Waiting two weeks to continue the winning streak has been incredibly difficult, but the game is finally here. Well, almost, but it is close enough that it is acceptable to focus on nothing but football until it is over. First up, figuring out who these Jets characters are anyway.
You've probably heard a bit about them already. New York teams have a way of capturing media attention and the Jets themselves aren't shy about letting everyone know how good they think they are. Still, you might be unfamiliar with some of the individual characters, so here's a brief dossier that you can use as research or as a blueprint for coming up with derisive taunts come Sunday afternoon.
Rex Ryan: No better place to start than with the guy who changed the whole Jets image this year. The big-talking coach took over a team not known for feeling good about itself and promised to visit President Obama at the White House as Super Bowl champions before Obama's first term was over.
The bravado hasn't gone away since then, and he's added other emotional flourishes to his act that make you wonder how well suited he is to the job. He's broken down in tears in front of his team, participated in self-flaggelation after every loss and, in a particularly manic episode, declared his team out of playoff chances two weeks before they made the playoffs.
That's a lot of fodder. If your tastes run a bit more juvenile, you can also point out that Ryan is enormously fat.
Mark Sanchez: You probably remember him from his days at USC, short though they were before he defied Pete Carroll and moved into the real world. Since USC just had its worst season in ages and Sanchez is quarterbacking in mid-January, you can decide for yourself whether Carroll was actually concerned about his future or that of his player. Or you can look at Sanchez's 20 interceptions and his need for a color-coded playbook that spells out whether or not he's allowed to make a risky play.
Bart Scott: If Ryan takes care of the talking from Monday to Saturday, Scott steps up to take the lead during the game on Sunday. He was the subject of a New York Times profile that uncovered how seriously he takes his trash talking. Right now he's probably researching Darren Sproles's high school yearbook to find fodder having to do with the physical appearance of Sproles's prom date. We'd make fun, but here you are reading a guide to teasing the Jets so, really, he's something of a patron saint.
Braylon Edwards: Here's a quick idea for your next football-themed costume party. Go to the supermarket, buy a bunch of Land O' Lakes and cover your hands in butter. Throw on a Jets jersey with the number 17 on it and your friends will be thrilled to have Braylon Edwards partying with them. Worry not if Edwards gets open deep and Sanchez throws a perfect pass, because Edwards will try to catch it with his ears and the Chargers will be just fine.
Darrelle Revis: He's going to be the guy you wish you could hate on Sunday afternoon. The pregame show will spend a lot of time talking about how great he is and the game announcers themselves will offer a running commentary about Revis's unparalleled ability to shut down an opposing receiver. And then he'll go out and do it, which will be incredibly frustrating to you, Rivers and Vincent Jackson. It would be easier somehow if he were a creep or a showboat or anything other than the All-Pro player that he's been his whole career.
The upside of all that is that it will just make it more fun to celebrate if Rivers and Jackson can hook up for the big play that has eluded Revis's opponents during the first 17 games of the season.