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Jim Leonhard Upset About Booing Fans

Whether it is boos or bad reviews for Darrelle Revis, it's just part of the territory.

By Josh Alper
|  Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011  |  Updated 5:20 PM EDT
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Jim Leonhard Upset About Booing Fans

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Leonhard would be better served to listen to the cheers at the end of the game.

Lambasting the fans of football in our neck of the woods is usually Brandon Jacobs' territory, but one of the Jets is now hopping on the bandwagon.

Jim Leonhard went on WFAN Tuesday and gave Jets fans who booed Mark Sanchez during pregame introductions a bit of a roasting for voicing their discontent. Leonhard said he wished the team got more of a benefit of the doubt from the crowd than they got on Sunday.

"As players, you kind of turn to each other and say, 'You know what? I guess we're in this one today by ourselves. We can't rely on the crowd to give us that energy because it's already started off on a bad note.' So I will say that this past weekend was really the first time that I've been kind of frustrated going into a game, which is bad."

That is bad, but let's not get so overwrought about a few boobirds. Leonhard and the rest of the Jets have been around long enough that it will take exactly one big play for the crowd to come to life in support of the team.

It would be nice to live in a world where people only share positive words with one another, but it isn't the world that we call home. After two awful weeks in a season that's been terribly disappointing, fans were frustrated and they shared that vocally.

The Jets only have themselves to blame for the boos and not just because of their substandard play. Their success in the last two seasons and their willingness to tell everyone in sight about their intention to win even bigger this season have set an incredibly high bar for the team.

When you fail to leave up to the previous standard and fall well short of expectations, you can't really expect people not to call you out on it. Sanchez is the face of the franchise and the most scrutinized player in town (if not the league), so he's the obvious target.

He's not the only one, though. Darrelle Revis also caught a lot of flak for his game on Sunday and, while he admitted it wasn't his finest hour, he isn't any fonder of it than Leonhard was of hearing boos before the game.

"You’ve got to look at it as you’re not going to have a perfect game all the time. You’re not going to have your best game all the time. I’ve had horrible games in the past. You’ve got to live with the good ones and you’ve got to live with the bad ones. Looking at the film, was it that bad? No, it wasn’t."

We've got the expectation game at work again. For 95 percent of the cornerbacks in the league, allowing 75 yards in a win isn't anything but a day at the office.

Revis is held to a higher standard, though, and that's why people felt a need to call out his work against Stevie Johnson and the Bills. They also were using Revis as a stand-in for the defense as a whole because the defense, so fearsome and so respected in the last two seasons, hasn't lived up to its billing.

Was the bar set too high for this team? Perhaps, but they had a lot to do with setting it so it is hard to feel like the blowback is too harsh.

The Jets are getting a lesson in how quickly the tide can turn against you in a town they owned for the better part of two years. Backlash is inevitable for a team that swaggered the way the Jets have swaggered and it isn't always going to come in the most thoughtful or reasoned way.

If they don't like it, at least there's an easy way to avoid it. Win.

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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