Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith, or even Bryce Petty; no matter who it is, the truth behind the New York Jets QB situation remains the same.
It’s a crazy world out there. All it takes to understand this concept is one flip of the channel to CNN.
It’s a crazy world in the sandbox of life, sports, as well. All it takes to realize this notion is one conversation with a New York Jets fan surrounding his/her team’s current quarterback situation.
When that goes down, all hell breaks loose.
Ryan Fitzpatrick or Geno Smith? This has forever remained the question since the summer of 2015.
Thanks to the contract battle between Mike Maccagnan and Fitz’s camp, coupled with news that Geno is flourishing in offseason activities, the divide between Jets fans has never been greater.
Pro Fitz fans want FitzMagic back in 2016, for they witnessed the man break the Jets single-season touchdown record a season ago (31). Pro Geno people want to finally provide the second round 25-year old youngster a chance with actual talent to work with.
There are many opinions, views and thoughts on the matter, with no real evidence to prove what the future holds.
Despite your stance on the matter, there is one really evident truth about this Jets quarterback situation.
The truth is this: Fans have waited so long for an actual franchise quarterback to call their own, that they’ll take anybody who acts the part.
If Ryan Leaf – with all of his troubles – were to walk through those doors and throw for 35 touchdowns and 4,000 plus yards in 2016, Jets fans would welcome it with open arms. They’d rally around that No. 2 bust of a pick who lose his damn mind during the early stages of his career.
If Vinny Testaverde was to make an absurdly unrealistic NFL comeback at the age of 52 and break New York Jets passing records in the process, fans would build a freaking statue of the Brooklyn native.
The truth of the matter is simple: Jets fans don’t care who the guy is. As long as the guy is an actual “franchise QB,” he then becomes the man – the guy for which they worship and cling to with all hope that he’d lead them fearlessly into the future.
Fans witnessed Ryan Fitzpatrick’s incredible 2015 season. He was thrust into an emergency starting position upon the “punch heard round the locker room,” and exceeded all expectations with the likes of Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and Chan Gailey. He provided pleasantly surprising, unexpected gold. This, all at the same time fans soured on Geno for putting himself in such an undesirable situation prior to Week 1.
Fans also witnessed John Idzik’s second round quarterback pick struggle to the tune of 34 interceptions and 16 fumbles during his first two seasons at the helm.
Suddenly, this offseason brought something different.
Suddenly, fans had a reason to start hating Fitzpatrick. “How dare he ask for starting QB money,” they say. The guy is a marginal quarterback in the NFL. Forget the fact he threw for a Jets single-season record touchdown passes in 2015. He was lucky to be put in such a desirable situation.
Once money becomes the topic of conversation, fans turn. It’s always been this way and will continue on as such. Moreover, despite the level of money at hand, fans will still scratch their heads.
Thanks to the contract dispute, Fitzpatrick will have to prove himself all over again to part of the fanbase. They’ve bought into the hype and the organizational message that is “starter Geno” and continue on full steam ahead.
Maybe Geno Smith can flourish in 2016. Maybe the Jets organization truly does believe in the kid; and it’s not just a contract tactic (to pump him up).
These are all questions that cannot be factually answered. It is all speculation during this dead time for the NFL.
Still, what matters, is that Jets fans would welcome any QB who gets it done. If Geno hadn’t lost his opportunity a season ago and flourished to the very same tune Fitzpatrick did, Jets fans would be calling for a multi-year extension. The fanbase would be rejoicing that they’ve finally found their franchise QB, their guy.
It didn’t happen. Instead, a 33-year old journeyman did it. And we all witnessed it happen.
Whether you’re rooting for Fitz or Geno, just remember that we, as Jets fans, would accept anybody who can get it done.
It’s been a long time since No. 12. Not even No. 7, No. 10, nor No. 6 could get it done to the level of “franchise QB.”
New York Jets fans ache at the thought of a franchise QB to call their own. They don’t care who it is. They just want one.