With MetLife purchasing the naming rights to New Meadowlands Stadium, the Jets got the first win in “The House That Snoopy Built” on Monday night, a 17-3 preseason win over the Giants.
Deemed the “MetLife Bowl,” the insurance company presented the Jets a trophy with Snoopy in leatherhead gear, holding a football in a Heisman pose.
Ryan grinned awkwardly, trying to look poised as he held a trophy for a preseason win. It was a rare moment in the life of Rex Ryan. The Jets head coach didn’t know what to say. Not too often Rex is at a loss for words. Perhaps he is rehearsing in case he gets to hold the Lombardi trophy. Then again, holding that trophy may not keep him quiet.
Now the Jets and Giants can take part in a Bowl, exclusive only to them, to battle for New York bragging rights. The MetLife bowl sounds more suited for college than the NFL. To some players, this could be the only bowl they get to play in.
This past Friday, players from the New York Giants and New York Jets rushed Manhattan’s Bryant Park in an unprecedented event that brought both teams together to celebrate MetLife Stadium with fans of all ages. The event was hosted by 1050 ESPN’s Mike Golic and numerous New York Jets and New York Giants were in attendance.
The New York Giants were represented by Head Coach Tom Coughlin with Eli Manning, Antrel Rolle, Brandon Jacobs, Chris Smee, Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks, Corey Webster, Aaron Ross, David Diehl, Kenny Phillips, Jason-Pierre-Paul, and Will Beatty.
New York Jets had as their contingent Head Coach Rex Ryan, with Mark Sanchez, Darrelle Revis, LaDainian Tomlinson, Nick Mangold, Shonn Greene, Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller, Bart Scott, D’Brickshaw Ferguson, Eric Smith, Sione Pouha, and David Harris
The event was held to commemorate the signing of a 25-year deal with the Jets and Giants to name the East Rutherford, N.J. sports and entertainment complex. Game tickets and MetLife Stadium-branded hats, t-shirts and mini-footballs were distributed to the loyal and passionate fans who attended the event. They did have green and blue shirts so fans from both sides felt equal.
The MetLife bowl was not just about a trophy, the Giants and Jets also battled for charity in their annual preseason game. The winning team received the MetLife Trophy as well as $40,000 for the charity of their choice, while the other team will be awarded $10,000. The Jets donated their share to The Trust for Public Land and the Giants donated their proceeds to KaBOOM!
“We had a great time bringing the fans and teams together in Bryant Park,” said Beth Hirschhorn, chief marketing officer of MetLife. “This is just one example of the exciting opportunities coming for fans in the months ahead, and we look forward to welcoming them at the new MetLife Stadium.”
At the event, New York and New Jersey fans interacted with active and retired Giants and Jets players and had multiple autograph opportunities. Vinny Testaverde, Wayne Chrebet, & oe Klecko were the veteran contingent for Gang Green. Otis Anderson, Carl Banks, and Armani Toomer were there for the Giants.
Kids had a chance to participate in a “football handoff” from Jets RB Shonn Greene or Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw, and had their very own Kids’ Zone where they could get close to players, have autographs signed and interact with the Peanuts gang. It was a kids dream come true where there were no lines to wait on and all their favorite players around them.
To those fans in attendance who could only stand by and watch the festivities, the players walked the perimeter and signed autographs for anyone who wanted. The merchandise MetLife handed out proved to be great for capturing autographs.
Nick Mangold, who is a die hard fan of the fast casual chain Chipotle, was asked to comment on how great the food is. His response was they already have enough positive attention and he did not need to add to it.
Through the naming rights sponsorship, MetLife plans to significantly expand the unique experiences available to fans, including tickets to big games, the opportunity to play on MetLife Stadium turf, face-to-face meetings with star players, field passes, trips to away games, signed memorabilia and much more.
Even though Monday nights win over the Giants was sloppy, it was a win. Both teams will meet on December 24th during the regular season. It will be a different story then. No preseason bowl. Just two teams looking to make a run at the playoffs and a true battle for New York supremacy.
If this past Monday night;s game is a precursor of how the teams will look this season, there is still a lot of work to be done. With the regular season just 11 days away, both teams need to make big strides on both sides of the ball. Even with MetLife on the new stadium, the Jets and Giants are in no ways insured they will be going to the Super Bowl.