Jets fans: an oxymoron?

Two words that just don’t seem to go together, and when they do, they don’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. I continue to hear comments from “Jets’ fans” that laud the sub-impressive efforts of Kellen Clemens at the expense of his predecessor and mentor, Chad Pennington. I think these fans want to justify their loathing of Chad’s style of play and lusting for Clemens’s reported arm strength, so they resort to comparing the play of the two quarterbacks. Aside from the fact that this doesn’t make much sense, since their styles of play are so different, somehow these guys come out in the end with the perception that Clemens has played better than Chad ever did for this team.

Of course, these are the same “fans” that call quarterback stats, including TDs, INTs, fumbles, and sacks, “mindless statistics,” and say that completion percentages are unimportant. Sure: if you want to ignore game stats and offensive results, Clemens played a great game last week. But instead, if you are concerned with the overall picture, and that he threw for as many touchdowns (one) as interceptions (one) and fumbles (one) against Miami’s league-worst defense, you might find yourself somewhat concerned with the state of the offense, for now and the years to come.

Clemens’s numbers weren’t even all that good this week against Miami: he only got over 200 yards because of a 50-yard “bomb” to McCareins, which was under-thrown: McCareins was wide open and had to come back and wait for it; otherwise he would have been gone for a score. Shouldn’t a guy with such a big arm be able to chuck up a prayer like that to a wide-open receiver, without under-throwing it? Further, he threw for just one TD, which was a dump pass at the line of scrimmage that Brad Smith’s speed turned into a score. He also threw one interception, coughed up another “fumble” that was returned for Miami’s only touchdown, and got sacked by Miami’s last-ranked defense six times.

To further the paradoxical comparison made of the two quarterbacks, one “fan” came up with what he called the “Chad scale,” which he described as “the non-objective excuse making machine of the Chad fanboys.” Putting aside the irony of calling anyone else “non-objective” in what may be one of the most subjective, biased statements I’ve seen yet, I am further puzzled by the paradox that is this Chad Scale: does this well-crafted, comprehensive measurement define the expectation that a QB has to complete at least 60% of his passes, and average over 20 yards per pass, or he gets booed off the field in order that some more fresh meat can be brought in and sacrificed at QB? Or are we to grade Clemens’s performance in one game against the worst team in the league, compared to another QB with a much more comprehensive body of work and relative success. Either way, I’m not feeling the ol’ Jet fan love, or getting anything out of it that makes any sense at all.

As for an actual read and evaluation of Clemens at this point, and the sentiment that he shouldn’t be judged on “a few starts” (as if five or six games at QB is only “a few”): see other 1st and 2nd-year QBs and compare their numbers and relative success: I won’t go through the list, but there are a lot of them, including Derek Anderson (1st year as full-time starter), and don’t forget this is Tony Romo’s 2nd year at starting QB.

It’s unfortunate that constant, nonsensical spouting of the mouth like this doesn’t seem to flow from fans of many other teams about their own players, NFL or otherwise, but it takes just a few Jets’ fans to poison the lot (not that all Jets’ fans are this way, but the more that things like this come out, the more it becomes the common perception of others). It’s a shame to be a Jets’ fan and feel this way about what other people who call themselves “fans” say about their own team and players.

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