THE BLOG

Are the NY Jets Good for Our Health?

11/04/2013 04:19 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

Rob Taub:
I suffer from high blood pressure and I've been concerned that the Jets are a contributing factor, so I decided to consult my friend, Dr. Aristotle Tziampiris, who may not be an expert on football, but he is certainly wildly opinionated. Unfortunately Dr. Tziampiris is not a medical doctor, but instead holds a Ph.D. in international relations. Nonetheless, the two of us decided to investigate how being a Jets fan affects our health.

Dr. Aristotle Tziampiris:
The Jets are a corrective to the spoiled brat, indulgent, I want it all now, mentality that is way too prevalent in our age. The Jets teach patience, perseverance and how to grapple with disappointment. The Jets teach true love and commitment, not instant gratification; and this is great for our health. The next time we want to eat a greasy burger, an artery clogging steak or some decadent dessert, we should think of what the Jets teach us and skip the calories. See how the Jets can be lifesaving?

Rob Taub:
My data collection began on a NJ Transit train Sunday at 9:50 a.m. It was filled with a sea of green jerseys and more bacon & egg sandwiches than I could count. Sitting behind me were four people in their early twenties wearing full Jets regalia and armed with more quips than Jimmy Fallon. When I asked my health question one of them said, "My father raised me to be a Jets fan and sometimes I consider it child abuse!" When I asked him why he was wearing Jets Jersey he said: "I didn't say I was smart." This made me think of the Jets as the person we've all dated at one time or another who was equally compelling and infuriating, but try as we might, impossible to give up.

Dr. Aristotle Tziampiris:
It's been a roller-coaster ride of a year for the NY Jets. Never won two in a row, never lost two in a row, yet with several exciting games being decided in the very last play. This kind of record is actually good for your health. The Jets demand our full and undivided attention for the duration of the season. In an age of ever shortening attention spans and way too many distractions, the Jets can be refreshingly old-fashioned. They demand that we concentrate, and that we complete one task -- even if is just watching a football game -- without meandering or multi-tasking.

Rob Taub:
When I changed trains in Secaucus, I sat next to Steve, a season ticket holder since the Jets played at Shea Stadium. "I'm still waiting for my Super Bowl," he said. Waiting for the Super Bowl has clearly extended Steve's life and will continue to do so. Steve suggested I consider that Rex Ryan was a better coach when he was overweight. Following that theory, I have to believe that Rex Ryan won't get any heart attacks but he will continue to be responsible for a mixture of anxiety, depression and -- after the Saints game -- euphoria!

Dr. Aristotle Tziampiris:
What about the really, really dreadful moments like the Bengals, or the Buttfumble? Again, these are really good for your health, but to explain why we have to go philosophical. It is said that when Plato passed away he had a copy of Aristophanes' comedies under his pillow. His message was that life resembles a comedy and we have to confront it with a sense of humor. So today, we can either study the ancient comedians or watch a Jets bloopers highlight reel. Either way, we should laugh, because that is good for our health.

Rob Taub:
Before the game I tailgated with season ticket holder Lowell Freiberg, who believes the Jets promote good health. "Being a Jets fan builds character," said Freiberg. "I could use a little less character," added his son Eddie. Walking towards the stadium, I saw another fan carrying his sleeping three-year old son. "Of course the Jets are good for my health," he said. "This is great exercise!"

Dr. Aristotle Tziampiris:
And then there are the -- too few really -- moments of triumph and elation such as beating the Pats in the last second. Or exorcising the Bengals defeat by winning over the Saints with a combination of a best in the NFL-type defense, endless rushing yards, a reconstituted secondary, Folk Hero, a mobile QB who got the job done and a Rex Ryan who is suddenly mature and even humble. In the post-game conference Ryan refused to brag or guarantee a playoff berth for the team.

Rob Taub:
The Jets supplied something we all need during the game against the Saints -- hope. There was much handwringing during the game and I had sweat stains the size of large dinner plates on my shirt, but the feelings of jubilation and accomplishment from the Jets victory let me endure the overcrowded train ride back to Penn Station.

Dr. Aristotle Tziampiris:
These are the moments we are waiting for. We cherish them, and we hope to be around when they take place again. In other words, the Jets also give us something to live for. Now, THAT is good for our health.