Roughly 30 years ago, when I was 7 and my brother David was 9, we were sitting at the kitchen table at our home in Mahopac, N.Y.
“Which football team do you like?” our father asked.
“I like the Giants, said David.
“Well,” I said, “I guess I’ll like the Jets.”
That was 1979. Over the ensuing three decades, I am quite certain David hasn’t given the Giants, the NFL or professional sports another thought. I, on the other hand, was doomed from that point on to root for a team that would break my heart again and again and again and again and again and again.
During those years:
Giants: Four Super Bowl appearances, three wins.
Jets: Zero Super Bowl appearances.
Giants: Lawrence Taylor, Phil Simms, Tiki Barber, Michael Strahan, Eli Manning.
Jets: Mark Gastineau, Kenny O’Brien, Curtis Martin (admittedly, a good one), John Abraham, Chad Pennington.
I mean, what the hell did I do to deserve this? Long ago I surrendered allegiances to any other franchises. I don’t root for MLB teams or NBA teams or NHL teams. I don’t have a favorite golfer, a favorite NASCAR diver, a favorite Olympian. But, for some brain-numbing reason, I’ve continued to latch on to the Jets.
So what do I receive for such loyalty?