|Shaun Ellis is going to his first Super Bowl. (AP photo)|
But there might be reason to at least crack a smile if you're a Jets fan. In his 12th season in the NFL, Shaun Ellis is headed to his first Super Bowl. Of course, it's not all good, as Ellis has reached football nirvana in one season with the Patriots, something he couldn't do in 11 years with the Jets.
Ellis was one of the greatest Jets off all time, and his end with the team was one of the many reasons Rex Ryan and company failed in epic fashion this season. Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum decided to offer Ellis the veteran's minimum to return this offseason. The Patriots then came in and offered him four times that amount, $4 million, to switch sides in the rivalry.
Given no choice, the biggest Patriots-hater on the Jets was suddenly joining the team he couldn't stand. The Patriots went on to win the AFC East while the Jets crumbled as a lack of leadership destroyed a locker room and made winning nearly impossible. Those were the risks Ryan and Tannenbaum took when allowing strong locker room personalities, like Ellis, leave.
"I played my heart out for them guys for years," Ellis said of the Jets. "If you would have cut me open, I was bleeding green."
Now, Ellis is headed to the Super Bowl with the hated Patriots.
"Definitely a humbling experience considering where I came from," Ellis said after the Patriots beat the Ravens. "When I got the call from Bill (Belichick) there wasn't any hesitation in my mind this is where I wanted to be. I just put everything aside. The past, the rivalry and moved on."
He moved on ... all the way to Indianapolis for his first Super Bowl.