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Anthony Barr Backing Out of His Deal with the Jets is the Most Jets Thing Ever


SourceA day after Anthony Barr, the four-time Pro Bowl linebacker, had reportedly agreed to sign a multi-year contract with the New York Jets, it appears he got cold feet.

Barr is in contract negotiations to remain with the Vikings, a league source confirmed to the Star Tribune, after backing out of his deal in New York. The deal could pay Barr about $13.5 million per season, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. NFL Media first reported Barr’s commitment flip.

I first heard about this listening to Barstool Radio just and you could positively feel KFC’s pain and anguish coming through the speakers. It was palpable, even when he wasn’t talking. And it led to a wider conversation about why we care about the teams we do and why we stay loyal to the ones that fail year after year and how younger fans don’t understand what the older ones have been through.

Well here’s the thing about that. I keep waiting for the day when Jets fans will experience such a level of hopeless despair that even I’ll feel bad for them. It hasn’t happened yet. And this doesn’t do it. It actually doesn’t come anywhere close. But still, their misery is fascinating to me. It’s like a bottomless well of sorrow that I’ve been hooked on like a drug for most of my childhood and all of my adult life and I just can’t get enough of it. One free agent leaving the Jets at the altar is too many, and a thousand isn’t enough.

And after giving it some thought, it’s because we used to be them. I watch the Jets function – make that dysfunction – the way an anthropologist studies some isolated tribe to see how used to live. Anthony Barr letting them go to bed thinking they’d just added a 4-time Pro Bowl linebacker then changing his mind might be the most 2019 Jets thing imaginable. But it’s also the most Patriots thing imaginable too, pre-Bill Parcells.

I don’t feel sorry for the Jets or their fans because I lived it. I might not have sympathy, but I do have empathy. This is exactly the way the universe used to piss on Patriots fans head even before I was born.

They once shipped their 1st round pick to the Giants for Fred Dryer, the Fred Dryer who would later go onto a career as 1980s TV’s blatant Dirty Harry ripoff Hunter. And even in an age where players had less than zero leverage, he told the Patriots they could go fry ice. That he wouldn’t play for them unless they gave him “a bean soup franchise” or told him, “Here. Take all the money you want.” So they traded him to the LA Rams where he got in with the right people and became a Hollywood star.

Around that time they had a quarterback they loved named Joe Kapp, who quit playing for them in his prime, just because his agent was challenging the whole system of player contracts. He never played another down of football. But weirdly enough also ended up in acting and landed roles in Semi-Tough, Two-Minute Warning and The Longest Yard.

Another time they traded for running back Duane Thomas from the Cowboys, who had lit it up as a rookie and wanted a new contract. But rather than redo his deal, the Cowboys sent him to New England. Where Thomas wasted no time beefing with the coaches by refusing to get into a 3-point stance because that’s now he did things in Dallas. The Patriots ended up shipping him back to Dallas for 50 cents on the dollar. And he promptly tore it up in Super Bowl VI. Inspiring no less an authority than Hunter S. Thompson to say “All he did was take the ball and run every time they called his number – which came to be more and more often, and in the Super Bowl, Thomas was the whole show.”

So yeah, I speak for generations of Pats fans when I say, “been there, done that, got porked by that player.” Maybe some day Jets civilization might evolve to the point where these things stop happening to them. It’s not likely. But it’s way more likely than me ever getting tired of their hilarious misery