Posts

John Gambling & NY1 News Talk PSLs & Jets Documentary

What a couple days so far this week.  I was on The John Gamblng Show on 710 AM WWOR radio this past Monday morning.  Then today on NY 1 News for a story they are doing on the New York Jets and New Meadowlands Stadium.  Seems the closer it gets to the start of the 2010 season, there is more talk about the PSLs being sold.  Some seem to think they will all be sold while many others feel they will still have empty seats.  As long as there are no blackouts, I do not think either team cares.  Sure they would like a complete sell out, but making sure the revenue is there from advertising is important as well.  The most expensive Coaches Club seats will not be sold by the home opener.  May be hard to tell on TV, but the gray color of the seats were designed as such to look like someone is sitting there even if empty.

Monday morning I was on the John Gambling Show on WWOR 710 AM.  I was on his show preciously last year to talk about the documentary.  John had talked about the PSLs last week as he gave up his New York Giants season tickets after 30 years.  Even those with the income to afford them feel it is a bad investment.  I spoke with John’s producer Mike Figeola about coming back on and he thought it was a good idea.  On Monday, we discussed the PSLs, Darelle Revis’ holdout, Levy’s Bakery Productions, and other small talk.  John introduced me as a sports writer and filmmaker.  Even after filming this documentary for two years and writing about sports for one year it did not hit me until that point.  It felt good inside to hear others recognize me for the work I have been doing and will continue to do.  I can only hope it leads to some employment in the field.

Last Wednesday I was interviewed by Jon Weinstein of NY1 News in New York City.  He was putting a story together on the New Meadowlands Stadium and PSLs before the season begins.  We talked about the PSLs, the new stadium, my documentary, and other subjects that revolved around myself and the Jets.  But like most media stories go, most of it ended up on the cutting room floor.  It was a two minute piece and only 15 seconds of my interview were used.  Jon also interviewed Anthony Quintano of Quintano Media because he was also a Jets season ticket holder and is assisting me with the documentary.  His footage was not even used.

NY1

The story was put up yesterday on the NY1 website.  Jon’s piece was part three of a three part series on the new stadium.  Three reporters were responsible for each piece.  Guess Jon was extremely limited.  I even gave him some footage from the documentary to use.  Even footage of myself and Woody Johnson.  But hey, that is the press.  They take tons of footage only to use precious seconds.  I am just thankful I  was a part of the piece. At least when I was on John Gambling’s show, he mentioned my website and we discussed the history behind the Levy’s Bakery name.  I could not even get a mention of it in the NY1 news piece.

I have been trying to gt in touch with some Jets fans I have interviewed in the past.  I leave voice mails and message but they go unanswered.  I know there are some who were happy to be a part of it before investing in the PSL.  But now that they have them, they have a different attitude.  They can not bash the PSL or the team now that they have it.  Some will continue to talk with me, even after their purchase.  The die hard fans knew in their hearts they had to be there and no on their couch.  Some like Sal and Carmine do not talk to me as much because they bashed the PSLs then got them.  They knew they could not take back what they said, only prevent themselves from saying anything further.  Below are links to both interviews.

Daid Levy on The John Gambling Show 8/9/2010
NY1: Football’s New Address: Some Fans Not Sold On Season Ticket Rights

New York Jets have sold 75% of PSLs, so ‘there’s no chance of a blackout’ for Gang Green opener

Courtesy NY Daily News & Manish Mehta

Don't worry New York Jets fans. Gang Green promises all PSLs will be sold, and the season opener on Sept. 13 won't be blacked out.

Willens/AP

Don’t worry New York Jets fans. Gang Green promises all PSLs will be sold, and the season opener on Sept. 13 won’t be blacked out.

The Jets’ decision to slash prices by up to 50% on 9,000 unsold personal seat licenses at the New Meadowlands Stadium last month has paid off. The team has sold 75% of those PSLs and remains confident the rest will be sold in time to avoid a blackout for the Monday night season opener against the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 13.

“We’re 100% certain that we’re going to sell out by opening day,” Matt Higgins, executive vice president of business operations, told the Daily News Tuesday. “There’s no chance of a blackout.”

Three sections – the Lower End Zone (50 percent reduction), Mezzanine Endzone B (39 percent reduction) and Lower Sideline (33 percent reduction) – were affected by the reduction nearly six weeks ago.

The Jets will not make any further reduction in PSL prices to accelerate the approximately 2,300 remaining unsold seats. Higgins admitted that there will be some unsold club seats heading into the season, but they are excluded from the NFL’s blackout rules.

“Every hour the phone just keeps ringing with fans interested in purchasing tickets,” Higgins said. “There will be no need to adjust those prices any further. We expect a full sellout.”

The Jets also started calling fans on a waiting list for Upper Bowl seats since many ticket holders in the Upper Bowl upgraded to purchase the reduced PSL seats, Higgins said.

EMERALD RING
The Jets will unveil a Ring of Honor at the new stadium this season to celebrate the team’s all-time great players and coaches. The six-member first class that will be inducted at halftime of the first preseason game against the Giants on Aug. 16 is made up of Weeb Ewbank, Joe Namath, Curtis Martin, Don Maynard, Joe Klecko and Winston Hill.

JENKINS JOLTIN’
Kris Jenkins took a veiled shot at an anonymous former teammate when asked about replacing the void left by some veterans during an interview on the NFL Network Tuesday night.

“We have great guys who have come in to step up and fill in a void of some of the big losses that we have had this (offseason),” Jenkins said. “In some other cases, we’ve had some real men come in and step in for the women that we lost. So we’re going to be okay. Don’t worry about it.”

ON THE MARQUES
Unrestricted free agent defensive end Marques Douglas could re-sign with the Jets by the end of the week, according to a source. The 11-year veteran would help a defensive line lacking quality depth.

Undrafted free agent defensive tackle Martin Tevaseu, who was released by the Browns last month, was signed Tuesday.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/2010/07/20/2010-07-20_new_york_jets_have_sold_75_of_psls_so_theres_no_chance_of_a_blackout_for_gang_gr.html#ixzz0uk6NY6vC

New Chapter For NY Jets Fans One Month Away

We are just over one month away from the start of the 2010 football season.  For many long time New York Jets fans, this will be a season many will remember.  For some, it will be the first season in a brand new stadium in New Jersey.  For others it is the start of their first ever season watching their beloved team from their couches at home.  After the events of the past two years, it all culminates in a matter of weeks.  It is do or die time for the New York Jets organization.  Some fans think they are banking on HBO’s Hard knocks in hopes of selling more PSL’s.  I have talked to a few I have already interviewed who feel it is too little too late.

Some long time season ticket holders I have interviewed feel the sales reps from the New York Jets care more about their sales and quotas more than they care about the fans.  One long time holder who has had his seats along the 50 yard line experienced a sales representative who was not just out for a sales, but disrespectful.

This gentleman who wanted to remain anonymous, has had his tickets since the New York Titans.  He has followed the Jets from stadium to stadium, except the new Meadowlands Stadium.  He is 81 years old.  When the ticket rep first contacted him before the big Coaches Club Auction in November of 2008, he acted like his best friend.  He told him if he agreed to give the Jets organization $50,000 per seat for a PSL, they would not auction off his seats.  He had four seats which would have totaled $200,000.  He told the sales rep he was a Senior Citizen and could not afford that amount of money.  The sales rep then changed his attitude and said he was not a Jets fan then if he would not do it.  IS this the mentality of the sales Representatives the Jets employ?  Do they care more about their quota and getting ales than doing what is right for the fans?

I have heard many stories from numerous season ticket holders since that time about sales Representatives calling time and time again pushing the sale.  Talking more about numbers to get them into a seat rather than asking them why they will not commit to a PSL.  Every time I was called the sales representative did not care to ask me why I would not get one, only talk about the advantages of having a PSL.  This is a constant theme in the documentary, where fans are upset with the sales office and feel pushed away by the organization.  Even though PSL prices were slashed by 50%, many still feel put off by the team.  But many others still flocked like sheep to the lower prices.  Many fans I interviewed who were against PSL’s, went to purchase them anyway as they felt they had no choice if they wanted to attend games.  We all have a choice and you can say no.

There are already seats available for the 2010 New York Jets season on Stub Hub.  People are buying the PSL’s only to sell off the tickets game by game.  One can still get seats for every game and not be a PSL owner.  You will save more money over the long term, you just will not own your seats.  Plus, many state the PSL is only a football license for that team.  In other stadiums across the country, if you own that seat, you own it for every event in that stadium.  For Jets and Giants PSL holders, you only own your seats for that teams events.  All other events you have to be on a list, await allocation to the teams, or have a ticket in another seat in the facility.  So the PSL is not a TRUE PSL.  It is only a football seat license.  One aspect many fans care about.

Even though the documentary focuses on the Jets, many Giants season ticket holders did not purchase PSL’s.  Martin Sanford who has had his seats since 1981 feels as he said “shafted” by the team.  He talked about how he felt as if they did not care if he was going to buy a PSL or not.  That the only ones who matter are the ones paying now and not the ones who have given thousands to the team over the years.  He feels it is more about what fans will do going forward and not what they have done in the past to support a 1-15, 4-12, 2-14 team.  After all it is about the new business, not old business.  Martin does not care if they have an undefeated season or win a super Bowl.  He just wants to see the organization eat its words and not make its money.  Even though prices were reduced, Martin knows the team still has to come up with that money to pay for the new stadium.  Many feel ticket prices and other costs will rise in the next five years to compensate for that reduction and cover the building costs.

Since 1996, many teams have used PSL’s in many different sports.  Many long time season ticket holders did not opt into PSL’s and thus began their time watching home games from their own home.  The 2010 season begins that time for many New York Jets and Giants fans.  The first season they will be watching home games from their own couches instead of seats inside the stadium.  Some I have talked to feel comfortable with their decision.  Other fans feel awkward being home, not tailgating or taking part in Sunday rituals that have become a part of football life for them.  I have come across some fans who just follow the Jets like they are being herded.  Being one of the group who will do anything to follow the Jets.  Some refer to it as drinking the Kool Aid.

I am going to try and be there opening night during the Monday night game to get fans reactions and feeling from opening night.  I have to contact Jets personnel as well to see if I am able to film at the new stadium.  Different owners so I need to get approval all over again.  Plus, I have to see if I am allowed to get shots of the new stadium in the background.  They have been very picky about that.  If I had to pay $1,250 an hour to film at the old stadium in the parking lot, I can not imagine what they rates will be now.  Yes, $1,20 per hour was the rate the NJSEA (New Jersey Sports & Exhibition Authority) was asking.  Glad I was able to get that waved by the Jets.  But this is a whole new stadium.  Tailgating will be different too.  Going to be an interesting start to a new season.

Giants Stadium Is Gone. What Next?

Some notable New York Jets news over the past week.  Darelle Revis will attend training camp despite not having a new contract.  D’Brickashaw Ferguson signed a new six year deal with the Jets as well.  Not to mention the New York Jets will be on HBO’s Hard Knocks in a few weeks.  Seems the team has some good news going for them before the preseason starts.  But the tune may change once the season begins.  They still have yet to sell all of the PSL’s and thousands still remain unsold.  Many long time ticket holders will not cave in and many still have yet to find the money to afford them.  Even with the lower prices and payment plans many can not afford it, including me.  I am in the midst of looking for full time work and it is like looking for a needle in a stack of needles.  Anyone know of anyone hiring or they are hiring themselves, contact me.  Shameless plug, I know.

The documentary will be done filming at the end of the 2010 season.  No reason to go past the first year at the new MEadowlands Stadium.  Already have had a few people ask what I will be writing about not just when the season is over, but now that the old stadium is gone.  I have written for weeks now about the old stadium and many seem I may not have much to write about.  I could write about the Jets like everyone else does.  news updates, draft prospects, Twitter feeds, and everything else every other blog writes about.  I just like to be different.  I tried doing the news thing but I prefer to write what is on my mind and what goes on in life.  I may decide to write about the Jets in future posts if the news is worth writing about.  I am just not the type to devote an entire article on why Darelle Revis should be paid what he is asking and pump the article full of stats.

I read a lot of blogs dedicated to Jets news and fan posts.  But I prefer to cover all aspects of the Jets, even the news that some media outlets will not reports about.  Let’s face it, the main media outlets skirt the PSL issue a lot.  Why is that?  Because they still want locker room access, field level access, and all the access they need to report the team first hand.  They know if they report the Jets in a bad light or too much negative press they will not be allowed to cover the team anymore.  Someone like me they do not like because I answer to myself.  My documentary is something only I have control over when it comes to editing and content.  They know they have no control over it and can not sway me.  What will they do?  Stop me from going to events?  I am sure I am on their radar, but only a small blip.

The Jets fan blogs also cover the Jets and their players in a positive light.  Not too many of them would cover the Jets in a negative light.  They are all Gang Green fans and would not do that.  The only posts I have read on blogs that paint the Jets in a negative light would be the PSL’s, nothing else.  Might bad mouth some trades or front office decisions, but they do not cross the line enough.  I think I am the only Jets fan who sees the organization and writes about them in an honest light.  I do not hold back or cover what the truth may be.  Even Fireman Ed knows how the media will not cover the Jets in a bad light so they continue to get their press access to the team and events.  We talked about that off camera.

I guess I will keep writing about the Jets in the future and what business decisions they make.  I have already started down that path so why turn back now.  From doing this documentary, I stepped over the line and view football as both a fan and as an unbiased reporter.  I still cheer on the Jets players but at the same time find business decisions they make to be ridiculous.  It is hard to go both ways with a team I grew up following.  Both ways, funny, I know.  It is hard to be a fan and a reporter of a team you love.  One part wants to cheer and write nothing but great things but another side wants to be honest and report about the truth.  The truth everyone should know that many turn their head to.  No business wants any bad news to get out there about their company.  But people deserve to know everything, even if the truth is harsh and it makes a company look bad.  There is never good news all the time.  People need to make their own decision based off all angles, good and bad.

I enjoy writing.  I like to speak my ind and go from the gut.  Sometimes I speak about my documentary, the Jets, the old stadium, myself and anything else that seems newsworthy.  But sometimes I like to write about my life, my stories, what I think makes a great story.  I guess that is why I like to write.  There is so much going around in my mind I just need to get it all out and not hold back.  Maybe that is why some of my other posts deal with family and fans I have met over the past few years.  I like telling their stories on top of mine.  People should hear more than what is reported in the media and the blog nation is one of the best places to find them.  I would like to find more Jets blogs that talk more from the heart rather than re-reporting the news.

Meadowlands Stadium: I Kept On Knocking & They Let Me In

DSC05794

Yesterday was the day the New York Jets had their mini camp inside the new Meadowlands Stadium.  I had gotten my tickets last week after seeing Erik Manassy posted they were free through Ticket Master.  My friend Anthony Quintano was supposed to go but business meetings come first.  By the time I arrived around 10:30 AM the parking lot was filled as if today was the season opener.  So many people must have taken off from work just to see the Jets practice for two hours and get to be inside the new stadium.  Was packed with fans, more than the Giants had yesterday.

ES{N1050 had a booth and football throwing game there. You won an ESPN T shirt if you answering a Jets trivia question correctly. They had the kids inflatable play areas they usually have at all Jets events. Seemed some were also tailgating before going in.  Was a great day for it too.  Not too sunny and not too warm.

DSC05737DSC05741

DSC05808DSC05963

As many know, I have been told i could no longer take pictures of the old stadium.  The Skanska supervisor said there were too many pictures on the internet.  I am sure the past few days were beyond their control and I do not think they said anything to anyone.  Especially not with the masses that showed up.  So I blended right in and took over 320 pictures today of the new stadium, old stadium, and practice.  Not like they could pick me out of the crowd.  Was an easy day to get the shots I needed from the inside of the new stadium.  I walked around and found some great areas to get some great overview shots.  No one said anything, what could they say?  The old stadium should be completely down in less than 2 weeks.  Then there is just the clean up of what has fallen.

DSC05878DSC05875

DSC05756DSC06025

Everyone wanted to get the best seats along the 50 yard line.  There is even a big 50 right outside one entrance to let people know exactly where the 50 yard line is.  You can tell it is there for those who paid for the most expensive PSL’s.  I guarantee they will be able to park right across from it too.  So they can get in, get out, no F’n about.  They practiced from 11:30-1:30.  Seemed more like a PR session with sales reps all over the place.  They had tables outside the stadium inside the stadium, sales reps up and down the aisles, almost anywhere you walked. Now your standard PSL sales reps were in collared shirts, easy to spot.  The ones selling the luxury suites were in suits and ties.  I was walking next to a sales rep and someone looking into the luxury suites.  The luxury suite rep told the guy they would get the treatment Woody Johnson would get.  Must have to spend a lot of money to get that kind of treatment.

Outside the stadium and inside had sales reps scattered all over the place.  Standing by their table to answer questions and some even walking up and down the aisles.  I was sitting in one of the lower corner sections listening to one sales reps pitch.  He was giving prices and figures out left and right.  Talking about financing the PSLs, when ticket money is due, and everything else one would need to know about buying a PSL.  He even talked about getting tickets to other events.  Say for Bruce Springsteen.  You would be on a pre sale listbut not guaranteed to sit in your own seat.  Just the opportunity to get seats before going on sale to the general public.  The team only gets allotted a certain amount.  American Express card members also get the same option so holding a PSL for other events is not really a perk.

DSC05961DSC05842

DSC05776DSC05908

This sales rep was doing what is known as the “hard sell”.  Trying to convince the buyer of everything they need to know, even saying you could finance the seats for less than a dollar a day.  Any objection the buyer had the sales rep had an answer for.  Even saying that although he works fo the Jets, he has purchased two PSLs.  Now I was in sales before.  I have said things that were not true just to get the sale.  How does the buyer know for sure this sales rep actually bought the PSLs or is saying it to help close the sale?  Once he and I started talking he was giving me the price points.  I told him do not even try to sell me.  It would not work.  You can not sell to a better salesman.  Once I explained my situation and he knew there was no sales opportunity, he walked away.  My friend Brian, who is a Jets sales rep, said he does not do the hard sell.  he only offers up the information and lets the buyer make their own decision.  He is just there to answer their questions and make the buying process easier.

DSC05937DSC05926

There was a moment where a female fan had fallen down the stairs. She had some bruises and cuts on her knees. They got her a chair and stadium personnel came over in about five minutes. An EMT came over and cleaned the woulds. It was good to see them react to a situation like this now rather than into the season. I am sure they have done tests and drills. But there is nothing like a real experience.

Sometimes you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.  Lowering the prices may have brought some fans back.  Many still have a bad taste in their mouth and are done, they will not continue on as a season ticket holder.  Myself and a few others know that even though PSL prices were reduced, they have to make that money back somehow.  You will see ticket prices g up over the next few years, parking prices, and whatever else they can do to make back that lost income.  Plus, by financing your PSL you are giving the team more money that one should.  It is better to pay in full that take the 5 or 15 year payment plans.  Do you want to pay more for your PSL than you really have to?  By financing it you will.

I am not out to see the Jets fail here, do not get me wrong.  I just want the organization to realize they should not paint their fans into a corner.  They have seen what they are capable of doing, not submitting to ultimatums.  The fans spoke in masses about the high prices and the Jets had no choice but to lower those prices.  When the fan base bands together than can be stronger than the organization.  They underestimated the market.  The Jets thought they were going to dictate what the market value was.  But the fans told them what the market value should be.  I hope they do sell them so no fans are forced to sit home and suffer though blackouts.  Even I would be pissed at that.  But they should never underestimate their fans again.  Even the ones who do not have the deep pockets.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”LBProd” id=”72157624167919867″]

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”LBProd” id=”72157624292506080″]

Giants Stadium Demolition: Still Standing Around

Well, today I ventured back to the place I was told i could not go back to.  I could go back, just not take pictures.  But I did take pictures today.  I know what I said before.  I knew I could not go back onto the premises to take pictures.  But no one said anything about taking pictures from off the premises.  I just went to the same location s I went to when I first started taking pictures.  I had been thinking about it for a few weeks now.  Others found it ludicrous that someone could actually be told they could no longer take pictures.  There was no law being broken.  Just an unwritten one they put into place themselves.   Wanted to keep fans, especially people like me away.

I went over to a friend’s today to pick up the camera.  Billy Tooma has been gracious enough to lt me borrow it when I need it.  I was going to use it this Saturday for the NJ Revolutions vs Harrisburg Stampede indoor football game at the Sun Center in Trenton, NJ.  Kick off is 7:30.  But Billy and I had been mulling over the idea about going back and taking long distance shots with the telephoto lens.  I really did not think the Skanska supervisor was going to come all the way across Route 3 on his ATV.  I would be lying if I said my heart was not racing driving over.  The spots I was in on and off the highway made it easy not to be seen.  Except one location on Rte 120.  Hard not to be seen there.  I did not get out of the car though.  Flew a stealth mission so to speak.

The main structure is up between Gates D and C.  So are the spirals.  There is a big gaping hole where the Press Box elevators were.  Plus a few end zone sections came down.  The second of both jumbo-trons are now down as well.  If you drive past it each day you know what I am referring to.  Fireman Ed said he can not wait until it is all gone.  He thought they should have blown it up and did it all in one shot.  I have included pictures from previous shoots so you can see the progress.  Many can not wait until it is gone.  Many did not think it needed to go.  But everyone will share stories, say how much they miss it,  and enjoyed going to games there.

Taken May 17
DSC05085

Taken May 23
DSC05427

DSC05448

Taken June 10
DSC05621

DSC05626

Taken May 19
DSC05216

Taken May 20
DSC05272

DSC05284

Taken June 10
DSC05632

DSC05640

DSC05642

Fireman Ed Anzalone Lets His Hair Down & Talks His Passion

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Ed Anzalone.  Better know to football  and Jets fans as Fireman Ed.  Myself and Matt Nackson went to his house in Northern New Jersey.  Not going to say where he lives because he keeps a low profile in the area.  Ed was a great guy to sit down with from beginning to end.  Many fans have this preconceived perception of him being this crazy, unfriendly, rabid Jets fan who does whatever the Jets organization tells him to do.  I did not find that to be the case.  I went into this with no preconceived notions or thoughts.  I only met the man twice before so I could not have the opinions everyone else has about Ed.  He is just passionate about his team and it shows.

http://www.jetsinsider.com/images/anzalonesign.jpg

Ed grew up a casual fan in Queens, NY before meeting his wife and moving out to NJ.  There was a misconception he grew up as a Miami Dolphins fan before becoming a Jets fan.  He was never really a big football fan.  He was seen in a picture as a kid wearing a Dolphins sweater a relative brought back from Florida for him.  Ed playing football in high school but was a casual fan of the NFL.  An old schoolmate saw the picture and that was how it got started.  It was not until his older brother brought him to his first game in 1976 at Shea Stadium which ignited the spark that set off the New York Jets explosion in his heart.  Since that game, he has not looked back at becoming a true fan of the New York Jets.

Ed goes into depth about the famed “Jets chant”.  Myself like many others knew it was not started by Ed and Ed talks about the chant’s originators.  The chant was started at Shea before it was brought to Giants Stadium, Ed calls it the Meadowlands not giving any mention of the other New York team who plays there.  It was brought to the stadium by an officer and fireman.  I did not write the names down since it is all on a memory card.  Can’t even say “I got it on tape” anymore when you use a digital camera.  There needs to be a new saying.  “I have it stored” could become, who knows.  Anyway, back to the chant.  Once it was brought over from Shea it was done in the Upper Tier.  One on each side, answering the other after they chanted.  My father and I were in Section 226, it was to our upper right.

After a while one of the guys did not make it to too many games and it died off.  Ed thought it should have been kept going.  Ed says it started with a few in the lower section and just grew and grew.  He would just stand on the edge railing in Section 134 to get more attention until he almost fell off one game.  His legs kept him hanging before his brother suggested he get on his shoulders.  From there it just grew and grew.  Ed credits Chris Berman for giving him the “Fireman” nickname.  Chris was thinking of what to call him when a clip of Ed was on his game reviews.  Since I can not review the footage in front of me, I believe Chris did not know he was a fireman.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2701/4297620177_8d3fd85f78.jpg

Fireman Ed  is just another fan like everyone else.  He is just a more well know fan.  It could have been someone else in any section that could have done it, Ed just was more passionate and kept the chant going.  Ed talks about his relationship with the Jets.  Ed paid for a PSL like everyone else.  He will be in the end zone once the 2010 season gets underway.  Players and others have given out jerseys, invites to luncheons, and other Jets events.  Some good perks when you can get 40,000-60,000 screaming Jets fans to get their team fired up.  I would take the same stuff in that position.  Ed has been generous and given merchandise that was given to him to sick children.  He has visited children at certain tailgates and away from the stadium.  He said he has given away more that he can remember.

Ed was also not a fan of PSL’s, who is?  He saw the change coming years ago when fan’s were already being distracted by othr “entertainment” around them at the Meadowlands.  People on cell phone’s, wanting to throw a beach ball, checking out girls, and other distractions that take their attention away from the game.  Now the distractions are everywhere you turn pretty much is what I think.  Even Ed, who can be nice and take pictures, just wants to watch the game too.  If the play is 4th & 1, 3rd and 1, do not ask for a pictures then.  As much as he wants to take that picture, he wants to see the green and white push forward and get that first down.  That can be where some do not like him, just asking at the wrong times.  If you are there to take a picture and can not wait until a timeout or intermission, you may not be there to see the game.  I do not even go to the bathroom until halftime.

Thee is more about his talk on the West Side Stadium, the player, the organization, his Jets memories, and more.  If I gave everything away now, there would  be no need to put it in the documentary.  I may tell some more down the line if I can get some footage of Fireman Ed at a Jets event.  Will be going down to Trenton next weekend for the next NJ Revolutions game.  They are facing the Harrisburg Stampede.  Part of the Harrisburg team is owned by the owners and creators of the league.  See if I can get a little face time with them. Will have more on the NJ Revolution soon. To find out more go to NJRevs.com.

New Jersey Has Third Football Team, Starting A Revolution

I hope everyone is enjoying a great Memorial Day weekend. This has been one of the better weekends on record for great weather. My weekend started off pretty well as I took in my second indoor football game. I went back to Mennen Arena in Morristown, NJ to see the New Jersey Revolution take on the Erie Storm. I was there to record the game and behind the scenes as well. I want to show fans in the documentary that there are alternatives to the NFL out there. All you have to do is look and you might find some hard hitting football action in your own backyard.

I know some reading this will say the NFL is in their own backyard. But so are many indoor football teams with tickets 1/10th of the NFL price and the same kind of hard hitting action. You even get to see some guys that did play in the NFL. It can be a very hard hitting match up. But Saturday night, there was action on as well as off the field. The trash talking from the player before the game to the heated words between the coaches and the referees at the end of the game. Even between coaches after the game. Coaches from the NJ Revolution were not happy by some of the calls the referees made and they got thrown out at the end of the game.

The head coach, defensive line coach, and the special teams coach all got thrown out. The special teams coach, also part owner, tried to throw a referee out of the game. You know you are passionate about your team and the game when you even try to throw a referee out of a game. One of the NJ Revolutions coaches even got into it with one of the Erie Storms coach after the game. It got very heated and loud. Arguing over calls, players, and even no towels in the locker room and a doctor not present. There was an ambulance and EMT’s there so it was kind of a moot point. But Both sides calmed down after the team owners had a private talk. Everyone is just passionate about the game and their respective teams.

The fans are so close they can even interact with the players during the game. They don’t but it is nice to se the fans are able to get up close and personal. They even give you autographs on the spot. Never see that as NFL players are walking back to the locker room. It may be at the Mennen Arena and not some big outdoor stadium. But at least there are no parking issues, reasonable ticket prices, hard hitting football, cheerleaders, and an affordable night of football for the entire family.

That is the way it was meant to be. Not spend thousands on seats and overpriced food and beer. But for some, it is a luxury they can afford. That is what professional sports has become to many fans, a high priced luxury. Pro athletes seem more focused on salary, endorsements, bonuses, high priced toys, and getting their spot on SportsCenter. I know they do charity events, have foundations, and do contribute in ways to their community. But for once let it be about the game and the love of the game. Not for the love of what is in your contract.

Rob Tester, Coach Al, and Coach Chris really do care about the players on the NJ Revolution. They are building a team of dedicated athletes who not just have heart, but a desire to play because they just love to play the game. So does every coach in the AIFA. They all want to see their players and team be something for the fans that come out to see them every game. It may be football on a smaller, regional scale, but it is still football. Find a league or team in your area and just take in one game. See for yourself what indoor football is all about. You may not think it is the NFL, but it will give you respect for the guys that break their ass every week. Here are a few of my last pictures from Giants Stadium.

DSC05558

DSC05560

DSC05574

DSC05575

DSC05577

Giants Stadium Demolition Is No More…For Me

Well, it looks like I have pressed my luck at Giants Stadium. I went back today around 5 PM and I was certainly being watched. Had a Skanska employee come up to me in a car and said no more pictures. His supervisor said no more pictures are to be taken at all. I went to a different lot to take some pictures and the Supervisor came up on his ATV, snapped some pictures of my car and said “We warned you three times so I hope it was worth it” and drove off. So now they have my car and license plate on record. Looks like I am not going back to take any more pictures.

For the life of me I can not understand why they do not want pictures being taken. Do they want that much control, is it a safety issue, or do they plan on selling pictures and copies themselves. I guess I went there too often and took too many pictures of it. Who knows. I will not know the true reason. All know is I do not want to get fined or into any heavy trouble so I am not going back. Not worth the headache after today. Fans drive by everyday and stop by on the weekends to take pictures. If I want to find shots I will not be taking myself, I will be able to find them.

I never wanted to get into any trouble over this. Weeks ago a security guy even had me go to one of the security trailers to get permission. I was told as long as I stayed outside of the fence I was OK to take them. I guess they changed their mind once they saw how much was out there. Well, I have enough pictures. I just will not have the ones when it is completely gone. Do not want to have any State Police or NJSEA security coming up to me and holding me. I do not want to call my wife and tell her I need bail money. Not worth the hassle anymore

Update 11:00 PM

My wife thinks I obsess over certain things too much. That I rehash the same event over and over and does not understand why. Thee was just something bothering me about earlier. I know there is something more than “too many pictures on the internet”. Then it finally hit me. I have been thinking about a book or DVD that focuses on the stadium. It is more than that. More that just pictures. But parts of the stadium, goal posts, signs, locker room pieces, and the seats?
Too many pictures means not enough money on all the fallen Giants Stadium merchandise. They framed pictures of all sizes. Ones with autographs. The book about its history. Pictures that you could get from Steiner Sports along with your seat. They are cutting the rest with chainsaws. Some workers even took a few seats. One car dealership even purchased the goals posts. You can hear the commercials on WFAN talking about his new “40 foot erection”. With too many pictures on the internet no one will want to buy something they can do themselves. So what! Let the fans have just one thing and not have to pay to get it.
Does everything have to have a price tag on it? I know I will not get the truth. I do not have the credentials to go that far. But I would hope someone knows and is willing to share the info. Sometimes you have to look at a situation from all angles to gain every perspective. My mind just likes to see if there is more to what is on the surface. Guess I should have used my phone last time as the camera, then I would have blended in with everyone else. Seems those are the only pictures they allow taking. I was using a Sony so I was the obvious one. I just want to see the little guy win over big business for once.

Fans Not Allowed to Take Pictures of Giants Stadium

I was hoping to come on here finally and have some good news only. But, that is not going to happen tonight. Everything started over a week ago. I have gotten friendly with a certain group of workers over at Giants Stadium. Not going to say who as these guys have done me some wonderful favors. Not going to get them in trouble or lose work. They said to come back last week during a nice day. So I went back the day of the demolition, Wednesday May 19th. Little did I know what that day and the next two days had in store for me. Not to mention the rest of the Jets and Giants fans who take pictures.

I gt to the stadium in the early afternoon on Wednesday. I meet up with one of the workers who had some safety gear and a vest around. I put it on and was brought onto a section of the work area. From the view I had, I had a perfect shot into many areas one can not see from the parking lot. Even in the tunnel that goes under the stadium there is still a huge Jets helmet on the wall. Seats over-piled and hanging on for life. They are cutting them with chainsaws so they can not be sold or taken by anyone. Was able to snap some shots of Section 226, my old section. That was pretty much what I wanted. A final shot of what my seat looked like, even if it was not there.

DSC05175

I thought my day had ended. Around 4 PM I get a call from one of the workers. He tells me they are bringing down the Press Box at 8 PM. I get a second call from another worker around 7 PM. I head over with an associate around 7:15. I park close and was approached by some security. I was asked if I had credentials. I said I was freelance and I was asked to move by the Timex building. I looked at them like they were nuts. No way I was moving that far back. They said they had to keep bystanders at a safe distance. Those with credentials like Channel 4, 7, FOX, News 12 all had close positions. NBC was running late. They drove over a median and sped though the parking lot to get into position. Credentials are the free pass.

I ended up just driving to the back of the lot by the old Gate D. Other bystanders were by us. Many others were able to park close. They either did not get approached or were friends and family of crew. Even at this little function there was a separation of fans. I understand insurance issues since I was in insurance. The safety distance should have been in effect for all the people who did not have credentials, even if they were friends of people who worked there. Not sure about the story on that one. I managed to get some good video footage which you have seen already on this site. I waited for everyone to leave then approached the fallen box to get pictures. Asked once again for credentials and asked to leave. I made it a plan to go back early the next day.

I get there early Friday morning, around 9:30. I get some nice shots of what is left of the fallen press box. I finish off in the area by the old Gate B, next to the new stadium. I am approached by a construction foreman in a ATV. He tells me I can not do that. By that he means take pictures of the old stadium. Apparently, they do not want people coming and taking pictures of the old stadium coming down. Said the organizations feel there are too many pictures on the internet. Mentioned that if I was caught taking pictures or someone saw me I would be asked to leave immediately. I found this puzzling, then I left. Too many pictures on the internet? Once again, here comes control over what fans can and can not do.

They may have thought there would not be much of it out there. But now that there are pictures everywhere they want to halt fans from taking anymore pictures. Do they want to put a collection of it together for a DVD or book so they can make a buck off the fans once again? If there is too much on the internet, it makes that impossible. It is just a thought, but a good one. I decide to press my luck and I went back on Friday morning. I manage to snap a few quick shots. I tell two other fans who were there taking pictures as well what happened to me yesterday. They go their way and I headed for my car. The same foremen on the ATV sees me once again. I thought I would be in and out and not see him. He drives past me and then drives back around as I am in my car. Guess he did not see the other fans, just me because he warned me already. I headed off after seeing this.

They can not be there 24 hours a day. Was over there today and not much has changed since Thursday. The fans have a right to see it come down and take their pictures. If they do plan to put out a book or DVD and try to make fans pay for something they could have taken with their own cameras for free, shame on them. When will it be enough and just once give back to the fans and not charge them. Is the word “free” not allowed in big business? Or just like another four letter work that begins with F and should be kept silent?

It was not my intention to keep coming back and speak like this about a team I have loved since I was born. But the current management just keeps digging themselves deeper. I do not have to paint the New York Jets in a bad light regarding my documentary. They make their own press. I am just going to report truth and not cover anything up. I do not have to lie about anything. People read the press and are angry with them already. They really need some good damage control. I want them to win a Super Bowl. Just make sure you thank the fans first, even the ones who did not buy a PSL.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”LBProd” id=”72157624101777526″]

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”LBProd” id=”72157623977513685″]

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”LBProd” id=”72157624123741672″]

DSC05376

DSC05151

DSC05152

DSC05190

DSC05200

DSC05412

DSC05428

DSC05458