It was the waning hours of a quiet Christmas night, when the figure approached washed within the flickering street light. The suburb block had been assaulted by a blizzard, but this round runner galloped by magic, a genuine wizard. He was practically graceful, belying rumors so distasteful. Indeed rotund and hustling mighty proud, the man repeatedly mumbled the phrase ground and pound.

Myself a failed poet I panicked but wouldn’t show it, no case of the yips for a man hardened by rejection slips. Still this was a genuine curiosity, and the situation grew weirder as the stranger unleashed his verbosity.

Anonymous coached up the Jets and I surveyed his personal affects. He rocked a headset and white shirt, sporting a smile suggesting a lesson learnt. I had been shoveling snow and taking stock, and here came this odd character claiming his team was a Super Bowl lock.

 I’d watched football all my years, in the past enduring grief drowned by beers. After all, being a fan can be pure confusion, a potentially diagnosable delusion.

Perhaps it was all a nonsensical dream, but I had to get in a word edgewise, forcing a loud scream.

“Hey man, stop talking about playing like a Jet for just one minute, I’ve heard it before and reached my limit. Now about this scandal, here’s how you can turn around and win it.” Coach suddenly appeared disengaged, a sullen shadow of the caricature filled with fire and rage. “No, you don’t understand; the script’s been reversed; the controversy was just a temporary curse.” I processed this rebuttal with a sigh, honestly prepared to say good luck and goodbye. “What are you doing then, on my front lawn, Christmas is over and it’s almost the crack of dawn!” Coach replied, “It’s a Wonderful life type theme, I’ll explain the meaning of this scene!”

 Ah, ok, I was beginning to empathize, yet what had prompted this classic movie realized? Coach had indeed been running to and fro, sharing redemption high and low. However, he had been thinking just prior, that maybe this gig was not worth all the ire. “What if I never gotten this chance, could I have avoid taken the dreaded ‘it’s personal,’ stance?” When he was shown a vision of the team without his insight, Coach was overtaken equally, by thankfulness and fright. “So it would have ended with a franchise again losing stained, hoping for a Parcells sequel and paradise regained? Well damned if I’m not doing better than that, we have ten wins, and I won’t give any of ‘em back!”

So this prompted a Coach revitalized, still attempting to conjure the team he advertised. Sure, he may have benefitted from being blander, the rumors and videos thinning his currency gained for candor. And yeah, the hopeless fanatics addicted to panic would now have someone to blame if the ship turned Titanic. Oh, the owner too, with the ominous vote of confidence, may repeal his providence, should the team completely cede on-field prominence. There’d been drunk driving, and less seriously swearing and tripping, an organization’s reputation slipping. This without mentioning the need for gender based etiquette practice; and a former quarterback’s alleged cell phone seduction tactics.

Even still, the huge victory against Pittsburgh bought some time, and the man in charge had not committed a crime. It was still all ahead for the 2010 Jets despite their infractions, even for a coach forced to cope with an unnecessary distraction.

 This yearbook was still being amended, potential glory there to be apprehended. The moment should be attacked, wrested from the feeble, but oh that epilogue… it may be most unpleasant…. For certain people.

 As Jets fans celebrated the Holidays and spread their good cheer, they hoped Gang Green would be scandal free… at least until the New Year.

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