Fan Tries to Work Magic for Jets

First published on LAist on January 15, 2010.

Mark Williamson is not a nutjob, although when I saw videos of him parading in Times Square trying to break the “Jets Curse” it’s hard not to think he has a screw loose (or two).

He lit three green candles in a box, dropped three pennies, dropped three pieces of candy, knocked the ground three times and led the crowd that had gathered around him to a J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets! cheer three times.

Breaking The Curse In Times Square from Wayne Earl on Vimeo.

He even questioned his own sanity when I spoke to him on the phone today. Williamson said that he was really wondering how he would make it through this season after the Jet’s collapse last year.

“I really questioned my sanity,” he said. “Did I have any soul left to commit to these guys? I’m 37 now. Can I keep doing this to myself? Why am I doing this?”

He sounded remarkably normal – a bit sedated even which surprised me. I’m used to fast talking New Yorkers. In contrast he sounded almost like a West Coaster, relaxed and deliberate. But being a fan of a sports team can make you do crazy things and even have crazy ideas.

See, Williamson is a lifelong Jets fan.

“I was born into it. My father was a big Jets fan. He was a big Joe Namath fan. Myself, and I have three brothers, we all were raised in a Jets household.”

Williamson decided to make a documentary titled The Jets Curse with his friend Wayne Earl who is directing and producing, . They are also blogging about the season on The Jets

“It started with a question of why we have not won,” Williamson said.

“We started asking about a curse. It’s not common in football to talk about curses. Baseball seems much more superstitious through and through. Just for fun we were asking fans at the game about a curse. I have this theory, I’m not saying I believe this, we just believe that there has to be some dark magic involved. So we asked fans about it.”

While the fans Williamson encountered insist the Jets aren’t cursed, they did have some interesting theories as to why it’s been 40 years since they won Super Bowl III, their lone title.

“Some thought it was Joe Namath that he sold his soul to the devil,” Williamson said. “Until he dies we will not win a championship. Some think the whole Jets team of the 68 69 season sold their souls collectively to be the underdog and live in glory forever.”

Williamson though had his own theory:

“I had this theory about the city of Baltimore. We beat Baltimore in January 1969 in Super Bowl III. The Mets won it in 1969 and beat the Orioles. Both Baltimore teams were favored to win. Then we learned that the Knicks in 1970 beat the Baltimore Bullets in basketball. Maybe there is something or someone in Baltimore that cursed these organizations.

“The Jets haven’t won anything since. The Mets won in 86, but I think they only won because they played the Boston Red Sox. Older curses trump newer curses. And the Knicks won in 73, but they look like garbage ever since. So who knows?”

Being the intrepid interviewer that I am, I posed a scenario to Williamson. If the Jets were to beat the Chargers on Sunday and the Raven beat the Colts on Saturday, the Jets would host the AFC Championship Game at the Meadowlands next Sunday. Wouldn’t that break the curse?

“I think you may be heading in the right direction. What you just said is very powerful in and of itself.”

And if the Jets won?

“There is a lot of weird magic going on. [Giants Stadium] will collapse like the house in Poltergeist. It will shrink itself into the ground.”

I could now sense this road leading toward some ugly Bavarian Illuminati, Adam Weishaupt replaced George Washington type conspiracy lunacy. So I wanted to steer this back to the curse breaking ceremony.

Williamson and his cohorts consulted with Lexa Roséan, a Wiccan priestess, psychic and noted pagan author, about ways to remove a curse.

Lexa the Curse Expert from Wayne Earl on Vimeo.

Which brings us back to that day on December 3 before the Jets played the Buffalo Bills in Toronto.

“I did my best to nail it the best I could and take it as seriously as I could,” Williamson explained about performing the curse breaking ceremony.

Williamson noted many times throughout our conversation that he didn’t fully believe the Jets were cursed or that any of this would help the Jets win a championship.

“This is all just in case,” he explained. “We don’t really know or believe it. Just in case. We’ve given the Jets everything else. So we thought we’d take it upon ourselves to eradicate any curse that might be out there.”

True or not, he did notice a common theme amongst his fellow Jets fans.

“About this time we start waiting for the other shoe to drop. Maybe that’s affecting things. Maybe we’re the problem. Maybe we’re the one saturating the Jets players with these negative things. I think if we keep the positive vibe and not go to that dark place.

“Every one of us can turn this negative history behind. Don’t go to that dark Jet place, and keep the spirits up. I think if every fan does that, maybe we’ll saturate the quantum field with Jet positivity.”

We’ll send them Vic “The Brick” Jacobs.

As for this weekend’s games, I know this much for sure. The Cowboys are going to beat the Minnesota Vikings 24-10. The Cardinals are going to win in a shootout with the New Orleans Saints 45-38. The Ravens are going to crush the relaxed Indianapolis Colts 27-3.

Which brings us to the Jets-Chargers matchup. The Chargers have everything going for them: an 11-game winning streak, an MVP-caliber quarterback and weapons everywhere. The Jets will need to clone their cornerback Darrelle Revis several times over to cover the receivers, tight ends and running backs the Chargers will throw at them. But if the Jets can keep it close in the fourth quarter, I can see them winning the game and hosting the AFC Championship game.

But it’s not going to happen I’m sorry to say to Williamson. The Chargers will beat the Jets in a squeaker 21-20.