The New York Jets swiftly responded to Manning’s Swift-style zinger.
During the 2002-03 NFL playoffs, Peyton Manning vastly underestimated a New York Jets home crowd. Two decades later, he doesn’t appear to have learned his lesson.
Manning and recording artist Luke Bryan jabbed the Jets during a monologue at Wednesday’s Country Music Awards in Nashville, invoking CMA mainstay and current pop sensation Taylor Swift in the process. The hosting duo unfavorably compared Jets fans to Swift’s devoted fanbase, which packed NFL stadiums during her ongoing “Eras Tour.” Manning and Bryan accused Gang Green supporters of being unable to do the same.
“Luke, you know the difference between Taylor Swift and the New York Jets?” Manning mockingly asks Bryan, who responds, “Uh, Taylor can sell out a stadium?” to which the former quarterback replies, “You nailed it!”
Manning, the victim of a 41-0 postseason shutout in East Rutherford in January 2003, should’ve known that the Jets were trouble when he walked in … and the Jets’ official account refused to shake it off.
what are we talking about Peyton pic.twitter.com/sT4iWkFSmX
— New York Jets (@nyjets) November 9, 2023
Including Manning and Bryan’s taunt in a post on X, the Jets proved the Hall-of-Fame thrower wrong by including a picture of the packed house that was MetLife Stadium for their Week 1 showdown against the Buffalo Bills.
“(W)hat are we talking about, Peyton?” the account rhetorically queried. Jets fans were equally willing to pile on, with many responders referring to the Wild Card shellacking from Manning’s days with the Indianapolis Colts.
While that Wild Card game remains the last playoff game hosted by the Jets, it’s hard to deny Gang Green fans the last laugh against Manning: in the game referenced, 83,345 watched the Jets earn a gritty 22-16 overtime victory over their division rivals in person. New starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers was lost to a seemingly instantaneous injury, but the game ended on Xavier Gipson’s 65-yard punt return that sent East Rutherford into hysterics.
Jets fans’ loyalty cannot be denied despite this season likely devolving into another addition to the team’s lengthy playoff drought: Buffalo’s visit was the NFL’s best-attended game on the Week 1 slate, and the Jets are one of 10 teams that have welcomed at least 300,000 fans into their domain at the de facto midway mark of the 2023 season.
Those who can’t find a seat at MetLife Stadium have been equally supportive, as the most-watched NFL broadcast in three of the first nine weeks of the season has involved the Jets. For example, the Week 6 upset victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Fox was the most-watched game entering last week’s action (26.09 million) until it was surpassed by the Eagles’ Week 9 tilt against Dallas.
Alas for Jets fans, they’ll have to be patient if they want to prove Manning wrong again: their team is on the road for the next two weeks, starting with a Sunday night tilt in Sin City against the Las Vegas Raiders (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on X @GeoffJMags
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