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Day 169: The Worst Case Scenario

January 23, 2011

Perhaps it’s because I haven’t been as connected with the ebbs and tides of this NFL season, but the potential for a Jets/Packers Super Bowl may place undue complications on my personal quest to survive through Super Bowl Sunday.

As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in Staten Island, New York and still have strong connections with friends and family back there.  Staten Island is usually considered up-for-grabs country, an even mix of Giants and Jets fans with a noticeable third-party helping of Cowboys bandwagoneers on standby.  But when one team’s success rises above the other, the momentum shifts drastically.

The cross-sport alignment of these fans is pretty well established; Giants fans are mainly Yankees fans and Jets fans are usually Mets fans.  Because of this unfortunate alignment, the suffering of Jets fans is often compounded by the annual disappointments brought about during baseball season.  Therefore, when the Jets make a run for glory, their fans go all out.  More green clothes, flags on houses and cars, brazen display of memorabilia and blatant attempts at overloading the bandwagon.  I specifically remember an instance in high school where the established Jets fans raided a promotions closet at a sponsored tailgate event and brought the goods to school, passing out green plastic fireman hats to each and every under- and upperclassman.

Get it?

The general populace has been lucky enough to avoid a Jets Super Bowl scenario for over 40 years now; it would be near impossible to hold a conversation with anyone from the New York area without discussing football if they pick up a win over the Steelers today.  Steelers fans are insufferable enough, but at least it’s somewhat supported by both distant and recent legacies of success.

But that’s just on one side of the brackets…on the other side is the potential for an even more immediate threat: a father-in-law on Cloud Nine.  If you’ll remember from the early days of Year Without Football, Melissa’s father is a Cheesehead, to the level of attempting to indoctrinate our unborn daughter through gifts of clothing. The only time I actually watched an entire game this year was a situation where I didn’t want to be rude at his house.

A two-week period where hometown Jets euphoria collides with family Packers elation…and I’d be caught in the middle trying to maintain a friendly face while shouting “LALALAICANTHEARYOU!” with my fingers in my ears and my eyes tightened shut.

An artist's rendition of the Rossiter household over the next two weeks.

This might be one of those weekends where my uncle used to pray for “Mutual Spontaneous Human Combustion”: a cosmic intervention where neither of the destined participants are guaranteed victory.




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