely have they been THAT good where they are expected to win - the notable exceptions here of course being 1998, 2008 (for a stretch) and perhaps 2010. All ended in signature SOJ moments. But the point of SOJ is that the Jets are never bad enough and never quite good enough. It's the never-never land in between. 

No....SOJ is not about losing per se. As many have pointed out, every team has bad losses and every team will give games away. SOJ is much more about never being quite bad enough to be expected to lose all the time..............about overcoming poor expectations to get the hopes of the fans up....................about almost being that scrappy team that should be featured in a feel-good movie..............and never being able to finish the job. SOJ is about losing in unimaginable and legendary ways that, yes, other teams will have happen every so often - but the Jets seem to have it happen in these types of spots almost all the time. It's about outplaying the opponent and losing anyway because of stupidity, or getting outplayed and having a chance to win, and losing because of stupidity. It's rarely ever about just simply being outplayed - those are just normal losses. Like Oakland and Houston this year - normal losses. Team didn't play well, turned the ball over, didn't execute.............just a loss. Those things happen. That's not SOJ. 

SOJ is about winning the turnover battle by 3 turnovers and still losing, about rushing for nearly 300 yards and winning time of possession by a huge margin and losing, about having a two-score lead in the final minutes and needing one play.......one.......to put the game away........getting that play..........and then having a senseless penalty overturn your play and give new life to the opposing team. SOJ is always about hope, and the franchise always seems to destroy the collective psyches of its fans just after getting its hopes up in some grand, unexpected fashion. 

SOJ is about having 10 plays you can point to in a game, where ANY of those plays would have made all the difference and NONE of those plays goes the Jets way. Yes, that happens to every team in a lot of games, but the circumstances around the Jets, in the SOJ games, usually involves a mind-numbing amount of "I can't believe it even got to that point" moments. Teams that are winless, teams that haven't rushed for more than 50 yards for the entire season, teams with 3rd stringers playing, teams that have no business even being in the game..........and the Jets just toying with them and leaving them in the game anyway....somehow. Or the converse (mind you, it's never in between, it's always an extreme) - having an inferior team get out to a lead, having the Jets climb back into it, only to fall short. Not because they simply fell short or ran out of time..................oh no. SOJ never encompasses running out of time because they were too far behind. It ALWAYS comes down to a play or two in the final minutes where the Jets have a chance to make things right.............and in the SOJ games, they never do. Ever. I know, it's going to be easy to shoot that one and say "sure, it's SOJ if they lose, and not SOJ if they win" - it's not that simple. There has to be an element of expectation and ultimate failure if that expectation isn't met - and that's where SOJ really shines. When you are playing a depleted team with "nothing to play for" and you need it to get into the playoffs. Or you're fighting for the division lead, have a game against a team that is struggling and the game should be as much of a gimme as the NFL ever had..........but somehow you lose 9-6 or 10-6 or 6-3. The SOJ landscape is littered with games where the team never got into the endzone when one trip there would have won the game, saved its season, changed all the momentum in the playoff race.

Yesterday was absolute vintage SOJ, it had all the hallmarks of all the SOJ moments over the years.  Straight from Hollywood, you couldn't have scripted it any better if you'd tried. A team in revolt, without many of its starters, but a coach who had something to play for, the last team you would ever want to lose to. The Jets came in hot, winning 5 straight and getting the fans hyped into thinking that the poor play and squeaked-out wins had showed them how to win close games.................it was a setup. A re-emergence of our old nemesis SOJ, who hadn't really been around in quite some time. The 2010/11 AFC CG against Pittsburgh was the closest thing to SOJ in the past few years. Sure, a few of those games in 2011 and 12 could have qualified - but not really. True SOJ hadn't reared its head in awhile because the team hadn't been in a position to have an SOJ moment...........until yesterday. Remember, expectations and the consequences of that unimaginable failure have to be present, and the failure has to be spectacular and mind-boggling. 

So, please forgive those of us who have been around since the early '80s for having a shellshocked attitude towards the team and almost expecting the worst. Call it superstitious if you like, but it has happened far too many times for it to be mere coincidence. Of course, deep down in our intellectual minds we know there is no real connection, but until such time as this team comes through and stops playing the same way and making the same types of mistakes over and over in big spots.................we'll always revert back to the tough losses and know what's coming in these games - until we're proven wrong. And we haven't been yet. 

No one wants to be wrong more than us. Trust me. 

 

Well done...

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They are the "SOJ" because of the one and only constant....the fickle, drunken, stupid, chicken little, crybaby "SOJF's".....

Perhaps..but you and I live outside NY and probably see more  different JETS fans from more areas than other local NY area fans.

I hear "Same OLE jets" in every state I have seen a game.  It is not an agenda and it is adhered to by LOTS of fans.

Being positive wont change it, only winning will.

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They are the "SOJ" because of the one and only constant....the fickle, drunken, stupid, chicken little, crybaby "SOJF's".....

By and large, the people who actually recognize a SOJ moment for what it is, are the people I would never, ever describe that way.

 

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I've read through about half the posts on this thread, and it's painfully obvious that those who say "SOJ doesn't exist" simply don't understand what it means. Nothing more. It is not a right or wrong thing - it is a failure to understand the mindset and mentality of the old-guard fans who have been through losses like this for over three decades. I have to chime in. This is a long one, my apologies to anyone who doesn't feel like reading all of this!

SOJ is NOT about losing a big game, it is NOT about what the team has done in recent years, it is NOT about the current state of the franchise, and it most certainly is NOT a negative mindset. It is just, quite simply, the acknowledgement of a pattern of losing in certain types of spots. Please allow me to explain further.

The Jets have not been a bad enough team since 1981 when things came together (with some exceptions) to be a sad sack franchise like Detroit, Cleveland, or what teams like Buffalo and Oakland have turned into in the past 20 years. Prior to 1981 and after the Super Bowl in '68-'69, they were as sad sack as any of those teams. Notable exceptions, of course, were the Kotite era and the last 1-2 years under Rex where no SOJ moments existed because the team was simply terrible. Most of the rest of the last 34 years, the Jets have been anywhere from mediocre and middle of the pack to just-short-of-very good. Rarely have they been THAT good where they are expected to win - the notable exceptions here of course being 1998, 2008 (for a stretch) and perhaps 2010. All ended in signature SOJ moments. But the point of SOJ is that the Jets are never bad enough and never quite good enough. It's the never-never land in between. 

No....SOJ is not about losing per se. As many have pointed out, every team has bad losses and every team will give games away. SOJ is much more about never being quite bad enough to be expected to lose all the time..............about overcoming poor expectations to get the hopes of the fans up....................about almost being that scrappy team that should be featured in a feel-good movie..............and never being able to finish the job. SOJ is about losing in unimaginable and legendary ways that, yes, other teams will have happen every so often - but the Jets seem to have it happen in these types of spots almost all the time. It's about outplaying the opponent and losing anyway because of stupidity, or getting outplayed and having a chance to win, and losing because of stupidity. It's rarely ever about just simply being outplayed - those are just normal losses. Like Oakland and Houston this year - normal losses. Team didn't play well, turned the ball over, didn't execute.............just a loss. Those things happen. That's not SOJ. 

SOJ is about winning the turnover battle by 3 turnovers and still losing, about rushing for nearly 300 yards and winning time of possession by a huge margin and losing, about having a two-score lead in the final minutes and needing one play.......one.......to put the game away........getting that play..........and then having a senseless penalty overturn your play and give new life to the opposing team. SOJ is always about hope, and the franchise always seems to destroy the collective psyches of its fans just after getting its hopes up in some grand, unexpected fashion. 

SOJ is about having 10 plays you can point to in a game, where ANY of those plays would have made all the difference and NONE of those plays goes the Jets way. Yes, that happens to every team in a lot of games, but the circumstances around the Jets, in the SOJ games, usually involves a mind-numbing amount of "I can't believe it even got to that point" moments. Teams that are winless, teams that haven't rushed for more than 50 yards for the entire season, teams with 3rd stringers playing, teams that have no business even being in the game..........and the Jets just toying with them and leaving them in the game anyway....somehow. Or the converse (mind you, it's never in between, it's always an extreme) - having an inferior team get out to a lead, having the Jets climb back into it, only to fall short. Not because they simply fell short or ran out of time..................oh no. SOJ never encompasses running out of time because they were too far behind. It ALWAYS comes down to a play or two in the final minutes where the Jets have a chance to make things right.............and in the SOJ games, they never do. Ever. I know, it's going to be easy to shoot that one and say "sure, it's SOJ if they lose, and not SOJ if they win" - it's not that simple. There has to be an element of expectation and ultimate failure if that expectation isn't met - and that's where SOJ really shines. When you are playing a depleted team with "nothing to play for" and you need it to get into the playoffs. Or you're fighting for the division lead, have a game against a team that is struggling and the game should be as much of a gimme as the NFL ever had..........but somehow you lose 9-6 or 10-6 or 6-3. The SOJ landscape is littered with games where the team never got into the endzone when one trip there would have won the game, saved its season, changed all the momentum in the playoff race.

Yesterday was absolute vintage SOJ, it had all the hallmarks of all the SOJ moments over the years.  Straight from Hollywood, you couldn't have scripted it any better if you'd tried. A team in revolt, without many of its starters, but a coach who had something to play for, the last team you would ever want to lose to. The Jets came in hot, winning 5 straight and getting the fans hyped into thinking that the poor play and squeaked-out wins had showed them how to win close games.................it was a setup. A re-emergence of our old nemesis SOJ, who hadn't really been around in quite some time. The 2010/11 AFC CG against Pittsburgh was the closest thing to SOJ in the past few years. Sure, a few of those games in 2011 and 12 could have qualified - but not really. True SOJ hadn't reared its head in awhile because the team hadn't been in a position to have an SOJ moment...........until yesterday. Remember, expectations and the consequences of that unimaginable failure have to be present, and the failure has to be spectacular and mind-boggling. 

So, please forgive those of us who have been around since the early '80s for having a shellshocked attitude towards the team and almost expecting the worst. Call it superstitious if you like, but it has happened far too many times for it to be mere coincidence. Of course, deep down in our intellectual minds we know there is no real connection, but until such time as this team comes through and stops playing the same way and making the same types of mistakes over and over in big spots.................we'll always revert back to the tough losses and know what's coming in these games - until we're proven wrong. And we haven't been yet. 

No one wants to be wrong more than us. Trust me. 

 

'tis a thing of beauty... 

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lol, they get us all to buy-in, play themselves into a win-and-in situation, then come out and lay an egg... but not just any old loss, a loss punctuated by flat play, sloppy penalties, a terrible game plan, and no sense of urgency... against the coach we just fired.

SOJ through and through. To deny it, is to not understand it.

Which was my point. There never seems to be a pressure situation that they don't fail in. I think the words 'control your own destiny' scares the heck out of this team because it truly puts the spotlight on them and it is a pass-fail grade, no gray area. The Jets just don't have the leaders in the coaching staff or the locker room to raise the level of play and when things start to go bad it just continues.

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Which was my point. There never seems to be a pressure situation that they don't fail in. I think the words 'control your own destiny' scares the heck out of this team because it truly puts the spotlight on them and it is a pass-fail grade, no gray area. The Jets just don't have the leaders in the coaching staff or the locker room to raise the level of play and when things start to go bad it just continues.

Another interesting element is that two of the "locker room leaders", players who lead by reputation, example and past record of achievement, are Fitz and Marshall.  Both guys have a nearly 20 year history of never making the playoffs.  I like them both.  But that's as SOJ as it gets, folks.

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SOJ exists until they win a Super Bowl.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Finally someone who gets what the poing of a football season is. In this new era, a turn around often happens over night.  I love this team and always will, but that does not diminish the fact that this is yet another season of drought. It isn't just missing pieces. Mental toughness or lack thereof is and will always be the key. In a long season, all teams lose pieces of the puzzle. We were obviously not mentally tough enough to move on. IMO, it is SB or bust.

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SOJ, jumping offsides, missed FG, dropped passes, 3 INT, a defense that looked completely baffled. Players on the sidelines shaking their heads in frustration in the early 2 QTR instead of adjusting and dusting it off. All in the biggest game of the year against an under 500 team. YEP thats vintage SOJ.

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