Thanksgiving Special with Jason McIntyre

If you’ve paid attention to my picks, you might have noticed that I’m a bit of a Jets fan … so I decided to do something a little extra special to add to your Thanksgiving plate this year.

Do any of you remember the butt fumble? Oh, I’m sure you do … well, on Thanksgiving seven years ago, the infamous Jets’ butt fumble happened. You know the saying, “If you can’t beat them, join them?” Well, join me as I joke and reflect on this moment, that well, is an – unfortunate, yet defining – moment in Jets’ history.

How did you become a Jets fan?

I was born in New York but moved to the DC area when I was little because my dad got a job there …. the Redskins were the talk of the town in DC. If you know me, you know that I’ve never been one to follow the crowd. All my friends liked the Redskins – they were a dominant football team in the 80s, but I decided I was not going to like the them. I’ve never followed, the beaten path – in my career or in life – so I decided to like the team where I was born: The New York Jets.

Everybody always asks why I didn’t pick the Giants (who were actually good). But let’s not forget: The Jets had a good quarterback, Ken O’Brien … I would guess about seven of you remember him. They had a great receiver named Al Toon, also Wesley Walker. Freeman McNeil. They had a good team guys … and they were fun to watch!

My family traveled to New York for most holidays – that’s where the rest of my family was from, and I would watch the Jets on TV. I liked their color scheme … you’ve got to remember, I was a little kid. I just got hooked on the Jets and have stuck with them ever since.

Where were you when this infamous butt fumble happened, and what was your personal experience watching it?

Let me explain it to you this way: I don’t know if you guys remember the first time you asked out a girl on a date or to be your girlfriend, and if she said no … you got that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach – and all you could sum it up as was, “Oh that felt just downright awful.”

So here we go … I’m watching the Jets game, and they had just given up a long touchdown the previous drive – I’m thinking to myself, “Oh great, the Patriots take the lead.” Then the following play, Sanchez runs into the butt of a lineman – fumbles – and if you watch a replay you’ll see Sanchez instantly look down and just pound the ground.

That was it. Everything just unraveled for the Jets right there … I got that sinking feeling, as I mentioned earlier, “Here we go again.” Then the Jets fumbled the kickoff after the butt fumble. New England responded scoring around 35 points in that quarter alone, and well, it unraveled quickly. The butt fumble became the season … it was the defining moment. Even after the season ended, and you’re not going to believe this – amazingly – seven years later the Jets still have not recovered.

Is there is anything that could stop you from being a Jets fan?

This has to be the third most popular question my kids ask me every weekend when I’m watching the Jets play. And, inevitably, the Jets are losing. “Why are you a jets fan dad? Why you don’t you just change and like a good team like the Patriots?” I get these questions every week because New England wins every week … then they go to the playoffs, and then they win the Super Bowl.

But folks, I’m just not a quitter – I’m not a quitter in anything. I’m never going to give up, whether it’s sports gambling, playing sports, checkers, chess … you name it: I’m loyal to my core. I’m going to ride with my Jets and eventually – maybe, probably, hopefully – will turn it around, and we’ll get back to the playoffs. It has been a very rough go … but I’m never giving up on them.

Will the Jets ever bounce back and if so, who can get them there? A certain coach or a quarterback?

They are close, and I know, I know I’ve been saying this for five years on Twitter, Instagram and every other social media platform. But, the Jets are close … it’s going to happen. I have faith, like I said, I’m not a quitter. I think Sam Darnold is the quarterback – he’ll definitely get us there. Adam Gase: I was excited about the hire. He had done some good things, and Peyton Manning gave him the stamp of approval … but Gase has struggled this year – to put it mildly. I will stick with him this year … I don’t think they are going to fire him unless it really goes sideways.

Believe it or not – and again this is hopeful Jason, fanatic Jets fan Jason – I think they can get to the playoffs sooner than later. I still have hope that they can run the table this year and get to 500 … costing themselves a good draft pick while not getting to the playoffs. But yes, I think Sam Darnold is the guy, and we will see about Gase … to be determined. I’m going to say it again, I would not be shocked – oh josh, I say this every year – if the Jets are in the playoffs next year.

Was Sanchez ever the same after the butt fumble?

Poor Mark Sanchez. I think he’s on TV now which is crazy … I feel like he was just playing in the league. I always thought of Mark Sanchez as the guy who came into the NFL, got into the playoffs twice in his first two years and went to the AFC championship game … but everybody else knows him as the butt fumble guy.

I have a Sanchez t-shirt – I’ll typically wear it to play basketball, and of course, to everyone it’s the butt fumble shirt. That’s Sanchez’s career in a nutshell. Nobody, nobody thinks of him as a guy who has won four playoff road games. People I’m not making this up: That’s more playoff road game victories than John Elway and Joe Montana. Seriously, Sanchez has won some big games! But – sadly – the butt fumble has defined his career.

I digress, but a note to everybody out there: Don’t ever let one really, really low moment define your career or your life … honestly, I don’t know how Mark Sanchez does it. I’m sure he hears about it all the time – because as a Jets fan – I hear it all the time.

The Jets are the ____ of the Thanksgiving feast?

The Jets are the dirty dishes after the Thanksgiving feast because you know Thanksgiving … every year it’s the same: You watch a parade in the morning, play some football outside with your family, watch football inside, eat an awesome meal, hang with family – obviously, drink too much … somebody says something inappropriate. It’s a great day.

But at the end of the day, you’re left with a sink full of dirty dishes … and somebody’s got to do them. This isn’t just a regular dinner. It’s around 20 plates and all the pots, pans, silverware, turkey baster – folks, I don’t even know where all these dishes come from!

And that’s how it feels every Jets season for me … every year I go into it optimistic, “We’ve got this. Let’s go! Jets are going to win some games. Playoffs!” And by the end of the season, I’m beaten down and looking at another losing season full of frustration. Then it’s, “What are they doing in free agency? How are they going to mess up the draft?” The Jets are – without a doubt – the dirty dishes of Thanksgiving.

What are you thankful for as a Jets fan?

I guess – and this is going to sound bizarre – I’m thankful for the losses. Because you guys know this, okay? You’re never going to achieve anything unless you fail a lot … and since the butt fumble, the Jets have never made the playoffs and never been asked by the league to go back and play on Thanksgiving – obviously, because they are an embarrassment. But, ultimately, I’m thankful for the losses because when they win … when they finally break through, it’s going to be awesome.

Because in life, and I’ll quote this movie – I think it was Vanilla sky (vastly underrated movie that I’m sure people are making fun of now) – just remember, “The sweet is never as sweet without the sour.”

I’ve had seven years of sour Jets taste in my mouth, going through so many bad quarterbacks … so many ugly losses – many to the Patriots and of course – the butt fumble. But when they finally break through, I’m going to be insufferable on social media – bragging about finally getting back to the promised land!