The Jets won Superbowl III on January 12, 1969, almost exactly 41 years ago. It was just before I was born against the Colts and Johny Unitas. It was the first time they called it the Super Bowl. Joe Namath was the hero of the show, jogging off the field in the iconic moment with his finger wagging in the air. Before the game, Joe guaranteed a win. It was an audacious and unprecedented move that has since never been duplicated.
The result was an historic upset. No one thought the Jets could do it. The Colts were dominant that year. However, that year the Jets had the number one defense. On the flip side,. Namath completed only 50% of his passes and threw more interceptions (17) than touchdowns (15) during the season. He was not a stellar QB that year.
I have been a Jets fan for my whole life. The story of that magical day has lived with me, even though it happened before I was born. Every year, the story is the same. The Jets do well early and get my hopes up. Then they get over confident and start losing. Everyone (including my father) at this point says, “Same old Jets” and dash my hopes. Then miraculously, they make a run, doing well again. At the very last moment, they fail at the finish line and dash my hopes for the season. They never go 1-15. It’s always in the middle. Then I have a few months respite and they start up for a new season and repeat the process.
This year we started with the same story. Great start. Rookie QB, rookie head coach. 3-0 out of the gate. Then they played New Orleans and everything fell apart. We started losing big time. Then we pulled it together at the end of the season and beat the Colts in a game where they virtually forfeited by taking their starters out to rest. (It was a meaningless game for the Colts) We squeaked into the playoffs with a 9-7 record. However, we had the number one rushing offense and the number one defense. We beat the Bengals (good team) in the wild card round against the odds. Yesterday, we beat the San Diego Chargers (a really good team) against the odds. Next week, we face … The Colts and Peyton Manning (great team and league MVP) in the AFC championship game. No one expects the Jets to win.
I believe in the impossible. Not because I am delusional, but because it is part of who I am. I think people overreact to bad odds. 99% wrong means 1 out of a hundred people are right. “Any Given Sunday” is a term that means that a team can pull out a win against a superior team with a combination of luck, skill and preparation. I believe history repeats itself.
The score will be 16-7 identical to Superbowl III. The Jets are going to beat the Colts on Sunday. Just like they did 41 years ago. I guarantee it.