Yeah, some stuff happened in sports last night besides the Jets getting their clocks cleaned in such a fashion that a turkey-stuffed America was willing to stay awake through the tryptophan-induced drowsiness to laugh at them (TCU beating Texas, for example). But last night belonged to the Jets’ incompetence, so that’s where our Black Friday focus will remain. Below, our best attempt to capture exactly what happened that was so memorable.
Oh, that second quarter.
Things started out pretty uneventful, believe it or not. The game was a scoreless tie after one quarter – perhaps we were headed for a Jets-Patriots down to the wire rivalry-enhancing classic. Of course, it’s hard to type that with a straight face in hindsight, because then the second quarter happened. The Pats opened the quarter with a three-yard touchdown connection from Tom Brady to Wes Welker. Bummer for the Jets, but they had a chance to answer. They didn’t, and soon the Pats made it 14-0 on an 83-yard Brady-to-Shane-Vereen pass. There was 9:43 left in the half. Things were starting to look bleak for the Jets.
And that’s when things got weird.
How weird? How’s “Mark Sanchez running into his own lineman and said lineman’s ass forcing a fumble that the Patriots recovered and returned for a touchdown to make it 21-0” strike you? It’s something you need to see, so here it is:
“Well, that’s it, I’ve seen everything,” you think. “I now understand why you said this game was so funny. The Jets could not possibly be any less competent than that. How is this even real?”
It got worse.
After the Patriots scored the touchdown off a comical fumble to make it 21-0, they kicked off, as teams who have just scored in football customarily do. The Jets fielded that kickoff. Then this happened:
28-0. Three touchdowns in 52 seconds of game time. If you’d like some other views of the kickoff fumble:
Keystone Cops, a blooper reel disguised as a real football game – Cris Collinsworth was having a field day (later, he’d describe a Patriots pass for a first down as a disappointment, as it was the first play they’d run all quarter that hadn’t resulted in a touchdown). And if you thought Collinsworth was having a good time – well, let’s have a look back at what Twitter was saying. I took some screengrabs for posterity at 28-0. Here was my contribution:
And here’s what some others had to say during the second-quarter slaughter:
You get the idea. Oh, and the Pats weren’t done either. Fresh off returning the kickoff fumble for a score, Julian Edelman did this as a capper to the Pats’ rip-roaring romp through the Meadowlands:
And then the Jets got a field goal and scored some in the third and Lenny Kravitz played at halftime and the Pats scored a couple more times and blah blah blah. Yeah, Collinsworth took pains to point out how well the Patriots played, and they did. Hats off to ‘em. Even a team that wasn’t filming a slapstick comedy on a football field probably would’ve lost to them.
But it’s the Jets whose performance will be truly remembered. The final was 49-19, which is plenty embarrassing, but it was the way it happened that pushed this one over the top. It was in the details, like Al Michaels describing the “Tebow” chants in the cowd that were being drowned out by other fans booing the “Tebow” chant. Like Fireman Ed deleting his Twitter account. If you’re not a Jets fan, then dammit, it was a little magical.
Then, later, it occurred to me: some Jets fans probably watched this game, then went Black Friday shopping. And all I could think was: how much do those people hate themselves?
Getty photo, by Rich Schultz