America loves an underdog. Find me a game on TV and I'll find you nine fans out of 10 rooting for the underdog.
Except when it comes to the New York Jets.
In ESPN's Sports Nation poll of the day yesterday, drawing over 200,000 voters, the underdog Jets got few fans and no respect.
Mind you, these ESPN polls border on being a joke. If they asked who was going to win the NBA championship this June, 80 percent of Californians would pick the Lakers and 90 percent of New Englanders — we are much more provincial — would pick the Celtics.
But we could always count on rooting, as implausible as it might be, for the underdog.
Yesterday's poll simply asked: Who will win the Super Bowl? a) Colts; b) Jets; c) Vikings; d) Saints.
A measly eight percent of the country said "J-E-T-S, Jets! Jets! Jets!"
The interesting part is that even in their two home states, New York and New Jersey, they couldn't crack a majority (50 percent). New Yorkers gave the Jets the most votes (31 percent vs. 29 percent for the Colts), and in Jersey, the Colts won 31 to 27 percent.
We could say that the voters are simply calling them like they see them. But we know better.
What makes this even more interesting around here is the fact that the Jets are facing the Colts. Which team do you despise more?
The Colts are a threat to the throne. The record shows they have been every bit as good as the Patriots from September through December over the Belichick Decade. One more Vince Lombardi Trophy — that would be two — and the Colts would be sniffing for property on the Patriots Dynasty.
The Jets are a different animal altogether. They and their trash-talking and taunting ways, spawned by their new coach Rex Ryan, are a threat to humanity.