Down for the count

Kyle Riviere
Weekly Citizen Sports Editor Kyle Riviere.

Though it may be hard to believe, the Jets used to have something special.

Back in 1968, they shocked the world.

Despite being a 17-point underdog in Super Bowl III, their young and brash quarterback Joe Willie Namath guaranteed a victory over the NFL champion Baltimore Colts and then delivered.

In 1968, the Jets' quarterback was able to hold his chin high. In 2015, the Jets' quarterback is getting punched in that chin.

It just sums up how a once proud franchise that pulled off one of the greatest upsets in sports history is now a shell of what it once was. It sums up why they haven't sniffed another championship in 47 years.

To put it plainly and in its most simplest form, the New York Jets are an absolute mess.

How bad has it gotten? I'l channel my inner Jeff Foxworthy for this one.

If your starting QB gets his jaw broken by a teammate before the season even begins, you might be a New York Jet.

You just cannot make this stuff up. Even director Oliver Stone didn't go that far in his 1999 professional football exposé "Any Given Sunday."

There is a scene in the movie where running back Juian Washington (LL Cool J) punches hotshot quarterback Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx) in the mouth, but no broken jaw.

The Jets already had serious doubts about quarterback Geno Smith. In his two years, there have been a few ups, but there have been far too many downs, and most of the time, those downs were flirting with rock bottom.

Just a little more than a month before the season is set to begin, he was dropped by teammate Ikemefuna Enemkpali--who has since been cut from the team.

The altercation was reportedly over money.

Smith was said to have owed a debt to Enemkpali. When Enemkpali confronted Smith in the locker room, the third-year quarterback reportedly pointed his finger in Enemkpali's face and refused to pay.

That's when the linebacker brilliantly reenacted the scene from "The Hangover" where Mike Tyson drops Zach Galifianakis with a brutal right cross.

As a result, the Jets' starting quarterback will be on the sideline eating from a straw for the next 6-10 weeks.

Now, they have to depend on journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to lead them back to glory.

That prospect seems bleak, but that has been the story of the Jets franchise since 1968.

Even legendary coach Lou Holtz couldn't escape the black cloud that has permanently loomed over the franchise since the late '60s.

He coached the Jets during the 1976 season and could only muster a 3-10 record.

The next season, he was gone. The failed experiment led to Holtz going back to college coaching. He never returned to the NFL.

Ever since Bill Parcells led the Giants to two Super Bowl victories, the franchise has been forced to play second fiddle in their own home town.

During that time, the Jets saw some truly dark years. They once went a dreadful 1-15.

That was under Rich Kotite--who ended up leading the Jets to a miserable 4-28 record in his two seasons in New York.

Even when Parcells came to their rescue, the relief was short-lived. He stayed there only three years.

In 1998, he had them just one game away from the Super Bowl. Two years later, he was gone and the stench of mediocrity was back.

Rex Ryan infused some energy and swagger into the franchise in 2009 when he took over as head coach.

They made it to the AFC Championship Game in each of his first two seasons, but they never could recapture that magic afterward.

They missed out on the playoffs for four straight years. Ryan was fired after the 2014 season.

Meanwhile, the Jets have been forced to sit through the Giants winning two more championships.

Things have gotten so grim that their most famous and dedicated fan, "Fireman Ed" has stopped going to games. If he's not there to get the "J-E-T-S, Jets! Jets! Jets!" chants going, there is simply no hope.

However, his departure makes sense.

It came in the wake of arguably the most embarrassingly inept play in NFL history. It will forever be known as the "Butt Fumble."

That visual of quarterback Mark Sanchez running into his own offensive lineman's backside, fumbling the ball and a hated Patriot defender picking it up and returning it for a touchdown in a 49-19 blowout loss will forever haunt Jets fans.

This is what the Jets have become.

It's no longer "Broadway" Joe and Super Bowl guarantees. It's now butt fumbles and TKOed quarterbacks.