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Is The Honeymoon Fading? Our Scott Billeck Thinks It Might Be Over

The honeymoon is over in Jets Land. They say that the first year of marriage is the hardest. And if not the first year then the second year. For the Jets, however, neither was the case. The third time though, that’s the charm.

What a ride it is has been, no? How many honeymoons last almost a full two years? Heck I know people whose marriages didn’t last two weeks.



The Winnipeg Jets must have had some magical properties in their hotdogs. Or their popcorn. Or in their really, really expensive beer. Surely they sought out McDonalds help in creating something so addictive, something that made you clamor for more.

Unlike McDonalds, however, the effect appears to have worn off. At least, for some people.

After a 15-year hiatus, the Jets returned to fanfare in 2011. The club has now entered its third season and while things were quite rosy for the first two, it appears someone has thrown a shoe at the other. Like a honeymoon suite at a swanky hotel, the Jets made sure you had all of the fixings to complement you array of emotions. Rose petals, champagne, and chocolate.

It was ecstasy. Virtually everywhere you looked, someone was wearing Jets’ apparel. There were cars had car flags. Front porches had banners. Hell, even Tim Horton’s had a Jets’ donut.

People were saturated, showered with a love that was easily maintained.

But like my honeymoon, and many before and after it, all good things come to an end. Reality sets in. People learn about their partners, hockey fans learn about their team.

This year has been anything but blissful for the Jets. Sure, they fill the seats on a nightly basis and I’m sure merchandise sales are healthy, as well. Yet, there is a strange aura inside the MTS Centre and there is definitely a change in the relationship outside.

After a 4-5-2 start, it’s becoming apparent the product on the ice is subpar. Fans are now demanding answers. And for good reason.

Just over $93 million was spent on three players over the summer. The “core,” as it were, were all given lengthy contracts and if you add in Evander Kane’s signing just before the lockout, you are well past the $100 million mark. That shouldn’t matter. We should just accept it as part of doing business in the NHL. Trouble is, ticket prices and, as we already know, beer and concession prices, rise as a result.

That wouldn’t matter a bit if the team looked like a winner. But on a beautiful Saturday morning, hours before the Jets play the Stars in Dallas, the Jets are sixth in the Central and tied for 11th in the West. That’s not what most fans expected.

Now, granted, Kane has been solid all season. There have been no complaints from fans about his efforts. But the efforts of Bogosian and Little leave a lot to be desired. Heck, it is possible that Olli Jokinen has been better this season, but he should be, at $4.5 million per year.

The boo birds have been out in 2013 and we’re only eight home games into the season. The calling for heads has already become a part of people’s daily conversations. Fire Claude Noel. Trade this guy. Start Al Montoya.

Fans are growing impatient. People are fighting. Even in the stands.

The honeymoon is over. After all the fun, real life starts to settle in. You left the toothpaste tube open. You steal all the covers at night. Your snoring is brutal.

The Jets and their fans are now having trouble getting along. The fans need to learn that it is a process. Like a messy divorce and the rebuilding process after, so is the case with the Jets and the Atlanta hangover.

One thing is for certain, there will be a lot more fighting before this thing is settled. So hold on. It’s going to be an interesting ride.

The Jets play the Satrs on Saturday night. In Winnipeg, Dallas won 4-1 earlier this season (Photo by SHAWN COATES)

The Jets play the Stars on Saturday night. In Winnipeg, Dallas won 4-1 earlier this season (Photo by SHAWN COATES)

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