For the last few years, if I’ve been talking about the New York Jets on this show, it was for all the wrong reasons. Aside from my conversation with Gary Vee, nobody has said anything positive about the Jets on this show for what feels like a long, long time. Because the Jets haven’t really done anything positive for what feels like a long, long time.

But that changes today. Because I’ve got great news for Jets fans. YOU AREN’T TANKING.

Acting owner Christopher Johnson said not only is the team not tanking, “It couldn’t be further from the truth. I want to win every game. Every player in that locker room wants to win. What you’re seeing, I think, are growing pains. These are young guys. There are some older guys on the team. Some of them, they’re doing an extraordinary job. But I think you’re going to see this team get better and better and better. That’s what I’m looking for. And we are definitely not tanking.”

Well, that’s a huge relief. But wait, if that wasn’t enough of a pep rally to get Jets fans fired up for the home opener against Miami on Sunday, Johnson’s got a little more caffeine for you: “There are some growing pains right now — there’s no question. But we’ve got a plan.”

Yeah! J-E-T-S! P-L-A-N! Never mind that the plan is dumping guys like Brandon Marshall, Nick Mangold, Eric Decker, David Harris, and Sheldon Richardson…just know this, they are not tanking. I repeat, they are not tanking. So who are you going to believe, your lying eyes or Christopher Johnson?

“I hope that the fans will buy into our plan. I think that they’re going to see this team grow before their eyes. I think that that’s exciting. I can’t say whether [the fans] are going to stay home, but I hope they don’t. I think it’s going to be an exciting season.”

Because nothing spells excitement like starting the season 0-2 and losing those games by an average of more than two touchdowns. But Johnson still had more to sell, like the upside of Christian Hackenberg.

“The quarterback position is really difficult to evaluate, and we haven’t really seen where Christian might go. I’m really more about looking forward than looking back. Everybody’s going to look back and find places where things have gone wrong. I don’t think that you can say that about Christian. I think that he has a lot of upside, and I hope to see it.”

Optimism is in short supply in the world these days, so I’m going to applaud Christopher Johnson’s optimism. The world sees Christian Hackenberg as a bust who had a chance to win the starting job this summer and finished third behind Josh McCown and Bryce Petty. But not Christopher Johnson. Judgmental people would see the practice reports of Christian Hackenberg hitting reporters with errant passes as a sign that he’s a terrible quarterback, but not Christopher Johnson. He sees upside. We need more Christopher Johnsons in this world.

But wait, if you aren’t tanking, how do you explain that hideous 45-20 loss to the Raiders on Sunday? The one where it was so in the bag that Marshawn started dancing on the sideline in the second half.

Seriously, that was you trying to win the game? There’s no dignity in tanking, but it might be better just to say that you are, even if you aren’t, because otherwise you just got shredded when you were actually trying.

The only thing worse than tanking is having to say that you’re not tanking. And if you have to say you’re not tanking, you should probably just tank. J-E-T-S …T-A-N-K.



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