With apologies to the tortured fanbases in Buffalo, Detroit and Cleveland – and the citizens of Patriots Nation, currently the victims of a vast, Goodell-led conspiracy (according to them) – there isn’t a more beleaguered team in the NFL than the New York Jets.
With their last Super Bowl championship coming at the end of the 1968 season, the Big Apple’s eternal second-bananas just can’t seem to catch a break. Case in point, Tuesday’s news that quarterback Geno Smith, once a ray of hope for Jets fans everywhere, would miss at least six weeks after getting “sucker punched” by a teammate. The Sanchise may have been sent packing, and Rex Ryan has shuffled off to Buffalo, but Geno’s injury proves that the more things change, the more the Jets stay the same.
Then again, we suppose we shouldn’t be surprised – Smith’s run with the Jets has been anything but smooth. Kicking things off with an embarrassing sex scandal, here’s a rundown of Geno at his not-so-finest, leading up to the sucker punch heard ’round the world.
January 2014: Dicking Around Out of the Gate
When Smith made his pro debut with the Jets after a successful college career, fans of Gang Green were pretty optimistic. I mean, at the very least he’d be an improvement over Mark Sanchez – right? However, it was an Instagram sex scandal that grabbed headlines instead of his play. Despite Geno being in a relationship at the time, he reportedly had multiple rendezvous with chick he met over the picture-sharing app, including a Christmas Day romp at his house. However, Geno committed the cardinal sin for any celebrity looking for a down-low tryst by sending out picture of his penis to said hook-up, who promptly posted it online for all to see. Geno, you’re better than this bro!
January 2014: Jettisoned Away
A few weeks after Geno’s Penis-Gate, he made tabloid headlines again after allegedly getting escorted off a Virgin America flight at LAX for refusing to stop using his phone. No doubt taking a page out of Alec Baldwin’s Guide to Flying (remember his Words with Friends debacle?), Smith got into a “verbal altercation” with flight attendants. (The airline later apologized, chalking it all up to a simple “misunderstanding.”) The obvious irony here? A Jet was ordered to leave an actual jet.
September 2014: What the Bleep?
Everyone knows the Jets were bad last season, and one of the many low-lights was Jets fans booing Geno after a loss to the Lions. How does our boy respond? By letting out a big ol’ “Fuck You!” of course! Perhaps it’s not the best idea to tell off your own team’s fans in full view of TV cameras, so Geno later apologized, saying he let his “temper get the best of me in that situation.” Ya think? He was later fined $12,000.
October 2014: Time Zoned-Out
A mere month later, the Jets once again were blown out – this time to the tune of 31-0 to the Chargers. Smith evidently wanted to blow off some steam, so he went to the movies with some fellow players after the shellacking. That’s all well and good, but in the process the bunch of them missed a team meeting and blamed it on confusion over the Eastern and Pacific time zones. Missing a meeting is bad, but missing one after such a blowout is a whole new level of embarrassing.
December 2014: Geno in Denial
At the tail end of a hideous season, Geno couldn’t seem to own up to the fact that the Jets were unequivocally sucking. In a head-scratcher of a postgame conference after yet another loss (this time to the Pats), Geno didn’t seem to have any issues with his play. “I think we did a good job overall,” he said to the confused pressroom. “Protection was great. The run game was great. Aside from one or two plays here and there, I think as an offense we did a pretty good job against a really good defense.” By the time the season was in the can, Geno finally admitted the Gang Green “underachieved.”
July 2015: The Poll
Imagine you’re Geno Smith this summer, trying to relax and put a horrendous season in your rearview. You turn on ESPN and see that, in a poll conducted by the network of NFL executives, you’re ranked at the very end of a list of projected starting NFL QB’s. How would you respond? Said Geno, “I laugh at that. I laugh at it. It’s hilarious.” Um, OK.
August 2015: The Sucker Punch
It all leads up to this, the pinnacle of Geno and Jets stupidity. With Rex Ryan gone and a new season on the horizon, Jets fans were hoping to finally get a glimpse of the light at the end of a cold, dark tunnel. However, those hopes were dashed even before a single point was scored, when Geno was “sucker punched” during a dispute with reserve linebacker IK Enemkpali. The melee will put Smith on the sidelines for 6-10 weeks with a broken jaw, and had new coach Todd Bowles calling the whole ordeal “something very childish.” Welcome to New York, Todd!