Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday's Musings on Sports - The end of football for now, or why my family will see more of me on Sundays

By the time that you read this there will be no suspense left in the football season (unless you come from New Orleans or Indianapolis). At best, you and most of the country will watch the Superbowl because you are interested in good football or the commercials (or both). But before we turn the page and look ahead to the end of the season, allow me to reflect on the Jets season that was.

Going into the football season I had my concerns about the NY Jets. I thought that the defense would be good, although this was based on the misguided belief that it would be anchored by Kris Jenkins (injured in week six vs Buffalo) and Kerry Rhodes (an enigma).

My concern was with the Jets offense which I felt was being set up to fail. In training camp the job was handed to Mark Sanchez, although I was never sure if Kellen Clemens was given a chance to earn the position (getting put into the second game of the preseason cold to run the 2 minute drill at the end of the half against the Baltimore Ravens is hardly a fair audition).

Then, the Jets started to win against good teams. I did not want to get my hopes up, but there was reason to think that the season would turn out to be something special. But then came the injury bug - Cotchery and B Smith both go down and Sanchez throws five picks when he has no real WRs to throw to. Meanwhile, Leon Washington and Kris Jenkins are done for the season and the team has lost significant talent.

But when it seemed that the season was destined for mediocrity, the team started to perform well again. Not consistently well, but the breaks seemed to be going the team's way. Even the other teams were losing (or winning depending on your perspective) in ways that the Jets needed in order to make the playoffs.

Of course the improvement in the Jets fortunes had a direct impact on my family life. I made sure to be home during Jets games (rather than tape them) and we needed to juggle Sunday night dinner around the NFL's "flex" schedule.

As with most good things, the season for Jets fans did come to an end. But there is a fair amount to be hopeful for. Mark Sanchez emerged as the QB of the future. Shonn Greene learned how to hold onto the football and if all three RBs return healthy next year, the Jets will have a superior rushing attack.

On the other side of the ball, the D-Line really showed me something after Kris Jenkins went down. While they did not sack the QB often, they were able to shed blockers and manhandle opposing RBs. This is also something to look forward to for the future.

So what is the link to Torah thought? For this week I have chosen not to make the link. Not because I can't make a connection, but just because I wanted to get all this football out of me without spending the time on hold trying to call a sports radio host. B'N I will return next week to the Sports & Torah theme.

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