Friday, January 25, 2013

He Wouldn't Do This To Us, Would He?

Woody Johnson took over ownership of the Jets in 2000. Since that time, on paper, the Jets haven't been too bad with 6 playoff appearances in 13 seasons.

But it's the way that he's done business that has perplexed and disenfranchised the most loyal and hard-suffering fan base. Now there's talk floating about a possible trade of Darrelle Revis, perhaps the best player ever to put on a Jets uniform.

You know Robert "Woody" Johnson IV, a real American success story. He is of course an heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, and has been a major bundler for Mitt Romney and the GOP.

As CEO of a private investment firm, he like Romney hovered above the clouds in the business world, unable to relate to the human element of either those whom he employs or those who have been consuming the product he now owns. He is a multi-billionaire who sees only a bottom line: how to maximize value while slashing costs.

If that means bringing in a relatively inexpensive player like Tim Tebow for a temporary spike in merchandising, bring it on. Nothing against Tebow - I don't love him or hate him. But it didn't matter that the coach didn't want him or his presence wrecked team chemistry.

Then Johnson blamed the Tebow acquisition on recently-fired GM Mike Tannenbaum, who said that Tannenbaum "forced" Tebow on him.

Now Johnson has "no comment" on the Revis trade rumors. The plans to jettison the team's best player (ever) have almost everything to do with his pricetag, and maybe just a little bit to do with his 2010 contract holdout.

The new GM, John Idzik, just came on board so what is he supposed to say? Rex Ryan could stand up for Revis, but he's living on borrowed time with one year to save his job. Rex seems like a principled guy who would go down with the ship, so how could he leave Revis twisting in the wind?

My theory is that it's not just Ryan's job that's on the line here. Woody Johnson has the means and the political playbook to ruin Rex Ryan if he doesn't play ball. What if the info unearthed on Rex and his wife a couple of years back was just a sample? Do you still think Rex would go down with the ship at the cost of his family?

Woody Johnson is going to get his way, and nobody is going to get in the way. Certainly not Revis, Ryan, or those pesky unimportant Jet fans. Bill Parcells read the writing on the wall once Leon Hess put the Jets up for sale in 1999. He resigned. The heir apparent, Bill Belichick, also resigned. He found an owner that was on the same page, and the rest is history.

We see how successful a football team can be when everyone's on the same page. The Jets are all over the map. And it all starts at the top.

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