While the chaos surrounding the New York J-E-R-K-S will continue to make lives easier for tabloid editors and lazy bloggers alike, the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman warns Gang Green’s ongoing soap opera, “won’t sell any tickets and it won’t stop the Jets from being relegated to a third-tier attraction – if that – on the National Football League’s television schedule.”
The embarrassing brand of football ESPN aired to the nation this week on “Monday Night Football,” and the game’s pitiful rating — down 27% from the Week 15 “MNF” broadcast last year — provided further evidence that the league’s gamble on Rex Ryan and the Jets didn’t pay off. Make no mistake, the NFL delivers the slate of games to ESPN in the spring, and while network execs can lobby for upgrades, the NFL sets the sked.
The decision to backload the Jets’ prime-time appearances backfired. The two angles the NFL scheduling gnomes were gambling on blew up: 1) either Ryan and his outspoken players blazing a trail to a division title or 2) Tim Tebow at quarterback, having taken over for Mark Sanchez at midseason, taking his team on a dramatic run to the playoffs like he did in Denver.
Never happened. The Jets did turn in a highly competitive prime-time performance in October, losing, 23-17, to Houston on “MNF,” but produced two stinkers (Patriots on NBC, Titans on ESPN), which will be ranked among the worst ever in prime time. The league even granted NBC’s request to “flex” out of Chargers-Jets on Sunday. Yes, this is a matchup of losers, but it’s a rare occasion when a network sports division drops a New York team from its programming lineup.