There are certain times when, even though you know it can't be the case, it almost feels as though some things are pre-determined.
Like this Jets season.
Even with all of those frustrations all season long, they were ready for this moment - like it didn't matter what happened in the regular season - this was going to be a playoff year.
It seems only fitting, in this AFL anniversary season.
It's hard to imagine 40 years later (and admittedly, this all happened before I was born, so I'm going based on historical knowledge and not life experience), but the Jets are one of the reasons the NFL is what it is today.
Think of the XFL or the UFL actually competing with the NFL and taking players and revenue away. To the point where NFL teams have to play some of the teams and squash them so that they'll go away. That's kind of where (in simplest terms) the NFL and AFL were 40 years ago when the Jets won Super Bowl III.
And I don't mean to romanticize the game - because it was an ugly one. It was kind of microcosmic of Joe Namath's career - tremendously celebrated (both that game and his career), but not all that it was cracked up to be (again, both). But it was a win by the previously inferior AFL...and it led to legitimacy.
So here we are in 2009/2010. A Jets team that wins them ugly - running game and defense (not how the 1968 Jets won every game, but definitely how they won Super Bowl III), going up against a high-powered, favored Colts team. In the 50th anniversary of the birth of the AFL, would there be any more appropriate team to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl than the Jets?
Incidentally, that Super Bowl III was played in Miami. That's where this year's game will be.
-A couple of other interesting possibilities - everyone talked about the possibility of Brett Favre versus the Packers in round 2, which obviously didn't happen...but Brett Favre against the Jets in the Super Bowl is still a possibility. I wouldn't mind seeing the Jets exact some revenge for being a pawn in his game.
-Anyone else notice any similarities between these Jets and the 2001 Patriots? Viewed as underdogs throughout, and the inferior team in the AFC Championship game. In the Super Bowl they played the high-flying Rams...if the Jets make it they'll get either the Vikings or Saints, having very similar seasons to those Rams. "Team of Destiny" was bandied about with those Patriots, too.
*Just in case Jets fans are making last-minute travel plans for the AFC Championship Game, I direct you to my advice to Ravens fans who made the trip last week.
*And in case you were wondering about this, no matter what happens with the Jets this week, there's no way we have a rematch in the Super Bowl this year.