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Jets Visit Ground Zero, 9/11 Opener Means More To All

In less than ten days the New York Jets will have their season and home opener in the newly named MetLife Stadium.  Rex Ryan is primed and ready to make another run towards the playoffs and the Jets first Super Bowl appearance in more than 40 years.

On a day where the team and its fans should be screaming from the roof tops may see it just a little quieter that Sunday.  Where some will be shouting with joy, others will be a little more somber for remembrance on the tenth anniversary of the September 11th tragedy.

The New York Jets took a visit to the World Trade Center site yesterday, showing their respect to the site and appreciation to the workers that are rebuilding the hallowed ground.  They visited the site after their annual luncheon at Ciprini on Wall Street to get a first-hand look at the rebuilding of a site where many lost their lives.

All players, coaches and front office visited the site, where they surprised workers during lunch.  A trip like this for the Jets should give enough motivation and fill them with pride that they will represent New York on September 11th.

“It was a great morale boost for the thousands of construction workers that are there around the clock and our police officers and security workers,” PA spokeswoman Jamie Loftus said.

Dustin Keller was quoted as saying “Everyone was just kinda in awe”.

Asked why the Jets took the team to Ground Zero, Keller said: “9/11 is a huge part of the history of New York City. We’re the New York Jets, and we should know our history.”  Several of Keller’s teammates Tweeted their experience after the visit on Twitter.

“It was really cool just to see — obviously, it’s been a while since 9/11 — the towers get back up,” tight end Dustin Keller said. “It’s hard to explain — so many people here lost family members or friends, or knew somebody. It’s kinda touching when you think about it, all the lives lost, and to get the building back up there … it’s awesome.

“Very humbling experience,” tweeted cornerback Antonio Cromartie. “Just walked out to see Ground Zero. A really heart felt experience God Bless everyone.”  Many of the Tweets reflected heart felt emotions by the team.

It shows how powerful a took Twitter can be.  Where one can express deep heart felt emotion and convey it instantly to thousands to feel for themselves.  The teams emotions could be felt not just by those who read their tweets, but to the workers and other staff on site.

“When you think about the fact that 3,000 people got up that morning and all they wanted to do was go to work — they weren’t doing anything reckless, they weren’t taking any chances — they just wanted to go to work and they lost their lives. When you think about that, it’s hard not be moved,” Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum said.

The quotes above come courtesy of Brian Costello & Steve Serby’s article in the NY Post.  The full article has more from the Jets and their visit to Ground Zero.  Reading it may me wish I was there to experience it with them.  I have seen the site before so I can understand their emotion in seeing it for the first time.

Sometimes the grimmest of tragedies and experiences make us hold our heads higher for the future.  Perhaps it is good that the Jets will be home on Sunday, September 11th.  After visiting the site, the workers, looking at photographs, and soaking it all into their hearts, perhaps they will play with a confidence and emotion they need to start the season.

The team must take pride in knowing they play for New York & New Jersey.  They represent fans of New York and New Jersey.  They represent those who not just bled green and white, but gave it all on that fateful day.  To the fans in memory who watch from above and have the best seats in the house.

The fans at the game and watching on tv will not just be cheering their team, but cheering with pride.  Remembering what that day means to all parties involved and to those family and friends each of us lost.  Ten years may have gone by, but to some, it still feels like yesterday.

As I walk around the tailgating faithful, I am sure I will feel a different vibe amongst everyone.  Many ready for the Jets to defeat the Cowboys, and others remembering the tragedies of that day.  It will be a home game like no other.  The feeling amongst fans will be a mixed bag.  Some may not know how to react, if they should be cheerful or not.  But all will be thankful they are together at a New York Jets game to share it with everyone.

So this September 11th, do not cheer just for your favorite team, remember those who lost their lives.  The Jets will take with them their visit to Ground Zero next Sunday.  Those emotions, thoughts, and feelings will be with them on the field, before the opening kick off and when the game is over.  Sports has an uncanny way of bringing us together through tragedy.  The past three years have seen many go through tragedy.  Maybe Sunday’s remembrance is what we need as Americans to bring us all together again.

New York Jets, Met Life Revel in Last Week’s Accomplishments

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.
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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.

New York Jets Fans Cope After Another Super Bowl

The past two weeks I have not been as excited for the Super Bowl I guess as I should be.  Even a fellow fan John Allen passed along the same comment.  He was thinking that for some reason his favorite team should be playing this past Sunday, but for some reason, they ended up losing to the Steelers in the AFC Championship game.

The Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV on Sunday night. Aaron Rodgers won his first Super Bowl and it is tough to believe he can’t win another.

The Steelers jumped out to a quick 24-0 lead over the New York Jets in the AFC Championship, but fell behind a quick 21-3 to the Packers on Sunday night. At the end of the night, Clay Matthews was throwing a WWE championship belt over Rodgers’ shoulder.  Ric Flair is taking credit for having the WWE send the belt to him, as told to ESPN,  to use if they won the Super Bowl.

How do us Jets fans feel now?

No one can really say what the result would have been on Sunday night had the Jets been playing in the Steelers’ place. Jet fans may feel like they definitely would have won the game, but again, we cannot say for sure. It’s hard not to feel disappointed these last few nights.  One never know what their team would do if they were never in that situation.

Credit: bettor.com

The Super Bowl was right there; it was in our grasp. The Canyon of Heroes was ready for the parade that should have been filled with streamers and fans jammed in to see Gang Green. Everything was going as planned, just for it all to come crashing down.

Just imagine: Rex Ryan could have been saying “I told you all we were going to do it, AND WE DID IT!” on that podium Sunday night standing next to owner Woody Johnson, GM Mike Tannenbaum and Mark Sanchez.

Bart Scott could have been having another postgame interview that would go viral on the Internet. “WORTH THE WAIT,” he could be yelling in Sal Paolantonio’s face.  Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery could be running all over Cowboys Stadium with their arms outstretched like airplanes while wearing their “New York Jets Super Bowl Champions” caps and t-shirts.

Credit: Gang Green Nation

Credit: Gang Green Nation

Nick Mangold and Dustin Keller could be racing to their cell phones to be the first Jets to tweet about the win.  Antonio Cromartie’s kids could be dogpiling him in the end zone.

Shaun Ellis would then join the team on the podium to get his fingerprints on his Lombardi Trophy and press his lips against its mirror-like surface.  He has waited long enough to get his hands on that trophy after being with the team the longest.

To me Super Bowl Sunday was just another day of football.  I did not put on my Jets jersey.  No Jets shirt or hat to be worn.  Not even my trusty Jets boxers I wore every Sunday the team played.  Two teams were playing that were not my team.

The Jets were deserving of a Super Bowl this season. Anyone who is not a Jets fan will instantly contest this, because everyone else HATES the Jets. I can’t blame them. The Jets have a bunch of big mouths and a coach who has no filter. But the fans take on the personality of the team, and I can safely say we had a lot more fun than many others did.  Even the Jet fans who are haters enjoyed themselves this season.

Gang Green fought through all the criticism this season. After a bunch of close games that should not have been close and after some bad losses, the Jets showed everyone who they really are in the playoffs.  It does not matter how you finish the season, it is how you finish in the playoffs.

They took down Peyton Manning after he made them look bad in last year’s postseason. They took down the Patriots who were already being crowned champions. They forgot to show up for the first half against the Steelers, but almost pulled off one of the greatest playoff comebacks in history.

I am not trying to take anything away from the Packers or the Steelers by saying this. Both were much more deserving of a championship after the way they have played in the playoffs. Just because the Jets were a worthy candidate does not mean other teams were any less deserving.

Credit: SportsNewscaster.com

Things get even harder knowing there might be a lockout on the horizon. Knowing that there is a possibility the Jets will not get a chance to play in the Super Bowl in 2012, nor will any other team, is a tough reality to face.

I could go on about this, but all football fans are feeling the same way about this except maybe Packers fans that have the privilege of enjoying a championship for two years if there is a strike, but I am sure even they would rather lose than not have football.

Knowing that we will all be at least a year older before the Jets get another shot at a Super Bowl run is a feeling that I have felt time and time again. I have always hated the offseason because of how long I have to wait for Week 1. I hate the offseason because of how long I have to wait for the AFC Championship. Again, no guarantees that they will make it again, but it’s tough to feel like the Jets would fall short again.

It seems as Jets fans we are always waiting.  Always waiting until next season hoping that will be the season the Jets win it all.  If there is no next season, we just have to wait longer.  Easier said than done.

Xtra Point Football: NFL Draft Prospects: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame. A Jets Fit?

Morning all.  I came across this article this morning on Notre Dame Wide Receiver Golden Tate on Xtra Point Football.  Just from the name alone I had to stop and read the article.  After reading it, I agreed on a lot of points in the article on how this kid can fit into the Jets offense.  The Jets can really increase their threat down field and really turn it up. The Jets have missed opportunites in the past to have an all around solid offense.  They would have either a good QB, running game, or good wide receivers.  They finally have the running game and QB situations in place.  They are so close to having a great wide receiving core they can not miss out.  This is a key to going back to the AFC Championship game and maybe the Super Bowl.  If they can keep Thomas Jones and a three back core, then there is no stopping the Jets.  They need to same depth at WR.  Edwards can not do it on his own.  Dustin Keller had a great rookie year and Jericho Cotchery was hampered by injuries.  The potential is there and Golden Tate can be a golden fit.

Golden may only be 5’11”, but wasn’t Wayne Chrebet a short receiver who stunned many?  Someone able to get his hands on the ball and make yards after the pass.  Same thing as Tate.  Tate was also a great high school running back rushing for over 200 yards his Junior year.  I read a couple more scouting reports on Tate and he looks like a great fit.  But the founder of XPF Mike Cardano thinks otherwise.  He thinks they already have a solid WR line up.  I disagree.  They need a stellar tandem on both sides of the field.  Braylon Edwards is primed to be one of those men.  He has the potential to be a great receiver.  Tate has the speed and agility to throw off the defense and make key catches.  Mike Cardano believes they already have enough depth at WR.  Although Brad Smith can do QB in the Wilcat, he can not be a running back,.  This is where Tate can come in.  You throw his back experience into their versiion of the Wildcat then you give Brian Shottenheimer more options to throw off the opposing defense.

Here is the article and Mike Cardano’s response to Golden Tate being looked at by the Jets.

Written by MC3 Sports Media
Friday, 19 February 2010 07:40

godentateThe college football season is over; withdrawals, depression, misery. Before you slip into an apathetic stupor for eight months, remember that the NFL Draft is just around the corner! From now until April’s NFL Draft, I will be profiling some of the more interesting prospects. I can’t promise that I’ll get to your favorite player, but if you’d like to see a certain player profiled, shoot us an email and let us know.

What a freakin’ sweet name ‘Golden Tate‘ is. I wonder if his given name had anything to do with his Irish commitment back in 2007.

Critics’ biggest knock against Tate has been his ability, or lack thereof, to separate from defenders. Draft Overlord Mel Kiper concurs. According to the South Bend Tribune, Kiper notes, “He didn’t separate from the [cornerbacks] on the initial routes. But he was great after the catch in the open field, running with the football.”

Separation or not, he showed that he has a knack for adjusting to the ball and making the catch with defenders around. Tate was quarterback Jimmy Clausen’s go to guy in 2009, even before and after fellow star wide receiver Michael Floyd was out with injury. He had at least 5 receptions in every game in 2009 except for two-blowouts against Nevada and Washington State. In an overtime win against Washington, Tate blew up, catching 9 passes for 244 yard including a 77 yard reception and a 67 yard touchdown reception.

Like Clausen, Tate played on NBC his entire career and was subjected to the scrutiny that comes from playing at one of the most storied programs ever. He’s also familiar with the pro style offense used by Charlie Weis. These factors likely make Tate more NFL ready than his peers; consider it usually takes three seasons for wide receivers to mature to the NFL game and this will only improve his draft stock.

Tate’s height is the bane of his draft stock according to some analysts. He’s 5’11 and while he won’t be the shortest receiver in the pros, he certainly won’t be the tallest either. He’ll have to use his quickness to get off the line against physical NFL corners.

Among his attributes heading into the draft, and mentioned by Kiper in the quote above, is his ability to run after the catch. Tate is a former running back, rushing for over 2,000 yards as a junior in high school, and is an experienced return man. His strong legs, quickness and ability to make cuts will make him a nightmare in the open field even against the faster, more disciplined NFL defenses.

The South Bend Tribune article mentions Tate’s 40 time at the NFL Scouting Combine as important in deciding his eventual draft position. Kiper is quoted as saying, “To me, if he runs well, he could be a late-first-round pick. If he doesn’t, you’re talking about second or third round for Golden.” To some (I’m looking your way Al Davis), 40 times are everything. To others, they’re just measurements that don’t necessarily translate into production on the field.

He’ll likely be picked late in the first round-really the perfect spot to pick a receiver. It’s not that pro bowl caliber pass catchers haven’t gone in the top 10; it’s that so many busts and disappointments have gone so high. With wide receivers, talent sure plays out, but I’ll use the old credo that they depend on others to get them the ball.

The Jets are a popular choice to nab Tate in the latter part of the First Round. Questions surround whether Braylon Edwards will ever develop into the wide receiver the Jets hoped he would when they acquired him from Cleveland midseason. If he does wind up in New York, can you imagine the marketability a guy named Golden would bring in a city whose mayor dubbed Manhattan ‘Revis Island’ after their star cornerback? A billboard of Golden next to the Golden Arches in Times Square comes to mind.

XPF Founder and New York Jets fanatic Mike Cardano isn’t so sure.

“I actually don’t think the Jets will take a receiver that high. They are set with Jericho Cotchery as a possession receiver and I think that they think Braylon Edwards can be ‘the guy’, especially with a full year of training camp.  Something that often goes unnoticed/unmentioned is that Edwards is a fantastic blocker and that helps the Jets running game on the second level springing big runs.  If they can get him to kick the ‘dropping the ball thing’ just a bit, I think they are OK there.  I’m OK with Brad Smith as the 3rd guy and one of these days the speedster David Clowney will catch a 70 pass (not in pre-season but an actual game).  I wouldn’t be surprised if they picked up a veteran receiver, but I would be shocked if they drafted a receiver in the first three rounds.”

The Cowboys, picking two spots ahead of the Jets in the first round, may be in the market for a wide receiver to play alongside Miles Austin. Like Edwards, Roy Williams is largely considered a disappointment since coming to Dallas as Terrelle Owens‘ successor.

If he slips into the second round, there are some teams picking at the top of the round that could certainly use help in the passing game. - Danny Hobrock

Danny is a sports journalist who primarily covers college football and professional baseball. He is a contributor for several sports related blogs and is the former editor of a political and current events website.

  • For more player profiles and complete coverage of this Year’s NFL Draft, visit our NFL Draft Prospects Home Page with new profiles being added each week.

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New York Jets rally Videos NJ Training Center Sept 12, 2009

Well, I went to the New York Jets training facility in East Hanover this morning.  I got there nice and early to wait with other Jets fans outside the gates.  Had a chance to speak with Fireman Ed who was there to show his support for Gang Green.  We had a chance to talk about the documentary and might be sitting down to go over the Jets soon.  The rain did not damper the spirits of the fans that came out.  Many of the kids were able to play and bounce on several of the inflatable play areas.  The Hanover Park High School marching band was there to provide the music.

Several hundred fans lined up in two areas to create a “tunnel” for the Jets to run down and slap everyones hands.  Everyone was stacked up shoulder to shoulder.  Some little kids managed to squeeze their way in to see the players.  Dustin Keller was one of the first to come down the tunnel followed by Rex Ryan, Thomas Jones, Nick Mangold, Kellen Clemens,  & Ryan Sanchez to name the ones that passed me.  They gave out free lotto tickets, key chains, and other promotional related stuff.  Everyone who came out had a great time and could not have spent a better rainy morning.

Fans coming in, Jets inflatable play areas, and the band

Kids playing, or waiting to play

Kids being kids…..hitting each other with inflatable sticks

Long time Jets fan Fireman Ed gets the fans psyched for the players

Bob Wischusen & The NY Jets Flight Crew prepare the fans

Bob Wischusen, Rex Ryan, and Kerry Rhodes speak and then the Jets give the fans what they wanted, the team! Dustin Keller, Rex Ryan, Nick Mangold, Kellen Clemens, and Mark Sanchez are a few you will see.