Posts

Sunday’s Jets/Patriots Game Critical For Team & Fans

For the past year and a half, New Meadowlands Stadium now MetLife Stadium has been home of the New York Jets. But Sunday will feel like their first game in the new billion dollar stadium.

When the Patriots come to East Rutherford in a gigantic AFC East match against Gang Green,  it will be a test to see if all those years of waiting will make this stadium be home to the Jets and their fans or just another upscale VIP event.

To date, this will be the Jets biggest game they will play in the new stadium.  But to the fans and everyone watching, will it feel like it. More importantly, will the Jets play as it is their biggest game played in MetLife Stadium.

For as long as I have been filming at MetLife, the former New Meadowlands Stadium, no one has enjoyed it.  Fans have had reason to hate the PSLs.  The fans hate the way it looks like a prison from the outside.  It has no life.  The stadium feels like a shell of something that could be grander.

The Jets want fans at MetLife Stadium on Sunday vs. the Patriots to give Gang Green an advantage they have yet to see at home.  They want the fans to be louder than they have ever been.  To show that the Jets can defeat their AFC rivals with confidence and certainty.  The Jets biggest opponent are themselves, and that needs to be defeated easily before they can defeat the Patriots.

But maybe this game is what the new stadium has been waiting for. Maybe Brady, Billichik, Ochocinco, and the rest of the Pats walking into the Jets home is what has been needed. The sight of the Justin Bieber wannabe has done it time and time again. The most memorable home game of Jets coach Rex Ryan’s tenure was his first. On that Sunday back in September of 2009, Giants Stadium vibrated as the Jets defeated the Patriots in an opening day battle.

The past three years has been a period of change for many sports fans, and not just of football. We’ve seen Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium and Giants Stadium torn down. Rising in their place have been buildings that seem to be more about profits than the roar of the fans, that prefer the upscale, casual sports viewer than the outspoken die-hard fan.

Since I started filming, I have heard stories & watched fans who saw Joe Namath play at Shea leave overpriced seats behind where they could have watched Mark Sanchez in a new stadium . Tales of longtime season-ticket holders fuming and forced out in droves have seen masses not come back to watch all their local sports teams.

For the Jets, MetLife Stadium was supposed to represent their first real home. The franchise has wandered like gypsies from other peoples home stadiums beginning with the Polo Grounds. MetLife is shared with the Giants, but the franchise does everything possible to make the stadium feel like home by making it look green on game day.  So fans feel like it belongs to them, not the Giants.

Like the new homes of the Mets and Yankees, though, the Jets are limited in how they can make MetLife stadium feel like home. Most of it has to do with what’s happening on the field & the green colors outside on game day. Yankee Stadium felt like doppelganger to some until they had their series with the Boston Red Sox during the opening season. Citi Field needs a Mets makeover before it becomes a tough ticket.  It has yet to feel warm and inviting to Mets fans.

On Sunday, it is zero hour for Gang Green and their fans. The Jets have a chance to see what their home field can truly sound and feel like. They have played 12 games at MetLife Stadium to date. Brett Favre’s return last year had the place shaking. The season opener with the Cowboys this year got loud when Joe McKnight blocked a punt in the fourth quarter.  But that is nothing compared to what the fans can truly sound like.

Nothing compares to the present, though. Bill Belichick and Brady enter this game vulnerable. With both teams at 5-3, this feels like an AFC Title game. It could determine whether the Jets bring a playoff game to MetLife this year.  Something the fans have demanded for years.  The ability to watch their team at home in the playoffs.  To give their Jets a home field advantage the likes the team has not seen.

Is that enough for those in the VIP boxes and Coaches Club sections to put down their over priced drinks and prime rib? Maybe Woody Johnson needs to sit with the real fans to find out what it truly feels like to be at a home Jets game.  At about 8:30 Sunday night come kick off, we’ll find out.

Super Bowl Eludes Jets, Off Season Holds Many Questions

Well, the Jets went down to the Steelers 24-19.  When the Jets decided to defer the toss at the kick off, that was their undoing.  The Steelers held the ball for an opening drive that consumed over nine minutes.  The Jets defense was put to the test early and had to endure Rashard Mendenhall.  The 5’11”. 225 lb running back was forcing the Jets to stop him on the way to an opening drive touchdown.  With that opening drive, it was amazing to see the Jets defense have anything left for the remainder of the game.  The fans were behind them the entire time.  But on Twitter, some were giving up on them the minute the first half was over.  One began to read the old saying: Same old Jets.

By the time the Jets got going in the second half time was not on their side.  Key calls in the red zone by Brian Schottenheimer did not help the Jets case to score.  On a Third and goal, they should have run the ball instead of pass.  They ended up running on fouth down but were held at the one yard line by the Steelers defense.  With minutes to go in the game one can see the Jets were getting into the groove, but it was too little too late.  Even after a 4-yard TD pass to Jerricho Cotchery made it 24-19 with 3:06 remaining. The Jets never got the ball back.

To Rex Ryan, Same Old Jets means Namath and Weeb Ewbank and those Super Bowl III champions, the ones that had his father Buddy coaching the linebackers. His approach to years of heartache and predestination’s of doom was to blow it over with bombast, overwhelm it with arrogance.  So when Rex hears same old Jets, he has a different thought in mind.

Since Bill Parcells finagled his way back to the Meadowlands in 1997, the Jets are 16 games over .500 — 120-104. In the last 14 seasons they’ve finished below .500 just three times, and two of those were crash-and-burn deals after injuries to Chad Pennington.

That leaves just one season, the 4-12 year in 2007, that the Jets flat-out stunk as built and planned. Think that’s a bad deal? Ask around the league. Start in Cleveland. Peek in on Detroit.

In the last 10 seasons, this was the sixth playoff trip for the Jets. Defensive end Sean Ellis, drafted in 2000, played his 12th Jets playoff game Sunday. How many other players around the league have played as many for one team in the last 10 years? Tom Brady? Petyon Manning? Ben Roethlisberger and Hines Ward?

The Patriots, Colts, Steelers and Eagles are the only franchises to have played in more playoff games over the last 10 years than the Jets.  The Giants have played in half as many.  Of course, the Giants went to the Super Bowl, and won it. So did the Patriots, Steelers and Colts. That’s seven of the last nine championships.  None for the Jets.

Failure is relative. The Philadelphia Eagles have been to five NFC Championship Games in the last decade, lost four of them, and still haven’t won a Super Bowl.

The Buffalo Bills once lost four Super Bowls in a row. Now they’ve gone 11 seasons without even making the playoffs. Which way do you think the folks upstate would rather have it?

Maybe this is small consolation, after Vinny Testaverde’s Achilles and Chad Pennington’s wrist and Chad Pennington’s shoulder, and all those almosts — from the Mud Bowl against the Dolphins to the collapse of ‘86 and to halftime leads vanished the last two times before Sunday the Jets got this far.

Will fans think the Jets can get this far next year is the question.  Many will boast and say next year is the year they win it all.  But coming up is an off season with a lot of uncertainty.  Will LT and Jason Taylor decide to stay with the team, retire, or go elsewhere?  Braylon Edwars is anotehr big question mark.  With free agency, contracts to negotiate, and a possible lock out, no one can tell where the Jets are headed next season.

Also, after not making the Super Bowl and the Jets still not sold out of PSL’s and no PSL seats, how will this help their case to get them sold.  I am sure many fans were on the fence and wanted to see how the season ended.  The Jets can not market the team as a Super Bowl team, but only as a playoff contender.  Two years in a row and this year was their second biggest game in the teams history does not bode well for sales.  They will get some hoping the Jets win their division and get at least one home playoff game.  But considering how strong New England is and will be, that is another uncertainty.

The fans had one hell of a ride though.  They followed the Jets no matter where they played to get to the Super Bowl.  Some Jets fans were happy they were on the road.  They had an opportunity to buy seats in lower parts of stadiums they would never have done in the PSL ridden seats at the Meadowlands.  That is one positive being able to see the Jets on the road.  Being able to purchase seats in any part of the stadium.  If the Jets had home playoff games, many single ticket buyers would be relegated to the upper bowl.  Makes sense to me why some would rather travel to see Gang green.

The Jets organization has a lot to do both on the field and off before next season.  Not only do they have their team to lock up, but their ticket holders as well.  With many open seats, they can consider some fans free agents.  What will the organization do to get those investors into those seats before next season.  What will the offers be.  How will they market those seats to the potential investors?

The Jets have been heavy on marketing over the years, the same way Jerry Jones has done with the Dallas Cowboys.  Will that marketing and the heavy calls their sales team makes be enough to convince investors to buy their share of the stadium?  No matter how well the Jets do and how excited the fans get, it always comes back to one old saying if the Jets never win that elusive Super Bowl.  Same Old Jets.

Will NY Jets Season Affect Their Stock Price?

DSC07228

I know what you may be thinking, what stock is associated with the New York Jets? They are not a public company. But investors do have a ventured interest in the team. The investors are the fans. The stock are the PSLs and season tickets. What the Jets do on and off the field does affect what the PSLs will go for in the future. This is a make or break year for the Jets. The inaugural season at the New Meadowlands Stadium will decide if fans (investors) thought it was worth making an investment in the New York Jets, and if their PSL is worth keeping.

When the Jets and Giants offered up the PSLs, that was their IPO. They called it “an investment”. If they want to call it an investment, then let us call the PSLs and season tickets “stock”. Once the stock was offered to the public, you had an option of how much you wanted to pay for your investment in the team, or your seats. That initial price was set by the teams. As many are aware, the prices did come down as many fans did not want to pay the price the teams were asking for their IPO.

Some prices were slashed 50% while other seats had a flat price of the season ticket cost. A cost that has steadily increased over the years. Jets season ticket prices have gone up while some will say, the teams play has gone down. Only two AFC Championship game appearances in the past 12 years. Once fans paid the IPO, they had the opportunity to pay it all at once, over 5 years, or fifteen years. If you took the financing, you also paid interest. Since the financing was being offered by the Jets and not a bank, the Jets earned extra money (the interest) on that IPO. In other words, investors who financed paid more for the same seats than one who paid in full.

Those who would like to transfer their PSL to someone else must have approval before doing so. This is all in the PSL Agreement which every PSL owner has. Now if one is in the middle of payments and transfers the PSL to someone else. The remainder of the payments are due when the transfer to the new owner takes place. The only time this does not happen is if the transfer is made to a family member. So if Jim Smith sells his PSL to Bob Jones, Bob has to pay the remainder of the PSL in full, no more installments. It really is easier to sell a stock certificate. So if the team is doing badly and loses its value in the market, it may not be as easy to sell off a PSL.

There are websites out there where one can buy a PSL from current PSL holders. In many cases, some are not getting the return on their investment like they had hoped. From some I have talked to in Baltimore, the only time PSL holders made a profit on selling them was after the Ravens won the Super Bowl. Since that point, it has either been even money or not much of an investment. Many fans are not seeing the return the teams had promised. Then again, many are also keeping them to pass along and do not see them as an investment. Only a necessary evil to continue being a season ticket holder.

Now, many know stock gains or loses value depending on the company’s performance. Sames goes for sports. If a team does great, one can sell a PSL for greater value. If a team performs poorly, one may not get the price asked. This is where the Jets are at now. PSL holders can not sell their PSL until holding it for at least one year, this year. Next year, they can do with as they please. Now the Jets started the season great. Some who looked at the PSL as an investment may have though about selling it to make a profit. If they finish the year with Super Bowl hopes crushed, one may have to hold it and sink more money into it. Thus, holding it longer than ones wants.

DSC07231

The Jets are a company that controls how well their stock performs. As long as the team is a playoof and Super Bowl contender every year, people will want those PSLs and pay to have them. If the Jets fall back to being the Jets everyone knows, then they will never sell them all. Theey still have yet to sell all their PSLs. They can not even sell out their non PSL seats. So their stock is not worth as much as they think it is. The Jets hold their own future in their hands. As long as the team performs, people will wants to attend the games.

As I have been noticing this year, their is a younger fan base than previous years. Many older fans opted out of the PSLs and there are many younger first time season ticket holders. Those who purchased their PSL should treat it like stock. You have a piece in the teams new stadium you helped to build it. The PSL holders are shareholders in the new stadium. They should have a voice as to what goes on, but don’t. Stockholders in a company get one vote per share f stock in most cases, same should go for PSL holders. If that money went to help fund the stadium, then they should have a say in what goes on.

The Jets will face the Steelers this Sunday. With wins over them, Chicago, and Buffalo they can still show they want to make the playoffs. They are just not the elite team they think they are. Two of their nine wins came against teams with winning records. Plus, four of their wins they just squeaked out. The defense has not been as good as last year and not as good as Rex Ryan keeps claiming. Even Joe Namath said on Michael Kay that the Jets are not as great as they think they are. All of these are factors in what fans decide to do in the future, especially next season.

So if the Jets do not make the right changes, then no new stock will be sold. Investors will not want to sink money into a team that is not a playoff contender. Investors will not want to spend their hard earned money in what is still a down economy to invest in a team that is not offering a return to the playoffs. Some may have a hard time even selling them in the secondary market, not able to offer more than what they paid for them. The Jets and PSL molders have a lot to think about when one can finally sell them off.

It all comes down to performance. Many fans will never give up their seats. If they never got rid of them in the 4-12 and 1-15 seasons, they never will. But some might still decide to get rid of them. Those are the ones who have to decide if the investment was worth the thousands. Some might incur a loss trying to sell them if the Jets do not turn around, at any point. I still would like to see the Jets win a Super Bowl in my lifetime. If they do, I am sure their stock will go up. But as of right now, their price is lower than when the season started. Their stock (PSL) price has dropped.

Jets, Dolphins Rivalry: Always A Battle For The Ages

This past Sunday was a day Jets fans will never forget.  A lopsided loss to one of their biggest rivals, the New England Patriots.  But if there is one other team the Jets fans hate as much as the Pats, it is the Miami Dolphins.  This Sunday the Jets place at the Meadowlnds to redeem themselves not just to themselves, but to their fans.  For as long as I could remember, this way always a home game I looked forward to.  When my brother and I were younger, my father would take us to four home games each.  We both battled over who would go to the Dolphins game.  Just like the Patriots, facing the Dolphins just brings out the inner warrior in every Jets fan.

One my of earliest Jets game memories was from a Dolphins game.  I was about 7.  A few rows in front of us were some Dolphins fans.  They were talking up a storm.  The Jets fans around us were saying stuff back and the banter kept going.  I was quiet the whole time.  The minute everyone around was quiet you hear a tiny voice scream out”Miami sucks!”. The Miami fans turn around puzzled what diminutive voice could have said that.  The fellow Jets fans around told them to turn around and not to care where it came from.  I was getting pats on my back, fans around telling me good job and way to go.  My father could not stop laughing.  I will always feel that way.

They have often competed for divisional supremacy, and have played a number of classic, memorable games. Currently, the Jets hold the advantage in the all-time series with a record of 47-42-1, while the Dolphins have won the lone postseason meeting, defeating the Jets in the 1982 AFC Championship.

The Jets were established in 1960 and the Dolphins in 1966; both as members of the now defunct American Football League.  After the merger of the AFL and NFL in 1970 the Dolphins and the Jets were placed in the AFC East, guaranteeing that they would meet twice a year annually.  The rivalry has stayed intense through the years as both teams are always competitive against one another no matter what the standings indicate.  The rivalry also keeps a high intensity because of the large amount of transplanted New York Jets fans that retire to South Florida.

Prior to the New England Patriots rise to dominance in the early 2000s, the Jets and Dolphins regularly contested for the AFC East title (along with the Buffalo Bills in the early 1990s).  Upon the Dolphin’s joining of the AFL in 1966, the Jets were laying the seeds for their 1968 Super Bowl III victory. After the Jets Super Bowl victory in 1968, the Dolphins began their ascension to the top of the NFL, culminating back-to-back Super Bowl wins in 1972 and 1973. The 1972 season also Miami finish with a 17-0 record; the only NFL team to finish the regular season and post-season without a loss or tie.

When the Dolphins joined the AFL in 1966, the Jets were ascending the ranks of the AFL powerhouses on the arm of quarterback Joe Namath. The Jets won the first eight contests against the Dolphins. When the Dolphins finally posted their first winning record in 1970, injuries plagued Namath and the Jets stumbled to a 4-10 record. Thanks to Namath’s inability to consistently stay healthy, the Jets never posted a record above .500 in the 1970s. Meanwhile, the Dolphins quickly surged to the NFL’s elite after the AFL-NFL merger, peaking with one the first and so far only undefeated season in NFL History 1972 and back-to-back Super Bowl wins in Super Bowls VII and VIII.

The 1978 season began a string of Jets success against the Dolphins that ran into the early 1980s. Entering the 1980 season, the Dolphins were aiming toward another playoff run, while the Jets were struggling. The Jets won a total of only four games. Two of those games were wins over Miami:17-14 in New York on October 27, and 24-17 in Miami on December 20. Miami went on to finish with a record of 8-8, but it was the season sweep by the Jets that largely cost them their chances of a playoff berth.

The mid-1980s saw both teams become simultaneously competitive for the first time, beginning with a battle for the AFC East in 1981. That season also saw the only tie in the series, a 28-28 stalemate in Miami. The game lead tied or changed on every score; in the first half Jet leads of 7-0 and 14-7 were answered by Miami touchdowns. Miami took a 21-14 lead in the third but in the fourth touchdowns by Wesley Walker and a Richard Todd pass to Bobby Jones offset a Don Strock touchdown to Nat Moore. In overtime neither team could advance the ball, ending the game deadlocked.

The tie became crucial in the final standings; had the Jets won the game, combined with their 16-15 home victory during the season, they would’ve clinched the division on a tiebreaker. Instead, Miami won the division by one game. Still, the Jets’ 10-5-1 record allowed them to clinch their first postseason berth in twelve seasons. but they lost to the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card round, 31-27, while Miami lost a 41-38 overtime epic to the San Diego Chargers.

With the conclusion of the 1981 season the Jets had won seven of the previous eight meetings with the Dolphins with the one tie. Miami, however, returned to the rivalry’s fore in 1982, a season that saw the apex of the rivalry, coming in the 1982 AFC Championship on January 23, 1983, more appropriately known as “The Mud Bowl.”

After the Dolphins swept the Jets during the strike- shortened regular season, the two teams met again, this time with a trip to Super Bowl XVII on the line. The tarp was left off the field of the Orange Bowl during a 72 hour rainstorm leading up to the game, which resulted in a sloppy field covered in mud which kept both teams scoreless in the first half. The game was a classic defensive battle that featured ten turnovers, eight of them on quarterback interceptions. The star of the game was undoubtedly Dolphins linebacker A.J. Duhe who picked off three of Jets quarterback Richard Todd’s five interceptions, returning one 35 yards for a touchdown to help seal the 14–0 win and send the Dolphins to Super Bowl XVII. To this day, former Jets coach Walt Michaels believes that Miami coach Don Shula ordered to keep the tarp off the field, to neutralize New York’s superior team speed.

Two of the most memorable contests between the teams occurred in 1986. On September 21, Jets quarterback Ken O’Brien and Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino put on a legendary offensive performance. The two quarterbacks combined set NFL single game records of 884 net passing yards and ten touchdown passes, records that still stand to this day. Dan Marino completed 30 of 50 passes for 448 yards and six touchdown passes.  Ken O’Brien threw for 479 yards and four touchdown passes.

In 1994, the Jets found themselves one game back of the Dolphins for the AFC East division lead heading into their November 27 match at the Meadowlands. In a game with first place on the line, the Jets held a 24-6 lead, outplaying the Dolphins for three quarters. However, Dan Marino led the Dolphins back with two touchdowns, cutting the score to 24-21. Marino got the ball one last time and drove the Dolphins down the field to within the Jets’ five-yard line. With thirty seconds remaining, and the clock continuing to wind down, it appeared Marino was going to spike the ball to stop the clock and send out the field goal unit to tie the game. Instead, Marino took the snap from center, and after motioning as if he would spike the ball, fired the ball in the corner of the end zone past Aaron Glenn and into the hands of Mark Ingram.  The touchdown gave the Dolphins a 28-24 victory, and Miami went on to win the division. The Jets went into a spiral after that play, losing all of their remaining games. Indeed, the game marked the beginning of a period of ignominy for the Jets as they compiled a record of 4-33 from that game to the end of the 1996 season.

After 1996, the Jets made several changes to turn things around, the most significant of which was the hiring of Bill Parcells from the New England Patriots. The turnaround was immediate, and by 1998 the team once again was a serious division contender. Both teams were 9-4 on December 13, 1998 when they met on Sunday Night Football with the division lead, and possibly the division title, on the line. Very similar to this past Sunday.  The Jets led 14-10 when Jets defender Chad Cascadden picked up a Marino fumble and returned it for a touchdown with just under two minutes to play to put the Jets ahead 21-10. The Dolphins were able to score a quick touchdown to come close, but it was not enough, and the Jets won 21-16, and they went on to win their first post-merger division title the following Saturday at Buffalo.

Both the Jets and Dolphins started the 2000 season 5-1 when they met on Monday Night Football on October 23, 2000, to determine control of the AFC East. What looked to be an exciting match between two of the top teams in the NFL at the time was anything but for the first three quarters. The Dolphins held a 23-7 lead at halftime that grew to 30-7 at the end of the third quarter. Vinny Testaverde threw three interceptions, running back Curtis Martin was limited to 30 yards on the ground, and the Jets offense could only manage two first downs in the first half. So great was the 23-point advantage that Dolphins quarterback Jay Fiedler was heard on the sidelines telling defensive end Jason Taylor, “They ain’t coming back on us!” to which Taylor replied, “Hell no! You kidding? C’mon now.”

However, the Jets looked to prove that statement wrong. Touchdowns from Testaverde to Laveranues Coles and Jermaine Wiggins cut the lead to 30-20. After a field goal by John Hall, Testaverde fired a touchdown pass to Wayne Chrebet to tie the game 30-30 with 3:55 left. Fans who had left the stadium when the game looked to be a rout suddenly piled back in wanting to see the Jets’ comeback. Still, it took only two plays for Miami to respond.  Nonetheless, Testaverde marched the Jets down field and, with 42 seconds left, found eligible Jumbo Elliott on a three-yard touchdown (which Elliott memorably bobbled as he fell to the ground) to tie the game at 37-37 and sent it to overtime. In the fourth quarter, Testaverde was 18 for 26 for 235 yards and four touchdowns, and the offense converted twenty first downs in the quarter, after managing just five beforehand.

In overtime, Fiedler was intercepted for the third time, setting up the dramatic finish. At 1:08 AM EDT, Hall nailed a 40-yard field goal to win the game for the Jets, 40-37. The game came to be known in NFL lore as The Monday Night Miracle. When Monday Night Football celebrated its 500th telecast on November 11, 2002, fans picked the game as the greatest in the series’ history. It was also the largest comeback from a fourth quarter deficit in NFL history.

The teams have seen players go back and forth between the teams over the years.  Chad Pennington and Jason Taylor being the most notable recently.  Even Rex Ryan flashing an obscene gesture towards heckling Dolphins fans during a Strikeforce mixed martial arts event at BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida.  It does not matter if it is the fans, players, or coaches, everyone gets caught up in the rivalry.  I am sure this Sunday will be no different.  Every Jet fan grew up waiting for the Dolphins to come to town.  It was a game to look forward to.  A game you would sit and watch in zero degree weather.  A game where every fan no matter the age, wants to say “Miami sucks!”.

Jets/Patriots Battle in 50 Year Old Rivalry

Every year, Jets fans look forward to two games the most.  The games against the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots.  These rivalries go back to their days competing in the AFL.  With roots dating back 50 years, it is no wonder fans look forward to these contests.  You can see it every game.  Fans cheer a little louder, the chants get nastier, and their solidarity while tailgating gets stronger.  Even at away games, the Jets fans presence is known.  But the upcoming Monday Night Football game between two 9-2 teams seems to be fate.  As both teams, with top records in the NFL, battle it out for AFC East supremacy.

In the two clubs’ very first meeting on September 17, 1960.  , the New York Titans hosted the Boston Patriots at New York’s Polo Grounds. Al Dorow of the Titans erupted to three touchdown throws and led the Titans to a 24-7 lead in the third quarter. But Butch Songin and 109 rushing yards by Patriots runners clawed Boston back to trail 24-21 in the fourth quarter, then Chuck Shonta finished off the Titans when they fumbled and he ran back the ball 52 yards for the 28-24 Patriots win.  Since that first meeting, the teams have fought to many close games and narrow victories.

DSC06918

The record between both teams stands at 50-50-1.  The then-Boston Patriots tied the Jets 24-24 at Fenway Park, for the only dead-heat in the rivalry’s history on October 2, 1966. The Patriots led 24-7 after three quarters but two Joe Namath touchdowns and a Jim Turner field goal tied the game. It would also be the last time the Patriots did not lose to the Jets until October 1971.  This Monday Night game will decide who will take the lead in this 50 year old rivalry.

Between six stadiums and tens of thousands of yards, both teams never stop giving their all.  It never matters what their record is they will always play harder against each other.  This rivalry has such a history, that sometimes history repeats itself.  In a bizarre harbinger of Spygate, the Patriots hosted the Jets and erupted to a 48-7 third quarter lead, ultimately winning 55-21 on October29, 1978 .

Jets coach Walt Michaels felt the Patriots were somehow decifering his coaching staff’s signals and suspected a rival team had told these codes to the Patriots. Michaels stewed afterward, “This will never happen to us again. I know what they did, but by the time we figured it out, it was too late.” Later that season the Houston Oilers erased a 23-0 gap to beat the Patriots 26-23, and there was speculation the Jets had told Oilers coaches about Patriots codes.

In 1998, after his third season in New England, running back Curtis Martin, the 1995 Rookie of the Year, became a restricted free agent. The Patriots placed the highest possible tender on Martin, that would ensure a first-round and third-round draft pick compensation if they did not match a contract offer from another team. The Jets offered Martin a 6-year, $36 million contract, and the Patriots, low on salary cap space, opted to not match the offer and took the draft pick compensation. The Jets offer was the first example under the NFL’s current Free Agency system of the “poison pill”.

Essentially a different contract for the Patriots than it would be for the Jets. It included a clause that would have allowed Martin could become an unrestricted free agent the following season if the Patriots matched the offer, allowing him to leave New England without the Patriots receiving any compensation. The deal included a $3.3 million roster bonus that would have counted against the Patriots’ salary cap

DSC06947

The Patriots opened the 2001 season with a 23-17 loss at Cincinnati, with Bledsoe as the starting quarterback. Their second game, and home opener, on September 23, was against their AFC East rival, the New York Jets. Bledsoe was again the starter, when in the fourth quarter he suffered internal bleeding after a hit from Jets linebacker Mo Lewis. Bledsoe returned for the next series, but was replaced with Brady for that Pats’ final series of the game. New York would hold on to win, 10-3, and the Patriots fell to 0-2 on the season.  But this would mark the start of the Tom Brady era in New England, something Jets fans will always regret.

With Parcells, Carroll, Belichick, and Mangini all acting as coaches on both teams from 1993 through 2008, at least 50 players were also with both teams in the same period. Current Patriots defensive line coach Pepper Johnson was also a player with the Jets under Parcells.

Upon becoming Jets head coach in 2006, Mangini hired former Jets and Patriots players Bryan Cox and Rick Lyle to his coaching staff, as well as former Patriot Sam Gash, and retained former Patriots assistant strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul.  Former Patriots wide receivers coach Brian Daboll spent seven seasons with the Patriots before leaving to become the Jets’ quarterbacks coach in 2007. When Daboll left with Mangini for the Cleveland Browns, former Patriots quarterback Matt Cavanaugh was named as Jets quarterbacks coach; ironically, in his playing days with the Patriots Cavanaugh was 0-2 against the Jets.

This rivalry has many twists and turns.  Not to mention players and coaches going back and forth over the decades.  The only ones who have never changed sides have been the fans.  There is too much of a history to go over in great detail.  Many fans will recall their own piece of this rivalry’s history.  One thing is certain, every time these teams meet it does not matter who wins or loses because the fans always win from seeing a great battle.

DSC06958DSC06955

Even before the game, fans act like warriors before battle.  Cooking some kind of animal over an open fire, sharing stories, and rejoicing of past triumphs.  As they toast their brews and feast before the battle, every fan knows it is their team who will come out the victor, and leave the other with their heads bowed in defeat.  So as the Jets face the Patriots, raise your mug and celebrate for what is sure to be a great day for all fans.  But most of all, Jets fans.

Jets vs. Colts – Revisiting Super Bowl III

This morning I received an e mail from Mike Cardano of Xtra Point Football.  He is a fellow die hard Jets fan and was amazed at this past season, like everyone else.  He forwarded me an article from his site about Super Bowl III that was great to read.  Made me almost believe I was at the game from the statistics to the game footage.  For all of you Jets fans out thre, he is your chance to revisit Super Bowl III:

Written by MC3 Sports Media
superbowliiiIn talking to my kids yesterday I realized that while they know that Joe Namath and the NY Jets won Super Bowl III, they don’t really understand that magnitude of the game and what it meant to football today as we know it.I don’t know how many of you actually saw the game, or remember it if you did. I was just a little kid at the time and while my dad told me I saw it, anything I remember is from highlights I saw through the years. I’m going to be 43 this year and I realize from listening to sports talk radio and going to the games that I’m actually older than many of the fans, so there are many of you who have likely never seen the game.

I know almost everyone has heard about the game, but for all of you (even if you are not a Jets fan) who have never seen the game that changed football here it is in all its glory……

You’ll notice a few things from watching the game that are drastically different than today’s NFL games.

  • No headsets in the QB’s helmet. (For the younger generation) Peyton Manning isn’t the first one to call his own plays, all the QB’s used to have that responsibility. The coach put in the game plan during the week of practice before the game with the play choices that should be used and the QB called the plays on the field as he felt appropriate.
  • Kickers all used the straight on style and not all teams even had players that specialized in kicking. Very often “The best player who could kick” handled the kickoff, filed goal and punting duties. It was not uncommon to see a lineman kicking the ball.
  • The goal posts were on the goal line. An extra point that would normally be spotted on the three yard line and put down by the place holder on the ten yard line was a ten yard kick, not a twenty yard kick. So that 61 yard field goal that Sebastian Janikowski kicked from his own 49 yard line a few weeks ago would have only been a 51 yard field goal. A 61 yard field goal would be from your own 39 yard line!
  • The hash marks are spread outside the goal posts (college and high school are still like that today). You’ll notice when Jim Turner of the Jets has to kick a short field goal from the left hash mark it creates some unique problems.
  • No net catching the field goals as they come through the uprights and apparently no such thing as NFL security either (sign of the times) as the ball just goes through the uprights and fans and children kids come running on the field to fetch the ball.
  • While there may have been some trash talking in the trenches (it was football), there was no end zone dancing, no first down celebrations, no sack dances or anything of the like that could be misconstrued as unsportsman-like.
  • And watch the referees. There would never be a blown call in the NFL if they hustled like you’ll see here. They are literally part of the play….

Super Bowl III was the third AFL-NFL Championship Game in professional American football, but the first to officially bear the name “Super Bowl”. (Although the two previous AFL-NFL Championship Games came to be known, retroactively, as “Super Bowls”.)

The game was played on January 12, 1969 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida – the same location as Super Bowl II. Entering Super Bowl III, the NFL champion Colts were heavily favored to defeat the AFL champion Jets (the Jets were a 19 point underdog). Although the upstart AFL had successfully forced the long-established NFL into a merger agreement three years earlier, the AFL was not generally respected as having the same caliber of talent as the NFL. Plus, the AFL representatives were easily defeated in the first two Super Bowls.

This game is regarded as one of the greatest upsets in sports history as the (AFL) champion New York Jets (11-3) defeated the (NFL) champion Baltimore Colts (13-1) by a score 16-7. It was the first Super Bowl victory for the AFL.

The game itself wasn’t a particularly well played game and it didn’t have a dramatic finish. How exciting could the game have been when the MVP, Joe Namath, didn’t throw any touchdown passes and didn’t even throw a pass in the 4th quarter? In certainly didn’t finish with the drama of either of the last two Super Bowl’s we had.

Statistically the game was just about a dead heat in every category (except for the turnovers.) There were six turnovers in the game, 5 by the Colts. In fact, in large part the 5 turnovers by the Colts more than anything is the reason that they lost. Two of the INT’s were in the end zone.

superbowliiistats

Some other Super Bowl Facts before your show starts………..

  • Anita Bryant sang the National Anthem
  • The Florida A&M University Marching Band played “America Thanks” (you know, like “The Who” is this year’s Super Bowl half time entertainment.
  • The Attendance was 75,389
  • It was televised on NBC (in Technicolor) with Kurt Gowdy, Al DeRogatis and Kyle Rote announcing the game.
  • A 30 second commercial cost $55,000

Enjoy the game…….

-