Originally written on Turn On The Jets  |  Last updated 8/1/13
In “New York Jets Therapy Session” Cole Patterson examines a particular issue that the New York Jets face in a metaphorical therapy scenario. Treatments are prescribed from the perspective of a position of control with the franchise or through actions that have already been taken. Today’s edition focuses on “Franchise Communication Disorder”  Diagnosis: You say the Jets brass are trying to force a bastardized J-E-T-S chant on you against your wishes? This isn’t the only time they’ve pulled a stunt like this? This sounds like a classic case of Franchise Communication Disorder. A Communication Disorder refers to a general problem with communicating with others and the inability to interpret language. The specific category, a “mixed receptive-expressive language disorder,” defined as a problem comprehending the commands or wishes of others, is reminiscent of the New York Jets franchise as a whole. Numerous moves made by the franchise in the past have been utterly disjointed from the desires of the fans and best interest of the team. This may have resulted from the franchise’s inability to communicate with the fan base and unwillingness to heed the coaching staff. Symptoms: - Unexplainable Transactions - Foolhardy, money-making endeavors - Internal Distractions - Disgruntled Fan Base - More back page articles than wins in a season Treatment Let Fans Be Fans: Lets start with the immediate root of the issue. Fans do not respond well to prompts on a screen. They don’t need to be forced into expressing themselves with chants, cheers, and jeers. Fans will be fans and they will react to what is presented to them on the field and not on a screen. With that in mind… Focus on “On-The-Field” Product: Far too often the Jets franchise has made moves with the image of the team taking precedence over the success of the team. Whatever the reason (be it an inferiority complex to the big brother franchise in town or a desire to spike sales) the only way to truly capture a fan base, gain respect, and make a profit is…win games! To do that, moves have to be made with the talent and coaching of the team as the priority. No more extending under performers to save face. No more signing polarizing figures. Avoid players with troubled history. If the on the field product is successful… Public Relations Will Take Care of Itself: Lets try a prompt. List three teams with a reputation around the league as class-act franchises: Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, and New York Giants. Whatever your personal feelings about these teams, the truth is that they have sterling reputations with most fans, media, and other franchises. These reputations have been cultivated by following my suggestions above and fielding consistent winners. Successful teams, with good reputations and public relations, get that way by focusing on winning. This includes bringing in high quality players, both in character and skill. By avoiding troublesome or polarizing figures and letting the play do the talking, a franchise can build an inscrutable public image. Allowing the fans to be fans and not muddling in their fanatic tradition is a good way to keep a fan base loyal, dedicated, and involved. Want to lose a fan base? Raise ticket prices, bring in divisive under-performers, and try to force in-stadium chants and passion. Patience Is A Virtue, Fans: With all that being said, traditional miscommunication cannot occur without two parties. Fans must be patient (to a degree) with the team and not call for someone’s head at every wrong turn. It takes time to build a winner and setbacks in this league are frequent. It was jeering Jets fans that drove Fireman Ed from his brother’s shoulders and into retirement. That is a bad precedent to set. Luckily, it seems the Jets are on a good path with GM John Idzik and his policies, and may not have to remain patient much longer.
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