Without an appearance in the Super Bowl since 1969, New York Jets fans have long forgotten what it's like to have a direct rooting interest in the NFL's biggest game of the year.
But that doesn't mean Sunday's Super Bowl LVIII will be totally void of a Gang Green tint. Barring injury there likely won't be a former Jet playing a huge role in the outcome.
But there will be familiar faces and perhaps sentimental favorites Jets fans can root for to finally win a ring.
Though only a backup behind 49ers' starting quarterback Brock Purdy, Darnold is the highest profile former Jet on either team. He was once the franchise’s quarterback of the future. His three seasons in green and white did not go as hoped. Neither did two years that followed in Carolina. He won't play Sunday unless something happens to Purdy or there is a blowout.
The Chiefs-Jets-now-again-Chiefs receiver isn't exactly general manager Joe Douglas’ best acquisition. He was brought in from Kansas City as a free agent in 2023 to bolster wide receiver depth. However, Hardman never carved out a role and was traded back to Kansas City after only one catch in five games. He's had five catches this postseason, and could conceivably score a touchdown on a Patrick Mahomes pass Sunday.
A fourth-round pick by the Jets in 2020, he has 263 rushing yards on 72 carries in two seasons as a Chiefs' backup to Isiah Pacheco and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The Jets cut him at the end of training camp in 2022. Perine has yet to see a touch in the postseason.
Best known for his tenure as Los Angeles Chargers head coach from 2017-20, he also was a Jets assistant head coach and running backs coach for six years under Rex Ryan. He serves the same role now under Kyle Shanahan with the 49ers.