You’re already hearing it. New York Jets fans pointing out that, on a night when their “final piece” quarterback made it four plays before his decaying body snapped, and on a night where the Bills clanked a game-tying field goal off the post and in, the fact that they still pulled it out on an overtime punt return TD, means that the “Jetsiness” that hung over the whole game has been eradicated. That whatever has infested this organization ever since Super Bowl III no longer applies.
Can’t you see? The Jets never win that game. But they did on Monday night.
Robert Saleh is a good enough coach to work around this, you’ll hear. They went 7-10 last year and so much of the roster is young and on the upswing, they’ll say. They have a plan for Zack Wilson to minimize his uselessness, they’ll screech. The Bills weren’t impressive (and they weren’t), and Tua is never more than five minutes from his next trip to a dark room. It’s all coming.
But no, Monday night was just a way for it to hurt worse when the Jets crash-land right back into being the Jets. This was the last meal, the brief flash of euphoria before drowning. A tease that Gang Green has known before and fallen for, only to have reality hit the soon after like a right hook Apollo Creed. It’s the coming up for air through the hole in the ice sheet only to have their head bitten off by a waiting polar bear.
You know it to be true. This is the Jets. Everything is a false dawn and a real dusk. And it’ll be an 8-9 or 9-8 running-in-place thing, too. Just so they can lament even more where they would have been, what might have been, had Aaron Rodgers’s achilles not gone for its own silent retreat. The promise of this season will never be too far out of reach, never out of sight, but certainly never in grasp either.
Don’t worry Jets fans, you’ll be fending off Mathew Barzal trade rumors soon enough. You know how this works.
Mel Tucker trying the Luis Rubiales desperate denial
Perhaps Mel Tucker knows he’s going down and is going to lose out on that sweet, sweet salary anyway. Perhaps he’s never heard of Luis Rubiales. Perhaps these kinds of positions of power blind a man so thoroughly that they can’t understand not only their crimes and indiscretions, but why anyone would question them. When you’re the center of East Lansing, MI, it’s probably not hard to think you’re infallible. Same as when one is running Spanish soccer, at least it appears so.
Because Tucker is using the Luis Rubiales defense.
We know why, it’s just about all he’s got left. If he cops to what he’s done, that he committed a violation of Brenda Tracy, he’s out of a job and fired for cause, meaning he’s out on his money too. Letting the investigation take its course probably gets to the same conclusion. So there’s this hail mary, one last desperate grab at the ledge of power and prominence, before gravity robs him of his grip. It came for Rubiales on the same day that Tucker tried this tactic, after all.
The A’s actually are broke, but it’s the owner’s fault
Forbes’s Maury Brown yesterday got a look behind the curtain on the Oakland A’s finances, and their claims of being so destitute that they had to flock to Vegas. It’s an interesting read, and Brown comes to the conclusion that the $40 million figure that owner John Fisher claimed the A’s would lose is probably not far off from the truth.
The problem is that most of that loss comes from the erosion of their season ticket base and luxury suite sales, and Fisher is the one who has to take the blame for that. He has spent the past few years dismantling the team to a point that no one wants to watch it regularly. Sponsorship money falls as a result, because who are companies going to advertise to? And while adding to the payroll would add to the expenses that would have to be overcome to lower the losses or even turn a profit, that’s how the business works. Or at least it should.
There’s also the nugget of just how much the A’s are getting out of their TV deal in the Bay Area, a top ten TV market. It’s $67 million. They won’t get anywhere near that in Vegas, which ranks #40 in the market. Fisher will say that will be made up for by selling out the league’s smallest ballpark regularly, but it’s a real mystery that the A’s will be able to do that in the summer months in Vegas, no matter how many people may travel.
The A’s may be sinking when it comes to turning a profit, but we all know that the real money in ownership of sports teams is the franchise value. Something that will only skyrocket should Fisher get this move to Vegas, Even if he doesn’t, the A’s are still worth $1.8 billion. That’s nearly 10 times what he paid for it. Whatever other problems the A’s may have, they’re ones caused by Fisher.
Follow Sam on Twitter @Felsgate and on Bluesky @Felsgate.bsky.social