The Devil snickered from behind the Sunday paper, so I glared over at him and called him on it.
“Do you have something to say?” I demanded as I snatched a Snapple out of the cooler in hopes of drowning my gridiron sorrows.
My guest put down the paper to face me. As usual, he was well dressed in an impeccably tailored suit. He had added a green tie, though, to support my team.
“Every season, you put on your Jets jersey and hat, and then sit down to watch the first game as visions of Super Bowls dance in your head,” Lucifer reminded me with a devilish grin on his handsome face. “Three hours later, you are inevitably disappointed after they lose and you remember the Jets are in the same division as the Patriots.”
The mere mention of the local favorites caused me to growl. They had won the Super Bowl again last season, so everyone in these parts was feeling cocky about this year.
“The Patriots did lose on Thursday,” I pointed out as if that made any difference in the world. “So for a few days, the Jets were ahead of them in the standings.”
“You have to take your little victories wherever you can find them,” The Prince of Darkness taunted me from his end of the couch.
He was correct, of course. I did this every September as I willed myself to believe that the Jets actually could go all the way. When in reality, ten neighborhood guys and I had just as good of a chance of making it to the Super Bowl.
“The first week of the season, even the Jets are still in contention,” I reminded him like the diehard fan that I was. “That’s why it’s my favorite football weekend.”
“It must be such a drag to love the Yankees, who are quite possibly the greatest sports them of all time, and then also root for the Jests,” Satan quipped.
He smiled at his word play, but I did not find it amusing. Yes, they might be jesters in the royal court of football, but they were still my team. I had to support them.
“Perhaps the Jets are the price I pay for the Yankees’ success,” I threw that crazy theory out into the world.
“Why not just like the Giants?” The Devil questioned. “They’ve actually won multiple Super Bowls in your lifetime. Plus, they used to play at Yankee Stadium, so there is a natural link to your favorite team.”
I never could figure out why I liked the Jets when my Dad had been a big time Giants fan. Maybe I just wanted to be different.
“I don’t even like flying, so my choice of the Jets is a little confusing,” I confessed and took a long swallow of my Snapple. “I do believe, however, that they will right their great wrong and win another Super Bowl during my life.”
It was like the franchise was taunting me. Showing me that they could be champions, but not wanting me to be a witness to it.
“My money still says the only way you see the Jets win a Super Bowl is if you get your hands on a time machine and travel back to 1969,” Lucifer announced with a chuckle.
This was why I hated watching football with The Prince of Darkness. He always had the best trash talk ready for my pathetic Jets, and he was usually right on the money.
Thank goodness the Yankees look like they’re headed to the playoffs. It won’t be a lost autumn after all…