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Confidence. The Jets have it. In fact, the Jets are so confident after whooping Cincinnati’s butt on Saturday, that Rex Ryan feels his team should not only be the favorite in the Super Bowl but also in the NBA playoffs. The first-year coach has his players believing that they can accomplish anything. He’s dispatched Dustin Keller to solve the Jay Leno/Conan O’Brien conundrum. The offensive line is drafting a health-care bill that will make everyone happy. And Bart Scott will be stepping in to replace Simon Cowell on American Idol. To paraphrase Yogi Berra: Sports are 90% mental, the other half is physical. And the Jets are not having any problems with the mental aspect of the game right now (nor the physical side either). Some feel there may be a little too much braggadocio in Jet land, but so far it’s working. Sitting at the other end of the confidence meter is the Nets. They do nothing but lose, and can’t even sniff a victory. Do you think they have any confidence at all when they walk onto the court? The rest of the New York–area teams fall somewhere in the middle. Sometimes winning a few games comes first, and confidence springs from that, and that seems to be happening with the Knicks, Rangers and Islanders. You start out 1-9, win a few games here and there and before you know it you’re in playoff contention and saying things like: “I think this once again shows we can beat anybody, anywhere, when we play the right way” (David Lee). Or you have Lou Lamoriello and Jacques Lemaire running the show, which means you should always be confident. And then there’s a whole other aspect of the confidence phenomenon – being on a minute-by-minute mental roller-coaster ride, which is what it must be like inside Oliver Perez’s head.

Here are the top stories of the past week in the world of New York sports:

One Down, Three to Go: The Jets D and Darrelle Revis did what they had to do. The rookies – Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene and Rex Ryan – were outstanding. What a great way to start their playoff careers. But the real hero was Jay Feely. Sure, he didn’t have to go in and play quarterback, but still, it’s the first time he ever punted in an NFL game, and in the playoffs with hardly any advanced warning, no less. He came up with some nice coffin-corner, Jeff Feagles-like kicks (well, the 42-year-old Jeff Feagles). And unlike his counterpart on the Bengals, Shayne Graham, he made all his field goals and extra points. Graham felt so bad after missing that second FG that he hid in defensive tackle Domata Peko’s hair for the rest of the game. The Jets had an easy time of it with the Bengals, but Cincinnati claimed they still weren’t trying. They were going to wait until the second round of the playoffs to give it their all. The Chargers, on the other hand, will most likely be another story.

Rangers-Devils Classic: You had two teams that hate each other. A playoff-like atmosphere. An even, hard-fought game. A goalies’ duel by two of the best netminders in the game. 96 total shots. A 0-0 score after regulation. A 0-0 score after overtime. It’s a shame one of the teams had to lose. It was an instant classic. But the NHL needs to get rid of the shootout. It’s run its course, and is no way to determine games. And it makes an in-game penalty shot seem almost boring now. Yes, I’m an American so there should be a winner and loser in athletic contests, but ties are almost better than this. If they insist on keeping it, at least get rid of the three-point games; no more one point given out to the losing team.

2009 Redux: Well, here we go again. Carlos Beltran is already going to miss the beginning of the season. Apparently he had knee surgery against the Mets wishes. Injuries? Controversy? Ah, the world of the New York Mets. Isn’t anybody in charge over there?

Lee the Go-To Guy: The Knicks lost their first two games of the week, blowing one against Houston and then getting creamed vs. Oklahoma City. But they rebounded on Wednesday, with their exciting win over Philadelphia. David Lee, grieving over the death of his grandfather, came up with some key baskets down the stretch to lead the Knicks to victory. Mike D’Antoni: “It just goes to show you how professional he is. He’s on a one-year contract. We didn’t give him two or three years or five years or whatever it is. He’s going to fly and go out to the funeral and be ready Friday night. That’s not normal. It’s just a test of his character again, which he’s showed repeatedly. There’s just so many things he does to make himself a good player and you’ve got to appreciate a player like that.”

Numbers 7, 8 & 9: Fair or unfair, the Nets, Islanders and Devils are numbers seven, eight and nine in the pecking order of New York–area sports teams. But if you’re a diehard fan, who cares, right? They all made the news on Friday night, though. The lights went out in Newark during the second period. The Devils win so often that when they found themselves behind 3-0, they didn’t know how to react, so they panicked and Lou Lamoriello turned out the lights and quietly ran away. When they resumed the game on Sunday, Lenny Randle was seen standing at center ice ready for his at-bat. Before the Nets game, a fire broke out in New Orleans Arena. It got so smoky the doors had to be opened to let in some fresh air. The Nets neglected to use that opportunity to escape before suffering through another loss. And for the Isles, Friday night saw the return of Rick DiPietro, in their 4-3 loss. He was rusty but he finally made it back. The Islanders have crept back into the playoff picture, though, by winning four of their last five games, including a dominant performance against the Red Wings.

Honors and Dishonors: Darrelle Revis lost out to Charles Woodson for Defensive Player of the Year, and Coach Ryan was none too happy about it. In fact he vowed to go on a hunger strike, only eating three meals a day, until justice is served. New Jersey’s Jamie Langenbrunner was selected as captain of Team USA for the upcoming Olympics, with teammate Zach Parise picked as an alternate. Chris Drury will not be wearing a letter on his sweater this time around, though.

R.I.P. Art Clokey: The Jets are on a big-time roll but let’s give homage to the original green machine – Gumby, who along with his pal Pokey, had to constantly fight and defeat their arch-nemeses the Blockheads. Their creator, Art Clokey, passed away a week ago, at the age of 81. The old show was wacky, surreal and filled with innocent fun (except when Eddie Murphy got a hold of the slope-headed character). Clokey also came up with the goofily brilliant, weird and religious Davey and Goliath series. I don’t believe there was an episode with steroids as the theme, but there should have been. Mark McGwire kept telling us in his mea culpa interview that the “man upstairs” was his reason for hitting all those home runs, with PEDs having nothing to do with his power. I think Davey and Goliath would have set him straight. Surely McGwire would have a different take on his cheating, lying and law-breaking if he heard the truth about honesty, God and doing the right thing from a talking dog made of clay, wouldn’t he?

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