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.

NY Jets Stock Future Uncertain, No One Else Reports It

This past Sunday the Jets proved they are able to compete against the elite in the AFC.  But the season is one thing, beating them in the playoffs is another.  The Jets have to show consistency if they really want to make an impact like they did last year.  Losing to the Patriots 45-3 is definitely not a sign of that.  Winning convincingly against Chicago and Buffalo might convince fans and the media that the Jets really have turned the corner, or is it too late?  For many fans, it is too late.  Many feel they should have turned the corner weeks ago and not have to play catch up with two weeks left in the season.

As the only Fan Experience Analyst for the Jets fans and the only one who still reports about the PSLs, I hear a lot from the Jet faithful.  Even if the Jets win the Super Bowl, many former ticket holders would not reconsider buying them again.  They are happy cheering from their couches and even happier to save the money they would have spent on the PSLs.  With Rex, Sanchez, and the Jets making the playoffs two years in a row certainly helps their stock.  It may not skyrocket, but it may convince those on the fence to invest in some seats.  Keep in mind, a return on investment does not have to come from making a profit on selling seats, but can also come from getting access to playoff and Super Bowl tickets for a season ticket holder.

There have been various categories of ticket holders over the years.  You have the ones who continued their season tickets and will spend what they can when the Jets dictate any price.  You have the new generation of Jets ticket holder, young, willing to spend on the new amenities the stadium has to offer just to see the team.  You have the old fashioned ticket holder who just wants to see the game, spend nothing more.  Then you have the ones who will not buy season tickets.  They were ticket holders before and never will be again.

It does not matter who much they lower prices they already felt cheated, slighted by the team and will not return.  Those are the ones who carried the team from the Polo grounds all the way to Giants Stadium.  The ones who were never thanked for their years of dedicated service.  One day a year does not do enough for those who gave 40 plus years.

The Jets stock is only as good as their season.  If they can go to the Super Bowl, now this is a big IF, then they will see a spike in sales and see sell outs.  Until that happens, they will always have stock on hand and have to convince the public to invest.  The organization might have to make some internal changes if they expect their price to go up before next season.  Sometimes a company can not dictate the price, but the market dictates it to the company.  The Jets have already experienced this, and still do.

Reporters in the major news markets only touched briefly on the PSLs.  They knew if they went on about them, they would not have access to the players or the locker room.  That is the power of the organization over the news markets.  If they want to report on the team, they have to say in that teams good graces.  When it comes to reporting truth and how the public is affected, it makes it hard on those who want to do those kinds of stories.  When financial analysts report on companies, stock, and other matters, they give information that matters to investors and the general public.  Potential PSL buys should be given the same information from those in the know and those in major news markets.

There are sports writers and Jets bloggers out there who only cover he team and the players.  What about the fans?  The ones whose stories have helped make the Jets the team they are.  The ones whose history is along the teams history.  Without the Jets fans who have supported this team, who would they have played to?  The fans are the silent majority in the Jets history.  If it was not for the fans stepping up to buy season tickets, the then NY Titans would have folded and there would be no NY Jets.  It was that influx of capital that helped to keep the team going, if for a short time before new ownership.

Right now, the Jets have to keep winning if they want to sell what is left of their seats for next season.  But fans need to take into consideration other costs.  Parking, food for tailgating, concessions inside, souvenirs, and anything else that may come with a day at the stadium.  One can even go on Ebay or Stubub and bid on parking passes.  There is a lot being made off those in the secondary market.

Like I always say, the Jets control their own fate.  They have no one to blame but themselves.  DO not even blame Sal Alosi or some foot fetish videos.  The Jes even control their own fate hen it comes to their Stock/PSLs.  They think they made good with the fans when they slashed prices.  But what happens when prices rise soon to pay for that loss of income?  They need to make up that revenue somehow to pay for the stadium that was to come from the full price of those PSLs.

I am not sure many fans expect or care to know how much more they will have to pay over the next few years for their season tickets and parking.  My point is the Jets will not be the ones to front that capital, they will raise those funds by other means, evens if it means passing it on to the fans.  PSL costs will be raised by the fans who try to sell them.  Ticket prices will be raised by the Jets.  In the end, the only ones winning are the ones making a profit.  Man it is expensive to be a football fan in New York.  Everyone have a safe and Merry Christmas with your friends and family.  May the Jets give us all the gift of a win over the Bears this Sunday.

Will NY Jets Season Affect Their Stock Price?

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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.

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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.

New York Giants Antrel Rolle Interview

A few weeks back John Fennelly of ProFootballNYC, Dr. Bill Chackes of FootballReportersOnline, and myself made our way to the Gotham Comedy Club in NYC to interview New York Giants Safety Antrel Rolle.  Antrel was taking a part in 12 Angry Mascots, Gotham’s sports related comedy troupe.  This interview was conducted the night after they faced Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles on November 21st.

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Jery Seinfeld makes surprise appearance

Antrel answered questions ranged from his time at The U to the Giants to his time in Arizona.  It was a fun interview and you can tell Antrel likes his time in New York and enjoys what he does.  We were told there was going to be a special gust on stage that night, but we were not told who.  It did get leaked who it was and we were lucky to catch a few minutes on stage of Jerry Seinfeld.  The 12 Angry Mascots footage did not come out too well due to audio issues.

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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.

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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.

Jets Keep Winning, Veteran Fans Debate Future Tailgating

This past Thursday night, the Jets gave their fans a true win to celebrate over.  On Thanksgiving night, they beat the stuffing out of those turkeys called the Cincinnati Bengals.  Three wins in under a year.  The Jets defense came alive when the team needed them to the most.  That was a key piece missing the past few weeks.  Sanchez and the offense was picking up the slack for the defense.  But Revis and the Defense proved they want it just as bad.  Two interceptions, a fumble recovery, three sacks, and a safety kept their juices flowing.  It was great to finally see the Jets have a decisive win that they did not have to pull out in the final seconds of the game.

Where has Brad Smith been hiding his potential?  For weeks now he has barely cracked double digits when running the ball or in the Seminole package.  Mr. Every Position sparked New York to its second-best start after he scored on an 89-yard kickoff return — during which a cleat slipped off — and also had a 53-yard touchdown run.  Brad Smith is showing why he is an integral part of the Jets offense.  It seems when guys are needed on the team, they come to life.  I think some are still waiting for Joe McKnight to come around.

Now the Jets may be 9-2 and that gives many fans a reason to celebrate.  Everyone will.  Many younger fans have not seen a Jets team like this and older veteran fans have not seen a team this good in decades.  But it is still not enough to keep some long time tailgaters happy.  Long time tailgaters The Jet Nuts, Jet Pack, and a few others have considered putting a halt to their mass crowd tailgating ways.  They are not seeing the people they once saw come to their tailgates to pay.  Many blame it on friends opting out of the PSLs and continuing their season tickets.  The groups that charge per head is not seeing the same income come in to help fund a large tailgate party each game.

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Caesar who helped create the Jet Pack back in 1967 said over 80% of the crew did not continue their season tickets.  Now, they tailgate in two separate groups and do not really have the bond they used to have.  Cesar has tried to get Robert Parrin over at the other group to come over to no avail.  One group has about eight while the other has about a handful.  Really down from the dozens I have seen at their combined tailgate before.  To them, the game is not the same experience without being able to tailgate the way they used to, with their friends.

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The Jet Nuts though have a larger tailgate.  Sometimes catering to over 100 fans, depending on the game.  But this season has seen a considerable drop.  They say the crowds are not coming to them like they used to.  They are putting out more money and not seeing much of a return.  Not to mention the bus they drive up from Port Redding with the TV’s, industrial sized grills, and generations of family members.  The Jet Nuts are thinking this could be their last year of group tailgating.  They have been a focus on Jets tailgating for years and they are on their forth bus.

Some could argue the economy still has a hold on some, only paying for the essentials when it comes to the games.  Spending what they had on the PSL, parking pass, and tickets.  Maybe some do not have the $20-$30 per game for a tailgate.  IF you have a family, that can add up.  So it could be cheaper to do a few burgers and dogs yourself.  But people will always party in the parking lots.  You will always see the few and the many.  The groups who take up 4-5 spots who will cook for a few dozen friends.  Not to mention Lobel’s of New York and Weber Grills teaming up to do your tailgating for you, for a price.    They will offer grills to rent in the future.

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As long as the Jets keep wining, the fans will find a reason to celebrate.  But at the home games, not everyone will celebrate together.  Some are doing it by their cars, while their friends are doing it for the first time from their couches.  Many fans note he inside of the stadium has changed.  Not just the building, but the fans inside as well.  It is a different atmosphere all around.  From parking, to the building, to the fans seating around you, to how you leave the stadium parking.  Everyone sees a difference inside when attending a game.  But the biggest difference is how many new younger fans there are compared to the old regime of fans who were with the team since the New York Titans days, or even Shea Stadium.

Even if the Jets win the Super Bowl, it will not bring back the fans who have already left.  They will continue to cheer on their team.  Just no longer from seats inside the stadium.  But from the ones in front of their TV or at their favorite sorts bar.  Sometimes a bigger better stadium does not mean your fans will be better.  You never hear too many people recall memories from walking around a stadium, from visiting VIP lounges or suites.  Sitting at the stadium bar or carving station.  Not even from what concession stand they get their beer from.  They recall the memories of the game itself, memorable plays seen on the field watching with their friends.  Memories recapped while tailgating in the parking lot, passing those memories on to the next generation.

Bing National Tailgating Competition Fires Up Jet Fans

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Not only did the New York Jets pull out a win in the final seconds of the game, but there was another winner at the New Meadoalwands Stadium.  A winner in Bing’s National Tailgate Competition.  This morning at 10:30 was the national competition being held in seven locations across the country sponsored by Bing.  Today’s stop in New Jersey was the third stop on the circuit.  It will end on Thursday February 3rd in Dallas during Super Bowl week.  All the winners will go head to head to see who is the best tailgater in the country.

Sixto, Anthony Quintano, and myself got there early enough to stop by the L7 Tailgate who got together via Twitter.  They had about 40 or so Tweeters there and I missed out on the Rex Ryan for another week.  DAMN!  By the time we got to the Bing.com set up we were presented with free scarves and wool hats bearing the Bing.com logo.  There were four groups vying for best tailgater.  You had Franks Lot 11 Flagmen, Lenny’s Lot K Tailgaters, Gang Green Grillers, and the Winters Brothers.  Each group had not just their own set up, but they had to stand out from everyone else.  The Winters Brothers had their Jets bus behind them.  Frank Conway had 28 flags flying on 14 poles.  The Grillers had a tiki bar, Revis Island, and ice sculptures.  Lenny’s had a kosher grill and his famed Lenny’s burgers.

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There were also social media photo booths with wall mounted touch screens provided by SMART that allowed guests to immediately Tweet, Facebook or email photos right from the event.  Or just play the bean bag toss or football throw on your own/  Even a couple of stations where you could try out Bing if you were unfamiliar with the website search engine.  DJ’s not just from Bing were playing music, but from every tailgate.  You could not walk anywhere without being blasted by some kind of music.

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Before the event started, we were introduced to the judges.  First up as “Crazy Legs” Conti.  The green bean eating champion and a regular on the competitive eating circuit.  You can see him in his dreadlocks every year on the Natahan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.  Next up was SNL Alum, comedian, actor,  and fitness magnate Joe Piscopo.  Even though he is a Giants fan, he had a blast being amongst the Jet faithful.  The third judge is no stranger to Jets fans.  Two time Pro Bowl player, inducted in the Football Hall of Fame, and Wide Receiver for the Jets from 1977-1989 was none other than Wesley Walker.  The final judge is the Commissioner of Tailgating and head of the Tailgating Institute of America, Joe Cahn.  Four men brought together for their love of food and football.

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The teams were judged on their tailgating game skills first.  A bean bag toss and football throw was up first that was not easy for all those who competed.  I can not post all the pictures here so check out the slide show at the bottom of the page or on my Flickr page.  Next the judges went around and had to taste all the food.  What would a tailgating competition be without eating?  Lenny had his special Lenny Burgers with the cheese inside.  Wesley Walker could not put his down.  The Winters Brothers had a menu all prepared with Jets players names accompanying the dishes.  The Flagman Frank had some nice steaks prepared that tasted great.  The Gang Green Grillers had, well, about everything as their special!  Was hard to keep track of all the food.  Some had great shrimp, turkey legs, fillet mignon, and anything else that would make the Homer Simpson in us drool.

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We wanted to eat more than we did.  Which was not enough.  We had to do a lot of interviews and film the event so there was not enough time to eat.  I will say the coffee flavored Patron is very good though.  Beers to the left of me.  Beers to the right of me.  Would have been nice to have had one but we had to stay focused.  By this time I was able to talk with Wesley Walker.  Wesley loved being amongst the Jets fans who had not only watched him when he played, but even the younger fans who were introduced to his greatness.  He did say he was such a great receiver that he would be able to escape Revis Island every time jokingly.  Wesley does enjoy watching today’s players as he sees an intensity now that was still around when he played.

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There was one aspect of Wesley Walkers career I had to find out about in depth.  Wesley is legally blind in one eye.  He was able to make it past the physical back then as there was no vision test.  He knew what he needed t do to compensate for that vision loss.  It made him step up his game and be that much of a better player.  It was after a while that the team had found out about his vision.  Wesley says it was because of that they started doing the combines, to make sure players were 100% in all areas on the field so they would not play with any limitations.  I myself have a loss of central vision in both my eyes that forced me out of wrestling in high school.  So it was a unique experience to be able to find out from an NFL Hall of Famer what he did to make sure his “handicap” did not stop him from what he loved to do.

As the competitors were trying to grease the palms of the judges with their burgers, chicken, and ribs, I managed to get some words with Bing.com representative Kari Dilloo.  Kari talked about Bing’s abilities to search anything football like Bing’s Sports Compare & Bing Instant Answers.  Bing is doing what they can do make their search engine so football user friendly that you can find anything on football.

Multiple stations set up throughout the event to allow guests to try their new software.   “Bing Sports Compare” which creates a direct side by side visual comparison of NFL players and “Bing Instant Answers” which provides instant and accurate information at your fingertips – both perfect for brushing up on football stats prior to tailgate and game time. Also on display was “Bing Travel” which is perfect for the next time you are looking to follow your favorite team to an away game as Bing not only allows you to see hotel and flight price comparisons but also lets you know when would be the best time to book your trip.

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The final contest of the day was the trivia contest.  Each team sent their best man to the stage to answer questions on everything Jets.  From questions ranging from where was Super Bowl III played to where did Nick Mangold go to college.  Every team had their strengths and weaknesses.  But only one team could walk away the best Tailgater in NJ and move on to Dallas.  Joe Piscopo said he has never really tailgated before and wished he could send them all.  He enjoyed his time there even though he looked like a fish out of water.  He provided the comedy element for the day.  Joe said he would rather be escorted into the stadium via a side door than go in through the fans in the parking lot.

But in the end just like in the Highlander, there can be only one.  Everyone did what they could to come out on top.  As the judges tallied their votes they all settled on one winner.  The Winters Brothers took the trophy and title of Best Tailgater in NY.  They will head to Dallas during Super Bowl week to compete for best tailgater in the country.   All in all it was a success and everyone that participated enjoyed themselves, especially the Winters Brothers.  I will have more details up soon along with videos of the event and interviews with the judges.  Next year will bring about more competitors and Jets fans.  No one left unsatisfied, or with an empty stomach.

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Jets Fans To Compete In National Tailgating Competition

Here we are, at the midway point of the football season.  The Jets are 7-2 and look more like 4-5.  Games against Denver, Detroit, and recently Cleveland have not had the Jets looking like Super Bowl contenders.  More like playoff hopefuls.  They have to perform more convincingly if they want to get further than the first round of the playoffs, if they make it there.  They definitely give their fans not just sometime to cheer for, but heart attacks as well.  I needed a defibrillator the past two weeks from the way they had been playing.  Ken Pikowski asked me at the last jets home game if I wanted to go out to the Cleveland game with him and some friends.  They were riding out in this tractor trailer sized camper and offered me a ride.  Would have loved to have gone, but work duties kept me here at home.

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The football season is too short.  There have been four home games and only four left.  Not enough time to tailgate for a football season.  I do not count the preseason in there.  If the Jets have a home playoff game then that is a bonus.  Fans will not only celebrate a home playoff game, but party like hell in the lots and tailgate even harder.  Seems when a team is doing great or making a great playoff run, the tailgating gets more serious.  The groups are crazier, chants are louder, but the food is always delicious.

This coming Sunday at the Houston Texans game, I will be trying a once in a lifetime tailgate food.  The L7 Tailgate crew who came together on Twitter has a food they call the “Rex Ryan”. A hot dog, wrapped in a cheeseburger, wrapped in bacon.  I will have a Lipitor and a Vytorin on me just in case.

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I will also  be covering the Bing.com National Tailgating Competition.  It is being held at 10:30 AM before the Jets take on the Texans outside the Pepsi Gate.  Tailgating, for most football fans, is way beyond just cooking a few hot dogs in the parking lot before the game. This is certainly the case in Houston, Denver, New York, Phoenix, New Orleans, Seattle, and Dallas/Fort Worth, the seven cities Bing.com will be visiting with this competition.

Because of this passion and the social nature of tailgating Joe Cahn, the Commissioner of Tailgating, and Bing, the decision engine from Microsoft, have teamed up to host the first Bing National Tailgating Championship. Houston will serve as the official kick-off with a regional competition taking place at Reliant Stadium before the Texans/Chargers game. With the Bing National Tailgating Championship, tailgaters from around the country will have the opportunity to compete for the first-ever title of “America’s #1 Tailgater.” In addition, this competition gives fans the chance to prove that Houston is worthy of being titled one of the country’s “tailgating capitals.”

Starting at 10:30 a.m. anyone can come by the Pepsi Gate to watch the region’s best tailgate teams compete for a shot at the national title.  The visitors will receive prizes and a chance to see four tailgating teams compete in four categories including:

1) Cooking: Originality, presentation, regional flair and taste

2) Tailgate Spirit and Environment: Includes tailgating set-up and team flair

3) Parking Lot Agility: bean bag and football toss

4) Team/Sport Knowledge: Trivia challenge

Local judges will be on hand to determine the winning team including football legend Wesley Walker. And of course, Joe Cahn, the Commissioner of Tailgating will be on hand to officiate the competition.

For tailgating teams that would like to throw their BBQ tongs in the ring for a chance to be crowned the nation’s best, please visit:  www.tailgatinginstitute.com/bing.  So come on out to see the best Jets tailgating and how Bing can help fans make your game day decisions.

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Tailgating has become more than just arriving before a game to eat and have fun in the parking lot.  It is a time to share memories with friends.  To make that game day experience one step better.  When I walk around the lots, I see more people than ever taking pictures.  There was a time you could not get too many pictures inside the stadium.  With the advent of camera phones though it makes it easier to snap off a few pics and capture some shots.  My friend Jason must have a new picture up on Facebook after ever Yankees game he goes to.  My point is people want to capture more about what goes on outside the stadium as well as inside it.  Tailgating is not an important part of that game day experience.

Everyone has a memory they will always remember.  Many will remember the Monday Night Miracle, Dan Marino’s fake spike, Dennis Byrd getting hurt and many other on field moments.  Others will have countless memories off the field.  Ones that happen in the lot during tailgating.  A place where birthdays are celebrated, anniversaries, and other events where friends and family can celebrate.  I interviewed one couple who met at a Jets game while tailgating.  They were also married on a Monday.  Right after their wedding they attended a Monday night Jets game.  You can not make a better game day memory than that.

Do PSL’s Really Make Football Better? Or Worse For Fans

Since August of 2008, I have been filming a documentary about the New York Jets PSL situation and how the fans have had their ups and downs with it.  Over this past season, many fans have kind of settled into new positions in the new parking structure.  Set up like the hierarchy of rings that used to exist in medieval times.  Where the royalty would be in the middle close to the castle and the further you went out, the lower in class it became.  The higher priced parking passes are closer to the stadium.  Ones with non PSL seats have to park over by the Izod Center.  You tell me what type of message the Jets are sending to their fans.

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Many long time season ticket holders who have had tailgating groups for years feel cheated by not just the new parking system, but from the PSL’s as well.  Many were not able to get seats next to friends like they have in years past.  Those with cheaper PSL’s or NON PSL seats can not sit with those in the lower bowl.  Also, Mary Lou Wilson who parks in the Green parking said some long time friends they tailgated with in old section 13A have the non PL seats do not want to bring all their gear over to the green parking.  Even though Mary Lou and her kids can park over there, they still have friends in the green parking to tailgate with.  Who wants to lug all that gear and waste time just to have to drag it all back early?

Bruce Speight, Senior Director of Media Relations, told me they did what they could to appease fans.  But you can not please them all.  I wonder what true steps they took to find out what the fans wanted.  I know they did send a survey out via e mail two years ago.  But did anyone from the Jets organization act like the Census and go from tailgate to tailgate to get the fans opinions.  Probably not.  They do not mind sending face painters out there to charge for face painting.  Maybe if the team spent time walking through the lots talking to fans and truly got to know what they wanted, sales could have gone faster.

This is something sports writers do not cover, especially sports beat writers.  there is always a focus on the players, coaches, on and off the field events, and even trades.  There are not many sports writers that cover the business decisions teams makes, how it affects the fans, or even the fans in general.  Occasionally, there are stories that appear about fans.  But not too often.  They mainly come about during the season, after a team or player has already made news about an issue.  It may not be front page news, but is it news nonetheless.  If there were no paying fans to show up, it would just be a bunch of guys playing ball.  I guess while filming my documentary I had to take it upon myself to cover them and tell their side so they feel they have a voice.  Fans care about news regarding the teams and their players.  So the teams and players should care about what is going on with their fans.

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Many long time tailgating groups have crumbled and become a shadow of its former self.  I have talked about the Jets Pack a few times, but I have yet to talk about the Jets Nuts.  The Jet Nuts have been coming just as long as the Jets Pack.  You can always tell where the Jet Nuts are by their huge bus they always have.  They are on their fourth bus right now.  They have had hundreds over the years.  But according to the organizers, it has dwindled down significantly.  It is coming to a point where they are laying out more money than they are receiving from fans wanting to share in their tailgate.  Many tailgate set ups charge a small fee to eat and drink at their tailgate.  Rather than shrink it down they just might call it quits by years end.  PSL’s have not just separated fans in the stadium, but even in tailgating as well.

PSL’s, for some, are a necessary evil.  The Jets and Giants never said what other financing options they looked into before settling on the PSL’s as a final option.  If the New England Patriots can do it then any team can.  Even though their stadium is in the middle of nowhere, small screen, no escalators, they still managed to do it all without PSL’s.  Sometimes I wonder if the new stadium was built for the fans or for the teams owners friends to enjoy a lavish place to watch football games and network for more business.  Make it their own upscale country club.  The Jets and Giants had no idea how much they tore their fan base apart.

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Sports teams need to wake up and realize that bigger and better is not necessarily the way to go.  There has to be a happy medium.  The Jets have already doe this and is evident every time I film in the parking lot.  I am here for the fans to be their voice.  Hoping to show other sports franchises what PSL’s can to do their own fan base.  I know some fans do not care, they are willing to spend their money and do what the team says to do to keep going to games.  Others have the kind of disposable income where they can afford to spend and do not care about what other fans think.  It is this kind of thinking that shows team owners win and can do what they want.

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The fans have the real power.  If the fans were all on the same page then the teams would have to change how they set their prices and policies.  The Jets learned this already with the PSL’s and lowered prices.  If the fans kept showing that solidarity, then we all win in the end.  Not just the ones with deep pockets.   Some will agree, others will disagree.  But we all want to enjoy our game day experience with our friends and have that bond for years.  Not to lose it because some friends who used to be able to afford tickets now can not.  Makes me proud to be a reporter of the fans.  Not just because I care, but because I am one of the ones who could not afford to keep my tickets.  The fans are a story and I am the only one who sees it.