The New York Jets Will Forever Be South Florida's Most Hated Rival
Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg

The New York Jets Will Forever Be South Florida's Most Hated Rival

Welcome to Dolphins-Jets week, home of the most heated rivalry in South Florida sports. It's more storied than Heat versus Knicks. More meaningful than Marlins versus Mets. More bitter than Dolphins versus Bills or Dolphins versus Patriots.

It's the bleeping New York Jets against the Miami Dolphins. Whether it's the AFC Championship Game or peewee-football kids wearing the two teams' colors, there's never any love lost here. The Fins don't like the Jets, and they don't like us. It's better that way, and it will always be true.

It's us versus them. It's a beautiful tint of aqua and orange versus pukey green. It's Dan Marino versus Boomer Esiason forever, no matter how long they've been retired or what year it is. It's New York versus Florida.

Pick a side. There are no houses divided here. There are only Dolphins fans and people who tolerate Jets fans.

Throughout the years, other local rivalries have come and gone. For a moment in time, both the Bills and Patriots could have been considered bigger Dolphins rivals than the Jets, if only because the stakes were so much higher against those teams at the time. But the longevity of the ill will between the Dolphins and Jets is staggering.

There are decades upon decades of hate, and chapters upon chapters of stories that make the rivalry run deep through our bones and into our souls.

The Monday Night Football Miracle. The Fake Spike. The pain on both sides. It was here in 1978, it's here in 2018, and it'll be here in 2058 if the NFL still exists.

Nothing the Miami Heat has going on compares to Dolphins versus Jets. Heat and Knicks? There were great moments in that rivalry, but in the grand scheme of things, it's played out at this point. The Knicks haven't mattered in a long time. The Heat moved on to bigger and better things. As long as the Knicks stink, the rivalry won't have the same juice. The Heat has existed only since 1988. By 1988, the Dolphins and Jets had already been through some battles.

The two teams have met 105 times, including in pivotal playoff-deciding matchups. The Jets lead the series 54-50-1, showing that both teams have had their moments but that neither has dominated for any stretch of time.

It's true that both teams have wallowed in mediocrity for what seems like forever. The Dolphins have been without a title since 1973, and the Jets since 1968.

But that just means that for both fan bases, looking at the other team is like staring into a mirror — only both sets of fans immediately want to break that mirror. The Dolphins-Jets series is as close to a sibling rivalry as there is in all of sports.

Jets versus Dolphins. Good guys versus bad guys. This Sunday, it will happen again. Miami can't wait.

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