Here is Wayne Chrebet’s first blog of the season for newyorkjets.com:
Welcome to my weekly blog. I’ll be here every Thursday with my take on Jets football. Writing is not my forte (my wife gave me that word), so try and take it easy on me for the first few weeks.
Now, my topic for the day. Opening Day, what does it mean to me? I had 11 opening days. Eleven clean slates with hopes of winning the Super Bowl. Eight months of dreams and hopes, from the last game of the previous season till the new season’s first game.
I can’t lie. We had some years where we had better chances than others. But we always had a chance.
For me, the Parcells era was my first taste of obtaining our dream. Bill’s first season, our first game, my third opener, we beat the Seahawks in Seattle, 41-3. We didn’t make the playoffs that year, but there was an excitement in the air after some bad seasons.
My first two years we were 3-13 and 1-15. You think you were miserable watching it? Try playing for the team. Forget about the fans — when your family and friends start making fun of you, you know it’s bad.
The phrase “let’s just eat in” was a frequent comment in our house. Eating in public was hard to do sometimes after a bad loss. Didn’t matter if I was with my kids or not, people weren’t afraid of saying what was on their minds. Luckily, people appreciated what I was doing on the field, so they didn’t bust me too bad about that. But I still caught some of it. Certainly not as bad as others. Some fans are brutal.
But I know how they feel. I grew up going to the Stadium and scalping tickets once or twice a year with my father. So I heard the boos. I am ashamed to say that I booed, too. Not for the Jets, of course, just the Giants. I’m lying, but who cares at this point?
OK. The 1998 season, Bill’s second, was a lot like this season. Which FINALLY brings me to my point. That season, expectations were high. A lot like this year. Bill changed the whole persona of the team and the franchise. We had a good team and people knew it. And we knew it.
If you are a Jets fan, you know what happened. We had a great season but lost in the AFC Championship Game up in Denver. After that, we didn’t get close again.
There are a lot of similarities between the ’98 team and this one. We had an older team. We played with a tremendous amount of confidence. We knew we could win every game. So does the 2010 team. So do the fans.
Here’s the difference. This team has swagger. People can say they’re cocky, say we haven’t won anything since 1968. All that doesn’t matter. We had teams when I played that we didn’t look forward to playing. We knew we could win, but we knew we had a tough day in store for us.
The 2010 Jets are that team. Rex laid the foundation last year. A foundation that said this isn’t the same old Jets. We can play and beat any team on any given day. And we are going to hit you in the mouth play after play for 60 minutes while we’re doing it. Other teams will say, “Oh yeah, we will do the same to you”. Some might. But watch a replay of any game last year and you’ll see who did and didn’t.
Now, I am pro Jets all the way. No one will doubt that. But the film doesn’t lie. I watch the games. I go down in my basement and watch them by myself every Sunday. I am a one-person tailgate. Sad, but that’s how I watch the game. And yes, I miss it that much.
I don’t make predictions. Haven’t made one since I guaranteed that 1996 would be better than 1995, and that’s when we went 1-15. What I do see is that this is a team that has the talent and the coaching to win, and that’s all you can ask for. GO JETS.
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