Jets fans shouldn’t be in a rush to pounce on Zack Wilson this week
At the top, let’s start with this: You have the right to act any way you want on Sunday, at least within the reasonable limits of good taste and good behavior. You have paid for your ticket. Some of you will have crossed two bridges and paid a ransom to get to MetLife Stadium.
Most of you will spend a good six or seven hours, maybe more – counting the pre-game tailgate and post-game slot – outside on a day when the mercury might creep into the mid-30s, but no higher. You can happily do so, because a meaningful game on December 18th is all you could have asked for in August’s dog days.
Santa–and Favor–were all good to you, but you were good to planes, too. You made your time. I was waiting for a day like this, a game with lions with playoff ramifications, with real table stakes. I endured a blurry rush of shoddy football and blank seasons. This is your day. You’ll lose your voice one way or another, either the easy way (hoarse cheering) or the hard way (booing your way to laryngitis).
Yeah. So we are clear. It’s your decision, one hundred percent.
So here’s a bunch of unsolicited advice—as the former best occupant of this space, Jimmy Cannon, always wrote, “Nobody asked me but…”
we will. NobuD he asked me but…
Show the child some patience.
We all know who we’re talking about here, and we all know the 80,000-pound green elephant inside MetLife Stadium that hardly anyone outside of Zack Wilson and his immediate family is excited about him getting the starting job – hypothetically – in this must-win game against Detroit. Not you, and not the 70,000 or so others who will join you in fending off the frigid conditions.
There are not many people who will share the meeting with him.
This is just a fact. The Jets can spin this any way they like, but even the most ardent Wilson supporters inside 1 Jets Drive at Florham Park can deny that Mike White has captured the hearts, minds and imaginations of most of the Jets Nation, in and out of the locker room. Wilson took a golden opportunity and poured turpentine on it the first time – both on the field (with its desperate lack of production) and in the dressing room (with its appalling lack of accountability).
Now the kid is getting a rib because Mike White’s ribs – and nearly a dozen doctors – agree he can’t play football on Sunday. So the rally belongs to Wilson again.
better or worse.
“The worst has already happened, hasn’t it?” Wilson said on Friday. “I’m just going to have fun and whatever happens, it’s going to happen. I will do whatever is best for the team, and it is beyond my control if they make this change in the future.”
Well, really, the worst could be in front of him. He can wrangle on his first drive on a Sunday afternoon. The Lions can certainly take an early lead, the way the Bears took an early lead over the Jets the last time they played at MetLife, in White’s first start.
And it can get bad after that, really bad.
It can get ugly after that. So ugly.
(It also happens to be the rare New York football game where everyone is rooting for the Jets; a Lions loss would be very beneficial to the Giants, too.)
It’s honestly up to you. You can react to an early pick, an early flip, or an early flop, and you can do what you have every right to do: a boo-boo that starts in your nails and grows strong as it soars through your intestines and lungs. and larynx, spilling into the icy air of East Rutherford. Again, this is your call.
But maybe this is one time: think before you sneer.
Maybe this time: stay out of anger. Postpone anger. Let this play. The truth is, Zach Wilson is 5-2 as a starter this year. He may not have given you reason to believe that he is the basis. But 5-2 is 5-2. If it’s early 10-0 Lions, see what happens if you give him a chance to find himself.
If you’re 30-3 late… well, then, by all means, let him have it.
But maybe just this once: give the kid a break. Give him a minute. Keep the yelling in the back of your throat. You will be able to summon them, if necessary.
And who knows?
Maybe – maybe – you won’t need them at all.
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