I'm not sure about you, but I'm rooting for the Jets this Sunday afternoon at Indianapolis. Suddenly, I'm hoping Mark Sanchez and Co. can light it up at Lucas Oil Stadium and stun the world as AFC champs.
Why would any New Englander, any true-blue Pats fan, cheer on the enemy? Why would I cross lines in a rivalry that once simmered into the Border War?
It's not because I hate the Colts, not because I'm a member of the "I'd rather see anyone win than Peyton Manning" crowd. No sir. Rather, I'm rooting for the Jets because I want all of New England — especially the men who make their living by running professional football in Foxborough — to sit and stew while the Jets make a legendary Super Bowl run.
I want Bill Belichick to steam about the Jets this entire offseason. I want him to slam his clicker down in disgust Sunday as Gang Green walks off the field with a conference championship.
Then, I want him to do something about it.
Clearly, there is much work to be done by the Patriots front office. There were parts of the team, on both sides of the ball, that were exposed by the top teams in the NFL this season. That all culminated in a one-sided Ravens win at Gillette, the first home playoff loss for New England in more than 30 years.
That loss was bad enough to get the organization going, but coupled with a Jets championship run, it could be the start of a rebuilding effort that would put the Patriots back on top.
We've seen it on the baseball side. Losing to the Yankees in the 2003 ALCS was the breaking point for most Red Sox fans, but Aaron Boone's home run was the spark that lit the fuse that exploded into a 2004 World Series championship. Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke were added that offseason, and before you knew it, a gang of self-proclaimed idiots shocked the world.
Like this season's Patriots, the 2009 Red Sox were unceremoniously dismissed in the first round of the postseason. Then, we had to sit and watch the Yankees finish on top. Since New York's championship, Theo Epstein has been feverishly retooling the team. You may not agree that defensive-minded ultimate-zone ratings lead to championships, but there's no questioning that Epstein has been as busy as any baseball GM this winter.
Would John Lackey be a member of the Red Sox if the Yankees hadn't won it all two months ago? Maybe, but I'm not sure the Boston brass would have spent as much money as it has this winter if it wasn't stewing over the chest-thumping going on in Yankee Universe.
Sometimes, you need a little sand kicked in your face to get good and mad. Sometimes, you need to get mad to shake things up.
So, let's go Jets. J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets. Go all the way to Miami and make your fans proud. Then, get out of the way next season as the Pats return to their accustomed spot as the best team in the division.