Aside from Mr. Dolan, who chairs two teams in the Facial Recognition Garden, there’s no owner less popular around here than Woody Johnson. A few years ago, Jets fans were not only happy to see him leave for England to become Donald Trump’s ambassador to St. James’s Court, but most expected him to become a lifetime appointment. You can still buy political appointments like that if you have the money, by the way. It’s different to try to buy the Lombardi Trophy, as Woody knows.
But at least Johnson is acting like a true owner, and a smart one, as he, his GM and his coach have worked hard to recruit Aaron Rodgers to become the No. 12 the Jets have been looking for since they were 12. originals. which means Joe Namath.
As much as it is a football decision, it is also an example of a rich man, in this case, the rich man who owns one of our football teams, getting out of debt.
For all the positivity of the past few days, this could still fall apart, and Johnson and his GM and his coach and everyone at Jets Country could be heartbroken again. Of course, there’s a good reason it could happen even at the 11th hour: We’re talking about Woody’s Jets. Bad things happen to the Jets. Go ahead and look it up.
But Johnson is taking his chance, the way Joe Tsai took his chance when he signed Kevin Durant (he’s injured again; stop me if you’ve heard that before) and the Notorious Kyrie. Good for him and good for Tsai, even with the way things worked out for the Nets; and though the Nets were still tied with the Knicks in the loss column after Friday night’s games.
Joe Tsai owns the Nets, who still play in the city of the Knicks. The Giants, with rare exceptions in the 50 years since Namath, primarily those two AFC championship games with Rex, have always been the big game here in football. Tsai wanted to change that narrative, big time, and guess what, he almost did. I believe and Nets fans believe that if Durant’s toe hadn’t been on the 3-point line two years ago, Game 7 against the Bucks, Joe Tsai’s Nets would be on their way to the NBA Finals. this year. And if James Harden had gotten healthier and Irving had gotten healthier, they very well could have won New York City their first NBA title since the ’73 Knicks.
If you are the Other Team, you have to make your shot. You think Steve Cohen hasn’t been doing exactly that with Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander and giving Francisco Lindor the kind of deal and amount of money that he made a couple of years ago and going after Carlos Correa? He has. This is the state in which he operates, the great state of New York Sports. It is not a place for the faint of heart. Or the cheap. There’s a high cost of doing business, and Cohen realized that right away, and that’s why it’s been such a great show, particularly as he scared all the other homeowners to death.
Do you think he won’t try to take on Shohei Ohtani if he gets the chance? He thinks again. Cohen could sign Ohtani to a multi-billion dollar deal and still be the richest owner we have right now in American sports.
Now Woody is after Rodgers for a lot of good reasons, starting with this:
Right now, they have the only losing team in town.
The Mets and Yankees are coming off a season in which they combined to win 200 games in the regular season. Coach Daboll’s Giants bounced back, in such a big way, and not only made it back to the playoffs, but also won a game against the Vikings, making Daniel Jones around $160 million in the process. The Knicks have bounced back, big time, and even with Durant and Irving now officially switching planes and out of town, the Nets woke up Friday morning ranked No. 6 in the Eastern Conference, and at that tied in the loss column with the Knicks.
And the Rangers have a winning record, and the Islanders have a winning record, just like the Devils.
Then there are Woody’s Jets, who are once again without a quarterback and saw yet another roof come crashing down in another season. They were 6-3 and looked like a contender, and a really good one, for the Nov. 6 playoffs. Almost exactly two months later, they were 7-10 and in last place again, it turned into a slow-motion car crash that ended. with Joe Flacco quarterbacking the regular-season closer in Miami, and the Jets looking like they’re never, ever going to score another touchdown.
So you better believe that Johnson is going all in on Rodgers, because he has to, for the same reasons Tsai went all out on Durant and Irving; For the same reasons that Steve Cohen went all-in with Buck Showalter and Lindor and then Scherzer and then Verlander and even Correa. People keep talking about the Jets getting Brett Favre late in his own Packer career as some kind of one-year disaster with the Jets. It wasn’t, as bad as it ended (it’s the Jets, remember? We hope things end badly). The Jets were 7-4 the year Favre was here, and showing potential, before going 9-7.
People thought Favre didn’t have much left at that point, the same way people wonder how much Rodgers has left after the way last season ended for him, and the season before, when he couldn’t win. a playoff game against the 49ers on a cold Lambeau night that was supposed to be made for the Packers and Aaron Rodgers. But the following season after leaving the Jets, Favre nearly led the Vikings to the Super Bowl, before an interception by Tracy Porter ended them in the NFC Championship Game.
The Jets need a quarterback, obviously. But are they one quarterback away from being a legitimate Super Bowl contender? You don’t know that and neither do I. It’s not the 49ers, who absolutely are a star quarterback away from the Lombardi Trophy. They’re more than a player away, even if that player is a future Hall of Fame quarterback, one who in his prime played the position as well as ever.
The Jets are going for it anyway. Woody is going to do it, big time, and Jets fans should appreciate it. They are the Jets, after all. It’s more than Woody trying to pay off his debt. It’s like he’s trying to finally buy his way out of jail.
With the new rules in baseball, and even those new oversized bases, Francisco Lindor is going to be even better this season than he was last season.
And that’s saying a lot.
That double overtime win the Knicks had over the Celtics last Sunday night was one of the most exciting regular-season games the Knicks have played in years.
But they won’t do anything in the playoffs if Jalen Brunson isn’t healthy.
One more thing about the Knicks, who got so fired up before heading out to the West Coast:
Don’t you wonder, even when they’re firing on all cylinders, what would this all look like if they also had Donovan Mitchell?
I think if they could have made the money work, and teams always seem to be able to make the money work in the NBA, right? — could be a top-three team in the Eastern Conference.
I am shocked, shocked I tell you, that another great Yankees pitching acquisition like Carlos Rodón is already injured.
It’s a good thing Gerrit Cole is the horse he is, or Yankee fans would be making a list, and double-checking it, of all the bad pitching decisions their team has made since they last won a World Series.
Seriously, they sure can pick them, right?
I’m happy Daniel Jones got his money.
I’m glad, as someone who grew up a Giants fan, that he delivered the way he has this season with money literally on the line for him.
But they better be right about him.
And by entitlement, I mean he can become someone who can throw 15+ touchdown passes in a season, which pretty much anyone can do.
Because if they’re wrong, they could end up wasting nearly a decade on Jones.
the striped express
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At this point, all you can say for sure is this:
No one made more money off of a good pass-and-throw win in the playoffs than the kid from Duke.
The government should have found a way to allow Novak Djokovic to come play in Indian Wells and Miami.
At this point, and just guessing how many unvaccinated athletes we have in this country, starting with the Notorious Kyrie, you have to wonder who the government is protecting right now by continuing to ban the best tennis player. in the planet.
I love training everyone in the Hurley family, but Danny could think of decaf, right?
My friend Barry Stanton is wondering this week if Zion won’t be the second coming of the young Bill Walton, another guy whose talent was too big for his body.
I was giving a speech the other afternoon at Gallagher’s, still one of the city’s capitals, and I swear the Garden’s facial recognition found me at W. 52nd.