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New York Jets & Their Fans In Giants Shadow Once Again

Woody Johnson, Mike Tannenbaum, Rex Ryan, and the rest of the New York Jets organization were likely turned off by the New York Giants celebrations.   The Jets always take a backseat to the Giants, and Tuesday they watched the Giants roar through Manhattan and return back to MetLife Stadium to continue the celebration.

Approximately 35,000  Giants fans welcomed home to MetLife Stadium their new Super Bowl Champions.  The crowd boomed as the Giants came through the tunnel and onto the field, and as they did, Justin Tuck took a moment to soak in the color. Everywhere he looked, in this stadium that two teams call home, all he could see was blue.

“Last time we did this it was in Giants Stadium,” Tuck said, as he stood on a stage at midfield, behind the Lombardi trophy. “Now we’re in MetLife Stadium.  “But one thing you can be sure of is whose house this is.”  The whole scene made it seem even more crazy to Giants co-owner Steve Tisch that people once thought New York would soon belong to the Jets.

With those words, the Giants put to rest once and for all the question of who really owns New York — a question that dominated the conversation when the 2011 season began. The entire city has been painted blue since the Giants beat the Patriots, 21-17, in Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday night, from the Empire State Building to the Canyon of Heroes, all the way to City Hall.

President and CEO of the Giants, John Mara, spoke at the ceremony at MetLife stadium Tuesday afternoon. He said, “there’s no place like home.”  Justin Tuck ended his speech saying, “One thing you can be sure of is whose house it is.”

Woody Johnson and the Jets might have been sick when they heard these comments.  It is the last thing the Jets franchise wanted to hear.  MetLife Stadium was supposed to be their home as well, and they had to watch the Giants christen the stadium with the first championship in the new building.

If the Giants had any lingering doubts about fan support, they were erased when the Giants’ parade of buses came off the New Jersey Turnpike and drove through a parking lot full of tailgaters at the Meadowlands. It’s a sight Giants co-owner John Mara has seen often since his team began playing here in 1976.  A sight Jets fans are not used.  Being able to tailgate before a rally.

In some ways, seeing it on Tuesday afternoon meant even more to Mara than the parade.  “We just had an incredible experience going through the Canyon of Heroes,” Mara told the crowd. “But I have to tell you, when you pull into the stadium and see all these fans here, you know there’s no place like home.”

Justin Tuck giving fans a chance with the Lombardi Trophy

“To see this kind of fan support when you come out here, it’s hard to put into words,” an emotional Mara added after the ceremony was over. “The whole day is unbelievable. To watch these players come back here to our home (MetLife Stadium) and see this kind of enthusiasm is really the icing on the cake.”

The crowd went crazy when Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning carried the Lombardi Trophy into the stadium, and then Tuck carried it up onto the stage. They all intensely watched their own highlight video on the four scoreboards, before Tom Coughlin thanked them for their unwavering support.

The Jets organization and their fans looked forward to giving the new stadium its first championship.  Mark Sanchez would have carried the Lombardi trophy instead of Eli Manning.  Now, MetLife stadium will be know as the home of the 2012 Super Bowl Champion Giants.  Jet fans will see that distinction every time they visit MetLife Stadium.  There may not be a banner or mural, but it will be emblazoned in their minds.  Jet fans wanted to upstage their “big brother” and show they are one of the NFL’s eite

The Jets started the Giants’ championship run after a Christmas Eve embarrassment. The Jets thought this was their season. They thought that at the end of the year they would be New York’s team.  But once again, they are an afterthought to the World Champion Giants.

What now for the Jets? How does the Giants’ Super Bowl win impact the Jets?  The Jets were already looking to make changes this offseason. They took the first step when they parted ways with Brian Schottenheimer after their season ended.  Now they need to do right by their fans and gain their support rather than losing it.

That will not be enough. The Jets need to stop lying to the public about what their intentions are for the organization. For months we heard the Schottenheimer would be with the Jets in 2012 when everyone knew what the outcome would be.  Jet fans are tired of being looked down upon by the Jets and treated differently than Giants fans.

It is time for the Jets to try to steal the spotlight away from the Giants. What better way than to sign Peyton Manning?  The Jets have already been spoken of as a contender to land Manning, but after they watched Eli Manning parade around with the Super Bowl MVP trophy, it will make the Jets more serious contenders.

Peyton Manning will bring tremendous excitement to the Jets next season. If they don’t sign Manning, they will not have attention on them and will not have made any moves worthy of hype in New York.  Just think of the Brett Favre signing.  The Jets best press seems to come from off the field moves rather than on the field play.

Peyton would provide stories, speculation and expectations for the Jets going in to next season. Without him, the Jets are miles behind the Giants going into next season.  Peyton would be able to close the gap before the 2012 season.  Just the type of press coverage the Jets enjoy.

If the Jets do not have success with Sanchez next season, they will be looking for a change at quarterback anyways. They might consider making the change this season and take a gamble on Eli’s big brother.  Otherwise, MetLife Stadium will forever be known for the Giants championship victory and the Jets looking on as usual.

Giants quotes courtesy of the NY Post, WNBC, & WFAN.

This Sunday, Jets Fans Must Make Tough Decision

Super Bowl XLVI is here. We can’t avoid it, Jets fans.  Regardless of all the promises made and past AFC Championship appearances, we need to get through this Sunday.

Super Bowl 42, the Giants’ historic upset of the then undefeated Patriots was a bit easier to swallow for Jets fans.  I don’t recall many Jets fans, if any at all, cheering the Patriots to cap off the first unbeaten season since the ’72 Dolphins.  Especially since Eric Mangini selling out his former boss in the Spygate scandal sent the Pats on the destroy everything and take no names streak that brought them to the precipice of 19-0. If it took our city rival Giants to knock them off?  So be it, I guess.  Would have been better if it was the Jets, huh?

I may not have been one of the only Jets fans who wasn’t exactly enamored with the fact that the Giants won that game. Here was my rationale: by about Week 14 or so when the Patriots were steamrolling the NFL, I kind of made up my mind that the Pats were going undefeated and winning the Super Bowl. Who thought the Giants, or any NFC contender for that matter,  had a chance?  I had plenty of time to digest it so that when it happened, it wouldn’t have really mattered all that much.  And then when Plaxico Burress caught that pass in the end zone, I thought to myself “Now I have to hear about this from Giants fans the rest of my life.”  The fact the Giants defeated the undefeated Patriots instead of the Jets.

But this year isn’t as clear cut. After the Giants won that Super Bowl, it kind of became a Jet town. I know, I know, the Giants WILL ALWAYS OWN NEW YORK YOU STUPID JET FAN. But, the Jets signed Brett Favre for one weird season (they were Super Bowl faves at 8-3, then collapsed) and the Giants lost in their first playoff game after a great regular season. Then the Jets hired Rex Ryan, drafted Mark Sanchez and made two straight AFC Title games while Big Blue missed the playoffs.  Not your typical New Y0rk football seasons, huh?

And while the Jets have no one to blame but themselves for this most recent debacle of a season, everything was made worse by the Giants making the Super Bowl. Not only have the Giants made it again, their run started by essentially ending the Jets’ season in Week 16. Victor Cruz’s 99-yard touchdown reception sent the Jets one way and the Giants the other. The Giants two Super Bowl appearances basically takes everything a Jets fan could hang their hat on these past few seasons and demolishes it.

Then of course there are the Patriots. The last thing I want, as a New York sports fan, is for another Boston team to win a championship. Any agony of the Red Sox’ hilarious September implosion would be softened with another Patriots Super Bowl win. The Pats are the Jets’ chief rival, no matter if they share a city with the Giants. Had the Jets beaten the Patriots in both of their meetings this season, the Jets would have made the playoffs, so they have no one to blame but themselves for not knocking off New England (as Rex Ryan pleaded for the rest of the league to do). And what makes New England being back in the Super Bowl so unbearable for Jets fans is that the Patriots were so beatable this year.

The breaks both the Giants and the Patriots got on Championship Sunday are breaks that us Jets fans seem to never be on the right side of.  Ask any Jets fan and they’ll tell you that if Tynes was wearing green and white, he would have Cundiff’d it. Billy Cundiff is the new Ray Finkle.   Had Ahmad Bradshaw been a Jet, they would have never called his forward progress stopped, and that surely would have been a fumble. There’s no way a punt returner is muffing a kick and fumbling another one against the Jets in a title game. Of course it sounds like sour grapes because that’s exactly what it is. That’s what us Jets fans have been used to for so long.

There are millions and millions of people who would never not watch a Super Bowl, no matter what. For those fans of the Jets who will still watch on Sunday, who do you root for? There’s no such thing as watching a game just to watch it. Sports fans, no matter what they say, have a rooting interest in every game they watch. You either get a pit in your stomach when you watch a player celebrate a victory or your stomach turns. When Sunday’s game is over and either Tom Brady or Eli Manning is raising the Lombardi trophy, you’ll either wish it was the other guy or you won’t. So who do you cheer for?

If you hate all things Boston no matter what, you root for the Giants. If you have nothing but annoying Giant fan friends who you just want to shut up, you pull for the Pats. Maybe you want former Jets Shaun Ellis & Danny Woodhead to win a title.  Maybe you want Eli to win a second Super Bowl so that Peyton can’t stand the idea that anyone will think Eli is better than him, so he decides to come to the Jets to try to upstage his little brother. Maybe you’ll throw some money down and root for that — totally acceptable.

Either way, if you watch Sunday’s game, you’ll have a rooting interest. It’s a no-win situation for Jets fans. I will cheering on the Giants since my wife and her family are Giants fans.  Plus, I’d rather see a team from New York beat a team from New England.  Or you can be like some and not watch. That’s also acceptable.

New York’s Power Struggle Shifts From The Jets Back To Giants

The New York Jets controlled the big apple during the post season over the last two years. In fact, Jets fans like myself anticipated that the team would finally be the Kings of New York instead of the Giants. After all, since 2008 the Giants hadn’t come close to returning to the Super Bowl, while their former weak sisters nearly went there twice.  The Jets had control for once in New York.

But a whole new season can make a really big difference, considering where New York’s two teams are right now. Not only have the Jets free fallen into the murky abyss, they may have lost their chance to seize control of New York permanently at this rate while the Giants approach another Super Bowl.  Both teams were in control of their destiny this season.  The Giants took control while the Jets let control slide from their hands.

The beginning of the end can be traced back to the Jets-Giants showdown on Christmas Eve, when both teams were battling for the playoff fate.  A win for the Jets would have put them back on track for a postseason berth and another road run towards the AFC championship – while the Giants would have been doomed with a loss and probably cost Tom Tom Coughlin his job.

But the second that the Giants wrapped up a 29-14 victory, the two haven’t stopped going in the opposite direction. The NFC’s New York team won the NFC Championship & a win away from another Super Bowl victory that would give the Giants control of New York.  Meanwhile, the AFC’s New York squad has been revealed as the most dysfunctional in the NFL and is staying home during its utter collapse.

While the Giants prepared to face the San Francisco 49ers for  the NFC championship on Jan. 22, the Jets were dealing with yet another headline on their horrific chemistry in less than two weeks time. This time LaDainian Tomlinson, who already is halfway out the door, told Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” that the Jets had as bad a locker room as he’d ever seen and put the fault on both Rex Ryan and GM Mike Tannenbaum.  It seems Rex is not the only one who wants to let their voice be heard.

Now, Giants fans proudly wear their NFC Championship merchandise.  One more win and they have their Super Bowl merchandise as well.  Giants fans proudly support their NFC Champs while Jets fans have been waiting too long to be able to wear any form of championship merchandise.  Promises have been made but no delivery date has been set for Jets fans.  Somewhere in Kenya people are wearing Jets AFC Championship merchandise from 2010 and 2011.

Fortunately for them, New York is getting numb to all these ramblings about how bad the Jets were behind the scenes and it has the Giants to focus on. Right now, the Jets are the weak sibling and virtually irrelevant as anything but gossip fodder and a punch line – just like they have been for most of the last few decades. Ryan looked ready to finally turn it all around in the last two years, but now he is imploding right as Tom Coughlin and the Giants have rescued themselves from the brink.  Something the Jets have tried to do but never accomplished.

The Giants had no rally before their first post season game, which was a home game.  Something the Jets have done the past two seasons.  The media hype for the Giants was not as prolific as it has been for the Jets the past few seasons.  The Giants know their mission and what they need to accomplish on the field.  Big Blue didn’t need as much media hype or public events like the Jets have had in order to rally fan support.

The Jets made a nice run at New York supremacy, but it is a Giants town because it actually delivers championships and doesn’t fall to pieces quite like their cross-town rivals do. Right now, the only thing that can turn it around for the other New York team is if they actually land Peyton Manning (Vegas odds have it astronomical), or if the Giants get blown out by the Patriots. Other than that, it seems like the natural order is right back into place in the Big Apple.

Fans Message To Jets & Rex Ryan: Shut Up & Play

This past Sunday night, the Jets had an opportunity.  An opportunity to show not just their fans, but everyone who follows football that they should be taken seriously.  That the Jets are a team who not only want to go back to the AFC Championship for a third straight year, but win and go on to the Super Bowl.  The Jets and Patriots both stood at 5-3.  All they needed to do was win in convincing fashion against their AFC rivals.

But they didn’t

The Jets lost 37-16 and now sit wondering if they can still make the playoffs.  Albeit there are seven games left in the season, but which Jets will show up the rest of the year.  The Jets who claim they are Super Bowl contenders who defeated the Cowboys, Chargers, and Bills in convincing fashion?  Or will it be the same old Jets the fans are used to seeing from years past.  Only the players can determine which version of them will be ready at game time.

The fans are salivating for a championship.  Rex Ryan has made predictions, guarantees, and comments about how this is the Jets year and the team that will bring home a championship.  Maybe it is time for Rex to stop talking and come through on his promises.  Everyone loves how outspoken and confident he is.  But all that bravado does not win game or transfer that attitude to the players.  The players need to believe in themselves and show that on the field, not Rex Ryan.

For the past few season, Rex has reached out to the fans for support.  Season ticket holders get a pre recorded call at the beginning of the season as well as pleas throughout the season.  The fans are always there for the team.  But Rex has not delivered back to the fans.  Rex Ryan also took the opportunity in his postgame press conference to apologize to Jets fans after he challenged them earlier in the week to make this past Sunday’s game difficult for the Patriots.

“I thought we’d play a lot better. I thought we had really improved, I really did. I think we did improve, but when you make those types of mistakes – you fumble a punt, you have a poor timeout … time management was an absolutely critical error. That’s my responsibility. I own that one. You make that many mistakes against that team, there’s no chance. “

The playoffs are not coming up soon, for sure, so the Jets aren’t eliminating themselves from the AFC playoff picture by any means but Rex Ryan recognized, whether it was in jest or not, that the Jets division title chances took a big hit on Sunday night.

“It looks doubtful right now. What am I going to say? Maybe I should guarantee the fact that we’re out of it. The last time I did that, we made the playoffs. Yeah, we don’t have a chance.”

Maybe Rex should not guarantee anything.  Maybe Rex should impose a media blackout on himself.  Maybe he should just coach and let his actions speak louder than any words he can say.  But once again, his words this past Sunday seemed to get him in trouble…..again.  This time, getting caught on tape using profanities at a fan during halftime.

On the video, Ryan and the Jets’ players and staff are seen walking into the tunnel. A fan yells out to Ryan, “Belichick’s better than you,” and Ryan tells him to shut up, adding an expletive for good measure.

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This team and their coaches need to resolve any issues they have to make their play playoff worthy.  The fans are tired of the talk and empty promises.  Please back up that talk with convincing play on the field every game.  Show the fans that you REALLY want to go and win a Super Bowl.  Not just say it.  The Jets show flashes of brilliance, but not often enough.  Is this the players fault, or the coaches?

The fans have heard enough.  It is time for the Jets to live up to expectations.  It is time for Mark Sanchez and Darelle Revis to lead the team convincingly.  To show they are a Super Bowl caliber team and not just a playoff contender, which they do not look presently.  If they could not beat the Patriots and the worst ranked defense in the NFL, now do they expect to make it to the playoffs?

Impose a media blackout on yourselves.  Focus on winning and not talking.  Rex Ryan may be a great coach.  But he needs to show everyone he can back those words up with actions.  Will three times be the charm?  Rex said they were going to win even before the season started.  Actions speak louder than words.  Show us you can win, do not tell us.

Shut up and play.

Jets Need To Focus On Season, Not One Game

Sometimes, football seems so easy, right? Now that the NFL has resumed operations players, owners, coaches, fans, media, can all travel down that hard working path that is the NFL season..

The prime directive? To win the Super Bowl. Unless you are Rex Ryan, in which case the goal is apparently to stay on the front pages, be heard in the opening segments of SportsCenter, and beat the New England Patriots.

Ryan is one of the better coaches the NFL has to offer. The New York Jets, regardless of whether you like, love, hate, or despise them, are a very good football team. The short list of top Super Bowl contenders this season? Jets, Steelers, Patriots, Eagles, Packers. Until a few seasons ago the Jets were an afterthought.

It doesn’t matter what one thinks about Ryan and the Jets. They are a solid team. The Jets feature a successful young quarterback in Mark Sanchez, a big play receiver in Santonio Holmes, and a hard-hitting and well-coached defense, anchored by two of the leagues best cover corners in Darrell Revis and Antonio Cromartie.

The last two AFC title games have featured the Jets and the last three seasons, they’ve gone 9-7, 9-7, and 10-6. The Jets are no doubt a serious contender, able to beat any opponent any week of the season.  But with a shortened training camp due to the lockout, these guys need to get ready & work as a team faster to make the same run they have been making.

There’s a problem though — the New England Patriots. This is where it gets strange because when another team is a problem it’s usually because they can’t be beat.  And Rex loves to find ways to focus his time, energy, and mouth on the Patriots.

Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots shakes hands with Rex Ryan of the New York on November 22, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots won 31-14. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

For years, the Boston Red Sox had a two-headed monster that they were fighting: an inability to win a World Series and a New York rival that always seemed to have their number. In 2004 they cut off both heads, beating the Yankees in the ALCS and then sweeping St. Louis in the World Series.

The Jets already know how to beat New England. Last season the Jets took two of three from the Pats including a demoralizing defeat handed to the Pats in Foxboro in the playoffs. The Patriots should be in the rearview mirror for the Jets now, it’s all about the Super Bowl right?

Wrong, Rex Ryan has an odd obsession with New England and he just can’t stop talking about them. Every press conference seems to be punctuated with a bitter speech about how much better the Jets are than the Patriots. Last year in the run-up to a divisional playoff game in New England, he declared the game the most important game in Jets history.  Wouldn’t that be Super Bowl III?

The Jets won 28-21 and it wasn’t really that close. The problem, of course, is that the Jets followed up that win with a stinker in the AFC title game, losing to the Steelers after falling behind 24-3 in the first half.  They left their blood, sweat, and tears in Foxboro and played with their heart at Heinz Field.  But heart was not enough.

It’s probably hard for a team to show up and play as if their season is on the line when they’ve just won the biggest game in team history. The goal is the Super Bowl and the problem with Ryan’s irrational and constant obsession with the Patriots is that the Jets will never be awarded a Super Bowl ring for beating New England.

In a recent press conference, Ryan continued his infinite stream of New England comedy.

“I think we have to find somebody out there to beat New England besides us, I think that would help,” Ryan said. “Anybody out there that wants to sign up for it? Are you good enough as a team to beat the New England Patriots? Forget about us, are you good enough to go out and beat the New England Patriots? I’m challenging the league.”

Rex Ryan has two signature traits. One is running his mouth, and the other is fielding very good football teams. One used to be his time for shutting down a buffet.  At some point one of those traits may begin to take away form the other. Everything Ryan says at this point is something he’s said already in some form.  He is going into more reruns than Sinfeld.

Two weeks ago, Ryan claimed the Jets team he has for the upcoming 2011 season is his best team ever. Something he’s claimed in each of the last two seasons, just like he’s claimed they would win the Super Bowl.  How can one make that claim when all the players had yet to be signed or known?  This 2011 team has yet to play in a game together for Rex to determine if they are better than last year.  But that is Rex Ryan.

Sean Ellis recently signed with the Patriots after being dropped by Gang Green.  That move did not sit too well with Rex.  It just added more fuel to an ever burning bonfire.  Ellis is determined to let the Jets know how wrong the move was on their part.

Confidence is nice. Showing your team that you believe in them is good too. Eventually, those words become somewhat meaningless if there’s no follow through.

Stop worrying about New England, the rest of the league, and stop telling everyone how good you are and how good your team is Rex. Show a better poker face instead of letting your ego write checks your butt can’t cash.  If you want people to believe you, you don’t need to say anything; you just need to win.

Jets Bart Scott Trades Gridiron For Wrestling Ring

Bart Scott sounded like a pro wrestler during some of his playoff interviews.

He now gets to try the real thing.

The New York Jets linebacker will have the chance to rant and rave for an actual grappling company. Bart Scott has signed for a March 3 appearance with TNA Wrestling.  Scott arrived Thursday in Fayetteville, N.C., to tape interviews for “TNA Impact,” which airs at 9 p.m. Thursdays on Spike TV.

Scott’s NFL contract will likely prohibit him from engaging in much — if any — physical activity. But just being involved will allow Scott to fulfill a lifelong dream. Scott is a die-hard pro wrestling fan who counts Hulk Hogan among his all-time favorites.

The duo will be working together in some capacity on Impact, a source in TNA said. The 57-year-old Hogan will be returning to TNA television March 3 after an extensive hiatus following major back surgery.

The Hulkster positively critiqued a spirited postgame interview Scott did after New York’s second-round playoff upset of the New England Patriots.

“I knew when Bart looked down the barrel of the camera he believed in himself and in what he was saying,” Hogan told the New York Daily News. “That makes him a real dangerous man. When his career’s over and he wants to make some real money, tell him to give me a call and we’ll break him in the right way.”

TNA has used current and former NFL players like Adam “Pacman” Jones and Frank Wycheck in previous storylines. TNA also made a standing offer last month to Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco and head coach Marvin Lewis after the former sent a tongue-in-cheek Twitter message claiming he wanted a steel-cage match so the two could settle their differences. The bout, which neither has accepted, would be held April 17 on TNA’s “Lockdown” pay-per-view show emanating from Cincinnati.

Scott isn’t the only non-wrestling personality TNA has added. Former “Jersey Shore” cast member Angelina Pivarnick will be appearing on the March 3 and 10 episodes of “TNA Impact.” She will be joining forces with TNA’s “Jersey Shore” knockoffs Robbie E. and Cookie and issuing an open challenge to former castmate Jenni “J-Woww” Farley.

Jets Fans Could Pay For Seats They May Not Sit In Next Season

For the second year in a row, Jets fans have to travel to support their team in the playoffs.  I know many would love to be able to drive to the Meadowlands to watch the Jets, but that can not always happen.  Some enjoy going from stadium to stadium to watch games.  Other care to stay at their home stadium because it is familiar and easy to get to.  But in my experience, I never minded going to an opposing teams stadium.  I find it a great experience to see games in other arenas or stadiums, no matter the modernization.  Some are not happy in an old style stadium and want the huge screens, lounges, and easy access from highways.

I have only been to other stadiums for baseball games and hockey games.  I have not ventured out and been to another stadium to see the Jets.  But from where I have been, they have been great experiences.  Just because a stadium is not state of the art does not make it a worse place to watch a game in that one that is.  I had an individual who is behind a Jets blog and message board try to tell me differently.  He believes the New MEadowlands Stadium is worth every penny he pays and would not have it any differently.

This individual proceeded to say how other stadiums do not compare to the New Meadowlands Stadium.  He prefers huge video screens, easy to find stadium, escalators, expensive food, and seating outside in the cold.  He said his Jets PSL and season tickets are his vice and is willing to spend as much as he can on them.  He does not care how much money he lays out.  From reading some of his columns and posts on his boards, he is a Jets sheep.  He does what the Jets want and doe not question their motives no matter how much they ask from their fans.  These are the consumers the Jets look for, ones who are willing to spend and not question it.

Myself, I love going to older stadiums to watch a game.  I already have vision loss so I need binoculars to see any video screen, no matter the size.  Half the fun of going to a game is in the travel.  When I went to Hartford and Rentschler Field, I loved the trip to a new area and different stadium.  As far as escalators and elevators, I prefer to walk.  After eating all that food at a tailgate it is great to walk it off however one can.  I also only buy coffee in the stadium, if it is a cold game.  Why pay such high prices on mediocre food?  Everyone has different opinions.  But why spend unnecessarily if one does not have to?  Just to show you have disposable income?

Some who have the money do want to spend it on football and other sports.  That is their vice.  Some might take vacations, have a timeshare, or invest in the market.  Others buy season tickets and PSLs.  It just amazes me though some people spend more than they have to.  I have not heard anyone rave about the food in the Coaches Club section.  The free food tastes like it was given to the stadium for free.  For the money people are paying, I am sure the stadium could have invested in a catering company that would treat their shareholders a little better.  So is the money some lay out really worth it?

With the potential of a lock out next season, many fans will be upset over no football.  Especially those financing their PSL’s.  They will put money down on tickets and not even get a chance to see any games.  Money well spent.  That is a drawback to those spending big money on the PSL’.  You have to keep paying installments even if there is no football season.  So sometimes being the one who pays for the non PSL seats in the upper deck can come out the winner.  The lockout may not even go on for the whole season.  No one knows at this point.

The downward economy, unemployment and job losses, NFL lockout, and other factors have not been kind to the Jets over the past few years.  With the Jets still not sold out of PSL and non PSL seats, how will a lock out help the sales?  Not just that, how will the fans feel about paying for seats they may not use for a season?  A lot of factors had lead to fans being disappointed in the past and not keeping their tickets.  How will a supposed lockout affect those who just became season ticket holders?  Lot of questions to be answered in the next few months.

Not many critics are giving the Jets a chance this Sunday.  They can pull out a sneaky win, but they have to be a team they have yet to be.  Fans are aching for Gang Green to pull out an upset against the Pats in Foxboro in the playoffs.  It would be bittersweet if they did.  This could be the last Jets game many see depending on the lockout situation.  Not many players will commit to an 18 game schedule if the owners want to pay them less.  So right now, they are far from an agreement.  Things are not looking good for next season.  So get your ticket and PSL money ready for a season one many not see.

NY Jets Fiscal Year Extended To Playoffs

This past Sunday the Jets lost to Chicago by four points.  Now some may have thought fans would have to wait until they played Buffalo to see what their playoff fate would be.  But since Jacksonville lost, the Jets received a sport in the playoffs.  For the second straight year, it came down to the wire.  Like a software programmer, they found a back door into the playoffs.  It would have been better for their confidence if they clinched it with a win, on their own.  But they had to rely on another team to lose in order to gain entry.  I do not think that is what Rex Ryan and the team wanted.  But Rex said he will take it however he can.

Last year, the Jets had to beat Cincinnati in the final game of the season to get a playoff berth.  It was the “Win and we’re in” campaign.  They did it and beat Cincinnati in two consecutive games.   This year has been a different story.  Only one win their last four games has not shown what a true playoff contender they should be.  If they want to show their fans and the media they are Super Bowl worthy, then they should have locked up their spot weeks ago.  New England showed how bad they wanted it, the Jets could have done the same t5hing.  If the Jets plan to show their future shareholders they really mean business, they need to turn more than one corner in the next two weeks.

When the Jets made the postseason it gives them a greater ability to tell future investors this is a company, or team, making strides.  Two years in a row in the playoffs, something they can market to future investors.  A reason to get in now so they can have a shot at getting tickets to possible future playoff games.  Call home playoff tickets a dividend.  A bonus for investing in their stock and season tickets.  But if they do not make the postseason, they there is no dividend.  If there is no dividend and one looks for one each year, then why keep the tickets?

Like I have said, many hold them to pass to future generations.  They enjoy coming, tailgating, and making memories.  Some others spent their disposable income to get the extras.  To show friends they have the money to spend on the VIP seats for the free food.  To sit in the suites away from the real fans, who brave the elements to watch the game..  Those are the ones who see it as an investment.  To woo clients, show their status, and look like they are one notch higher than the other fans.  They may dispute what I say, but is it worth the money for the free food that is horrible?  Compared to other stadiums around the league, it rates amongst the worst.

The postseason can be viewed as a great way to market empty PSLs to potential investors.  Letting them know it has been two years in a row so get in now before someone else takes your seat.  But the drawback to that is they have all road games.  You do not know if it is a home game until the week is right upon you.  This could be a make or break decision for some.  I know Jets fans are dying for a home playoff game.  I remember attending a Wild Card game at Giants Stadium in 1985 against the New England Patriots.  There is a different level of excitement at a playoff game.  PSL holders are hoping for that chance.  Some to attend the event, and others to make big bucks selling the tickets.

SO with the Buffalo Bills coming to town on Sunday, Jets fans are already thinking of that first round playoff game.  Wondering what town some will fly to to watch an away game while others plan for festivities here at home.  The Jets hold their future in their hands.  Which Jets will show up on Sunday?  I can assure you the fans only care about one version, the ones who will beat Buffalo.

So the sales pitches will continue on both the PSL and non PSL seats.  I am sure The Jets will not want to sell single game seats in the upper section next year.  They will use the Jets postseason spots as a part of their sales pitch to potential investors.  The more seats they have out of their hands, the more guaranteed money they will get on those season tickets.  Once they know more are in place, the more they can rely on that guaranteed income.  They still have a long way to go to convince many to invest in the remaining PSLs, club seats, and suites.  The sooner they convince they are a winning franchise, the easier it will be.

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

NFL Fans United & Documentary Filming Expands

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Yesterday was a day I will not forget.  Yesterday was my first time being on the sidelines for a professional football game.  Now before you ask if the NFL is playing on a Saturday, they weren’t.  It was for the UFL, United Football League.  This is the 2nd year of the league and their nearest team are the Hartford Colonials.  Last year they were the New York Sententials but never had a true home in the NY/NJ area.  Since I have been looking into cost effective football alternatives to the NFL, I thought the Colonials would be a great team to cover and see what their fans thought about the team.  Dr. Bill Chachkes of Football Reporters Online was able to get me a press pass and some time with one of the front office personnel. It may not have been the NFL sidelines, but to me, professional football is professional football.

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My associate Sixto and I left early, I wanted to get there when the parking opened to see how the Colonials fans tailgate.  Took us a little over two hours to get up there but the ride was worth it.  Sixto is a great kid, he is a film student at Montclair State University and is looking to get some good experience behind the camera.  We met Dr. Chachkes and his wife and he handed us our press parking pass and my on field media pass.  Unfortunately, I did not get a press pass for Sixto.  Bill informed us Quiznos was giving away free tickets to the game.  So that is how we got Sixto into the game.  By the time we made it over to Rentschler Field, where the UConn Huskies play football, there was not too much time left for tailgating.

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Sixto and I set out and we covered a lot of ground, not much ground to cover there.  About 5-6 rows of parking on each side as there were not as many fans tailgating like at a New York Jets game.  They had a stage set up for a live band, some inflatable sections where kids jousted and a mechanical bull tossed others around.  Plus some local sponsor booths and some role playing Colonials were there in full uniform.  There was a moment on stage where they had wheelchair boxing, yes, wheelchair boxing.  The boxing is done to help give those less fortunate a boost to their self esteem and make them feel that they can do anything.  It was fun to watch as many fans cheered them on.  After visiting those areas, we moved on to find some tailgaters to talk to.

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We found very few fans willing to talk to us.  Many were enjoying the games for the first time while few have been to previous games.  The ones that did talk to us are fans of NFL teams as well.  We found New York Giants fans, Jets fans, Patriots fans, and a Philadelphia Eagles season ticket holder.  Those we talked to have been to Giants and Jets games, but were never season ticket holders.  They felt it was too far for them to travel to the games on a constant basis.  However, they did become season ticket holders of the Colonials.  Reason being they were a closer franchise, $60 per seat for the whole season which is four games, and the players were from UConn and other local areas.  They also have former NFL players on the team.

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As we walked, there were more families having fun than the usual “beer drinking guy” crowds I find at Jets games.  The UFL’s prices make it easier to bring the family to enjoy a game.  Now the tailgates may not be super huge or have the flare of ones i have been to at NFL games, but it still had that warm friendly atmosphere.  People still offered us food and the occasional adult beverage.  The people may still support heir favorite NFL team, but they will also support the Colonials in the same manner.  This is what the UFL needs, fans willing to not just show support but to bring their friends to experience it for themselves.  It is always fun to see who tailgates.  That is where they true nature of the fan comes out.  No one I have come across has not been hospitable or unruly.

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About 20 minutes before kickoff I signed in and got my press vest.  I was smiling the entire time.  I Was ecstatic.  I was actually one of the media who gets to be on the sidelines to film and report.  Whereas Bruce Speight of the New York Jets said “I was technically not the media”.  I dropped my stuff off in the press room and proceeded to head out onto the field.  Felt strange looking up to the stand from the field, usually the other way around for me.  I got some great shots of the fans from the field as well as both teams.  I even managed to get some great footage of former San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jeff Garcia, who is the QB for the Omaha Nighthawks.  The action on the field was exciting.  Every player played their hearts out and gave the fans what they came to see, true professional football.

I was approached by a Connecticut State Trooper on the field before the 2nd half began, his name was Danny.  He asked me where I was from and who I was shooting for.   I told him where I was from and that I was filming a football documentary where the basis was about the New York Jets and their fans.  He then proceeds to tell me he bleeds green.  He was a New York Jets fan for a long time.  His brother was on the waiting list for season tickets for about 15 years.  Once the Jets went through their season ticket holder base to sell the PSL’s his brother received a call fast for season tickets.  His brothers seats are in the upper bowl just below the catwalk, really high up.

Danny then says he remembers seeing some footage on the internet about some guy who was being followed by a cameraman looking for blue collar fans to talk to about the PSL situation.  I informed him that was me.  What are the odds I go to a Hartford Colonials game and talk to a State Trooper who has seen footage I have put out on the internet about my documentary?  It made me feel proud to know I have had others take not of what I am doing and behind my work.  Of everything that could have happened that was something I will always remember.  It let me know what I was doing was the right thing, that I was being heard even if no one was letting me know it.

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The entire time I was on the field the fans were into the game.  Fans did the wave and kept it going all around the stadium.  One far even dressed as a Colonial from the 1770′s.  They had a great fan base that showed they were excited to see the Colonials play their brand of professional football, even if they did lose by a small margin.  I walked around the entire field and got shots from every angle.  I loved ever minute being there and excited about any future opportunity it may bring.  Even though I write for internet websites and do independent filming, I felt like I was treated like any other member of the traditional media.

After the game I had the camera set up in the post game conference area.  A section where the press hears from the coaches and players about the game then proceeds to ask them questions about the game.  There may not have been many members of the press in there but it was a thrilling experience to be the only one there with a video camera to get footage.  After that I interviewed David Turner, the Colonials Personnel Director who had previously worked for Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders.  He was able to give me some insight into the differences between the NFL and the UFL.  His interview adds a perspective into NFL alternatives that is detrimental to the documentary.  A viewpoint not many can provide.

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Saturday’s experience was one I want to build on.  I have to see what else I can do to tell the stories not many tell.  To give a fan perspective the traditional reporters do not tell.  Majority of the time it is game statistics, plays, and what happens on the field.  Many seem to forget the fans perspective and what brings them out.  The UFL understands this and seems they know what it means to build that bond between the team and their fans.  They bring together fans of many NFL teams that would normally be at each other throats.  Instead, they all cheer for their local team, united under one flag that flies up in Hartford.

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