Jets fever was running high as my kids plastered homemade green and white Jets signs all over the house. My wife, who likes football about as much as an old-fashioned enema, suddenly sported a green Coach bag. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Neighbors and friends even dared to utter the two words Jets fans were told to never, ever say in a public place: Super Bowl.
Adding to the hysteria, Mayor Bloomberg said the Jets were not only going to the Super Bowl but were winning it. As the Jets headed to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers, everything seemed to be in place for a return to glory.
Not so fast.
According to one of my friends, “Joe Namath sold his soul to the devil so the Jets could win the Super Bowl in 1969. And they haven’t won since.”
He had a point about the Jets long history of losing. But his story was pure fiction.
“You don’t really believe that, do you?”
“What do you think?” he said with a straight face.
Yeah, sure, I said to myself. I also believe in Big Foot, the Loch Ness monster and that Donald’s Trump hair is real.
Starting to doubt what I believed, I decided to check with an honest, reliable source: my eight-year-old daughter.
“Lexy, you don’t believe in fairy tales or monsters or curses or jinxes, do you?” I said half-smiling.
“Of course not; don’t be silly, Daddy. I’m not a baby,” she said as if I should be ashamed for asking.
“That’s what I thought, just checking.”
“Hey Daddy, guess what? My tooth is loose.” She wiggled her tooth. “The tooth fairy is going to come tonight and bring me $10.”
Some reliable source she turned out to be. And I was going to be out ten bucks.
On the morning of the game, my confidence in the Jets started to waiver. I even found video on the Internet proving Trump’s hair was simply a comb over gone awry. I was starting to believe in the curse.
Feigning confidence, I began texting my buddies to say we were going to the Super Bowl. I was searching for reassurance.
I approached the kids who were watching TV. “Who’s going to watch the Jets win today?”
“They’re going to lose.” Lexy was dead serious.
“No, they’re not,” my son said taking my side. “Who’s playing, Dad?”
And to think just yesterday they were painting Jets signs.
“Jets and Steelers. Are you watching the game with me?”
“He’s playing dolls with ME!”
“Sorry, I’m playing dolls with Lex.”
Dolls over football; it might take years of therapy before I fully recovered.
I then looked to my wife for comfort.
“Are the Jets going to win today?”
“Yeah, go Jets!”
“So are you watching the game with me?”
“I don’t like them that much.”
“But what about the go Jets and the Green Coach bag?”
“I can root for the Jets while I’m watching HGTV. And the bag is brown, hon. You’re color-blind, remember?”
Annoyed, I stomped back to the living room. I’d root the Jets to victory by myself.
Unfortunately, later that day I watched in agony as the Jets lost one game from the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year. The curse lived.
But, ironically, I was upbeat. There’s always next year. And in the Jets case, the year after, and the year after that, and the year after that, etc., etc.
Copyright © 2011, Brad Manzo