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The Jets Look More Like a Reality Show Every Day

Are they a football team or should they be trying to win the Nielsens?

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Tebow to the Jets is like something the Millionaire Matchmaker dreamed up.

    Of all the crazy things involved with the trade of Tim Tebow to the Jets, the funniest was that Tebow said he's wanted to play for Rex Ryan since seeing him on Hard Knocks.

    That's not hard to believe, since Ryan's star turn on the HBO program was pretty entertaining. It's also not hard to believe because the Jets have pretty much turned into a reality show.

    The end of last season was like something out of one of those Real Housewives shows as the Jets fought with each other in public, went behind each other's backs with nasty insults and generally looked like the stupidest human beings on the face of the Earth.

    Mike Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan resembled nothing so much as the beleaguered husbands as they tried to explain that everything was fine when it was clear that everything wasn't fine.

    All kinds of reality show tropes have been in evidence for the Jets since then. Their delusional belief that Peyton Manning would opt to join them as a free agent could have been dreamed up by one of those stage moms that slather makeup on their three-year-olds for a beauty pageant.

    Then, when Manning did the obvious and told the Jets he wasn't coming to town, they turned around and signed Mark Sanchez to a contract extension in a failed attempt to sell the idea that they passed on Manning before he passed on them.

    Anyone who has ever seen a crying woman leave "The Bachelor" mansion saying that he made a huge mistake will recognize that move. 

    Things are only getting ramped up now. The trade, the snag and then the redone trade could have been a manufactured plot twist that those plucky Kardashian sisters had to overcome because they were dumb enough to find themselves stuck in the mud in the first place.

    You know the confessional scenes from "Real World" and the like, when people use private time with the camera to tell the audience things that differ from what they say in public? Tannenbaum seems to since he used a radio interview on Thursday to basically backtrack on Wednesday's insistence that Tebow was coming just to be a backup with the occasional package of Wildcat plays.

    "If our offense is sputtering and we have, say, three three-and-outs and we roll this out there and it’s successful, who knows?"

    The only difference, of course, is that Tannenbaum's words were heard by everyone in real time instead of three months later when they are revealed via a taped show. Sounds like a Situation!

    All of this is leading up to a football version of "American Idol," where Tebow and Sanchez battle to win the hearts of the public and the judges. The only snag is that, based on their play to this point, both of the contenders would never get past those audition shows that used to feature Simon Cowell tearing apart misguided teenagers simply because they wanted their own chance to reach the kind of audience he felt only truly talented people, like Hugh Hefner's "girlfriends," deserved to reach.

    It's not a bad route for the Jets to go. People like to watch reality TV shows and it's pretty clear they are only interested in people watching them.

    So it doesn't much matter that people watch these shows as a guilty pleasure since they readily admit that they aren't very good and that they prefer a well-crafted drama with compelling characters and a well-written storyline to the shenanigans of reality shows.

    We know the Jets can do shenanigans. What we don't get is why they need to keep reminding us.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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