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Who Do Sports Writer’s, Blogs, & Reporters Actually Write For?

A few weeks ago I talked with Bruce Speight from the Jets organization.  I told him I was going to be filming during tailgating again this year.  New stadium, new parking, and many fans will have new or old faces at their tailgates.  He asked me to send him an e mail stating what I wanted to do and when.  So I did that.  I call him back last week to follow up on the e mail, I left a message.  I did the same thing this week.  He called me back on Thursday telling me he did not open the e mail so to let him know what was in it.  Bruce tells me to send him something and he does not even bother to read it.  I guess I am that insignificant to them.  If I paid them, then I would be on their radar.

Maybe it is because I do not have the money to film or I am not giving them any money to film.  Seems I am a fly speck to them, insignificant.  That what I am doing with my documentary about Jets fans does not matter to them.  When you underestimate someone you let your guard down and anything can happen.  Maybe if I was HBO, Fox, ABC, Paramount, MGM, or a film company that has major money behind them then maybe they would take me seriously.  But instead, I feel like I am treated like what I am doing for their fans does not matter.

Plus I am not a writer like Rich Cimini, Manish Mehta, Jane McManus or anyone else from a major news publication.  Not even one of the Jets blogs who report only on the team and team happenings.  Seems majority of the Jets fan blogs write only positive articles about players & events.  Have yet to find one that truly gives opinions, positive and negative.  But since I report to myself, do my own editing and reporting why would they take someone like me serious.  I report on what is actually going on, no sugar coating it.

I do not play up to the organization just to get on their good side.  Maybe if I did, they would appreciate what I did more like the other blogs who do the “rah rah” stuff for them.   Maybe a small mention or paragraph about things is done, but no editorial or opinion piece about it all. I know of a few that do write for the Post, Times, and other news sources that do report on everything, good and bad.  Like the obstructed view of seats in the new stadium, the way fans have been treated by the organizations, and how PSLs were priced too high.  But those writers are not beat writers who do not cover the teams on a daily basis.

Maybe the ones who do cover it daily have an editor or boss does not want to create waves in the organization so they can keep getting access to the locker room and field.  If one makes too many waves, then no more access to players, the team, the field, or anything else closed to the general public.  Not good business for that paper, network or website.  Seems the teams make the rules on what to report about in some cases like interviews.

I just feel a lot of Jets blogs just cover the field and players.  Some will cover charity events and other activities the players take part in.  They should cover everything Jets, even the stuff that is not good that affects what happens off the field.  Do not see too many blogs or Jets beat writers focus on the stadium issues too much, or the PSL and ticket sales.  Do their readers feel that is not newsworthy?  The beat writers have to always beat the other out on team information and work hard at what they do.  Maybe information on off the field events could help.  Some Jets blogs come down on you hard if you go against their opinion.  They think you are not really a Jets fan if you do not think things their way.  Would like to see more blogs focus on everything Jets, not just Hard Knocks, the games, and what a player is doing off the field.

The only ones I see writing opinion pieces or editorials are ones who do not follow the Jets or write about them on a daily basis.  The ones who are not sports writers for major news sources or Jets beat writers for the NY Post, NY Times, ESPN, and other major news sources.  I read a great piece by Tom Dowd on SiLive.com about the new stadium, Jets, and Giants.  It is article’s like this I wish more had the urge to write.  He gives his honest opinion about the new stadium and others in the New York area.  Other New York area reporters talked about the new stadium, but many focus more on the pros than the cons.  He is some of what Tom had to say:

“The transformation of the New York sporting experience — also known as the exile of thousands of life-long, die-hard fans — is almost complete.

In two weeks, the Giants and Jets will play their first regular-season games at their new, $1.6 billion palace in the swamps of Jersey. The Yankees and Mets are in year two of their Shake Shacked, Hard Rocked monuments to excess. The renovation that will radically recreate Madison Square Garden — and likely its already oppressive ticket prices as well — has already begun…”

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The Giants practice at the new Meaadowlands Stadium during a June minicamp.

“And legions of fans deciding that a giant hi-def flat screen is a better deal than the prices on their old season tickets that have rocketed into the stratosphere.

This won’t hurt any franchise’s bottom line. Most of the tickets will still sell to somebody, and at a higher price than before.

It’s the final triumph of the free market and the end of shame in sports ownership.

Owners and commissioners still love their little sound bites, claiming their concern for the fans, but they only manage to set new marks for disingenuousness.

It’s an amazing ability to tell a lie that you know nobody will believe anyway.

Maybe they did think about the fans, just a little bit, once upon a time. Maybe there was a line, off in the distance, and beyond it lay excess that just seemed over the top. But that’s over.

What changed it? Try the explosion of the secondary ticket market on the Internet in the last decade.

On StubHub and Ebay and Craigslist, tickets were everywhere. People bought them, at prices far above face value. Sports owners — and concert promoters — saw this, and got angry. Because this was their product, and they weren’t getting a cut.

Now they knew, or so they thought, how much people were really willing to pay.

But they overreached. They confused the one-game-at-a-time high end ticket buyer with the faithful, steady season ticket holder. So the new buildings went up with their exclusive sponsored clubs and walled off premium seating areas.

It’s all very impressive, as long as your primary reason for going to a game has nothing to do with actually watching the game. Or if you’ve been dreaming of a $15 pastrami sandwich washed down by some fine spirits at the wine bar.”

“How much does the best seat in sports cost? Just $700 a seat each game — plus the personal seat license — although the alleged value lies in getting up out of that seat to mill around at the edge of the field behind the Jets bench, where the view tends to be obscured by 40 or so very large men. You could also wander underneath the stands to get a drink at the bar, grab a few shrimp cocktails from the buffet or pose at the lectern where Rex Ryan will deliver his postgame press conference in a glass-walled media room.

It turned out to be a harder sell than expected. The Yankees ended up cutting the prices of their most expensive tickets behind the plate – all the way down to $1,600 for one seat to a game.

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The Jets made the halfway sensible move of selling upper deck season tickets without a PSL, then watched fans flee field level when they couldn’t afford their old tickets. They cut some of their mid-level PSLs and ticket prices in half, but less than a month before their Monday night opener against the Ravens on Sept. 13, the Jets were still cold-calling upper level season ticket holders asking them to upgrade to lower level seats with PSLs attached that hadn’t been sold yet.

And if you went on Ticketmaster.com this week, you would have found that the New York Giants, only one of the toughest tickets in sports for decades, had single game tickets still available.

Of course, they would cost you $725.

For that kind of cash, I’ve got my eye on a nice 50-inch plasma screen.”

I could be wrong in my assumption, but you can find any post or article on the internet these days.  What I see is what I find.  And what I see is just news reporting on trades, training camp, players, and anything else team related.  Not too much Jets organization related.  They do a great job telling these news sources what to report about.  Guess that is why my documentary will cover everything, nothing held back about the stadium, ticket sales, PSL’s, or even the fans.  Stuff covered slightly by sports press I will go into more detail about.  I am not the liberal media & will not write just to make everyone happy, I write on what everyone sees & knows no matter how honest it is.

If i had the money, I know I would have more footage and coverage from the Jets.  But since I don’t, I am on the outside looking in.  If I was a Jets beat reporter, I would have better news and access to stories to add to the documentary.  But once again, I am on the outside looking in.  I may not have the right degree or work history to land myself a career in the media or broadcasting field.  But that does not mean I am not dedicated to what I am doing to get myself there.  I did not write for years on small papers or stations, have the right internship, or know the right people to get me a foot in the door with any employer.  But I do have the persistence, intelligence, and a fast learner to possibly help me get a foot in somewhere.  Filming this documentary and writing for my website and others has taught me a lot.

I will have more a little later about the Jets offering upper deck seats on a game y game basis.  Once again, Woody Johnson takes two steps back.  He did say they would not offer seats on a game by game basis.  Then again, he could say he meant PSL seats, not non PSL seats.  When you are privately held company, you can say whatever you want, no stockholders to answer to.  In this case, you have the fans to answer to.

Meadowlands Stadium Parking Lot Above Old Giants Stadium Sinking

OK, take this information for what it is worth.  I received some information from a worker/driver at the new Meadowlands Stadium & old Giants Stadium site that the parking lot above the old site is sinking.  Apparently, the materials used were not enough and it is slowly sinking down.  There is a plan to excavate it and redo the entire site after the 2010 season.  This can not be good for both teams.  This will cost more money that I am sure both teams did not want to lay out.

According to reports on both ConstructionEquipmentGuide.com and Ehrbar Inc.’s Advantage Magazine, this is what Gramercey, the firm in charge of the excavation and new lot, had said about the construction of the new lot:

“Safety is our utmost priority, followed by getting the job done on time and on budget,” said Vincent Parziale, president and CEO of Gramercy. “We hired extra employees, and we’re working two eight-hour shifts to ensure we stay on schedule.”

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Gramercy Group expects to finish the more than $10 million project in early August, leaving an area for a future parking lot for the new stadium where the old stadium once stood. Underneath that parking area will be thousands of yards of concrete that Gramercy recycles on site as part of the demolition process.

“There will be a hole where the field was, and that has to be backfilled with about 210,000 yards of material,” Parziale pointed out. “Some of that material comes from excavation of the new stadium. As that took place, we processed the material, screened it and stockpiled it. Also, a portion of the backfill will come from about 40,000 yards of concrete that comes from recycling almost 100 percent of the old building.

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“In all, we’re moving about 75 truckloads of steel and 100 loads of concrete out of the stadium area per day,” he added. “The steel is taken off site for recycling. The concrete is recycled in a staging area just outside the stadium and will be brought back later and used for parking lot base.”

Apparently, that base is now sinking into the hole.  The new parking lot was finished under the deadline which was rapidly approaching.  If they worked past the deadline, Gramercy would had to have paid some money back.  But since they finished before the deadline, I believe that they would be paid more.  All in all, it is a project that has to be done over.  The job was rushed and many knew that it was.  They pushed hard to get it ready in time for the coming season.  What does this mean for fans going forward?  Will parking prices go up?  Will other prices or fees go up as well?

I was just told this information today and informed not too many have this information.  I do not think this is something the organizations felt would ever happen.  Let alone have to be done over.  Seems the cost for the new stadium is going up because of this error on Gramercy’s part.  Who knows if any monies will be due back.  A lot of questions remain as more on this story develops.  Will parking be limited in that area as well.

I do not think this will be kept quiet for long.  I am sure others do know about the parking lot and plan on writing about it.  I guess it depends on your sources.  I have talked to different workers from different areas of the demolition project for months.  From drivers, to electricians, to excavators, to security, to even those who were supervising the demolition process.  Every time one of them told me information passed to them from the organizations and supervisors, majority of the time it was true.  I know those who worked for Skanska signed forms to not talk to the press.  I guess that did not go for anyone else who worked there.  The parking lot sinking is a major issue and one that needs to be addressed immediately.

I hope this is not a cost the fans will be paying for over the years.  I can see parking being increased.  Ticket prices going up little by little.  Beer going to $10.  Any little thing to pass the cost along to the fans who have already paid enough for PSL’s and tickets.  I hope the fans do not have to pay anything more than they are paying now.  Would not be fair to them.  This was the Meadowlands Stadiums fault and they should be the ones to clean up their own mess.

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Jets Hard Knocks Review & Giants One Up Jets

HBO Hard Knocks: Training Camp With The New York Jets week 2 has come and gone.  It showed the Jets still have a lot to do if they want to make a run for the Super Bowl this season.  I am not just talking about the loss to the New York Giants, but the work all the playing lines have in front of them.  Let’s go over this all one piece at a time, shall we?

Show opens with Bruce Springsteen singing a little diddy about New Jersey and the old Giants Stadium.  The one I had covered and was told to not come back to to take pictures.  I can see why.  They were using clips of it for Hard Knocks and wanted to make a dramatic impression with the images.  Well, I captured some of the same images they did.  Check the pictures & video below to the footage in Hard Knocks. You can read more about my coverage of the old stadium in previous posts.  It was a nice tribute to open the show.
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REx Ryan showing why he is one of the NFL’s top coaches and knows they are a little off but know they will get it.  The team will be on before the season begins.  Jets have cut two players so their replacements will have to get up to speed real fast.  Tim McKnight, better known as Nicky, is getting tested on the plays and routes.  He is a rookie running back off to a rough start.  He threw up on the field during mini camp and failed his conditioning test at rookie camp.  A stand out player in high school, he shows what made him a top recruit for USC and times he does not show the potential.  Joe has the potential to give the team more speed in the backfield.  He just needs mroe confidence in himself and his playing.

IS Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum always stuffing their face?  The more they show them sitting around the more I see them eating.  Maybe they should be in a conditioning program along with the players.  Mark Sanchez complaining about paying $.59 for ranch sauce is like Darelle Revis complaining he is only getting one million dollars this year.

Mark Brunell has the right experience to back up Mark Sanchize and give him the tips he needs to improve as starting QB.  Being one of the NFL’s top QB’s, it makes sense to have Brunell as a back up and pass along his experience.  At age 40, he has been around the league long enough to make Sanchez’s sophomore year a better one than having Clemens as his back up.  But Brunell is right, keeping his 18 year old daughter away from Mark Sanchez.  Nice to see a father that cares.

Brian Schottenheimer has a great role model in his father Marty.  A former head coach who can pass along the right knowledge and experience.   He may be on Sanchez’ case a lot, but it is for good reason.  It is that constant drilling that will make Mark make less mistakes.  Passing that experience from his father to Mark on top of Mark Brunell’s is something many QB’s do not get.  Even QB’s coach Matt Cavanaugh telling Mark to hold his head high and respond affirmatively to advice will make him a better player.

Once again, the Darelle Revis show takes place.  This time they announce a media blackout and keep all future information confidential.  Which they should have done from the beginning.  The media should focus on the team that is at training camp, not the ones holding out.  Kyle Wilson, rookie draft pick filling in Revis’ spot, is someone the media should be talking about.  He is at camp and doing what it takes to fill that spot and make the main roster.  Antonio Cromartie on the other end in his forth year is making sure no one forgets him or his seven kids.  Or is it six?  He is a true talent and needs to live up to that potential.  If he blows a tackle the way he blew one against the Jets in the playoffs the fans will not let him forget it.

You can tell Rex loves to coach.  He wants to be on that field no matter what.  No issues about being hands on and getting in the face of the players if he has to prove a point.  That is what all the Jets coaches do.  They are touch as nails, balls to the walls coaches who do what they have to do to make sure the players learn everything.  Even when reviewing film they know if they made a right or wrong decision.

Mike Tannenbaum asking rookie Tight End Jeff Cumberland what are the three things it takes to make the team lets the rookies know what they need to do.  That answer?  Special teams, special teams, special teams.  Special Teams coach MIke Westoff has survived cancer of his femur for the past 23 years.  He has used special shoes, braces, crutches and anything else he needed to walk.  He pretty much has a rebuilt leg with more metal in there than Wolverine.  It is that heart and dedication to his coaching that makes Mike Westoff an effective coach.  His resilience and determination is something those rookies can learn much from.  Special teams is filled with unknowns and rookies looking to make the team.  His job is to make them into solid football player worthy of wearing that Jets jersey.

Punter Steve Weatherford did something I thought was hysterical.  He bought 100 Shake Weights to give out to his team to help get them either motivated, in shape, or get them laughing.  If you shake it a certain way the players only need five minutes alone in their rooms to use it.  Maybe best used in private.  I heard it does wonders for certain muscle groups above the waist.  Seeing the players and coaches faces when using them was priceless.  I have wanted to use one myself.

Nick Mangold and Kris Jenkins are fantastic teammates.  Each one pushing the other further.  Taking it one step further so the other performs better when they are on the field against their opponents.  Jenkins is itching for the season to start after missing half of last season.  These guys are such forces on the field. I feel sorry for whoever the oppose on other teams.

Vernon Gholston moving to Defensive End is a last ditch effort to make a solid player out of him.  A bust since he was drafted two years ago, he hopes taking a pay cut will show the team he is serious about keeping his job.  Rex Ryan has faith in him and believe in his abilities.  He is playing well, but is well good enough?  Even being tested in a fight on the field showed that he does want to keep his place on the team.  Every Jets layer is stepping it up this year.

Good to see the team head to the movies to relax.  Now Rex may have taken a small popcorn with no butter, but did he grab a diet soda?  The world may never know.  If he did pig out then the title of the move says it all: Dinner For Schmucks.

John Connor is edging out veteran Tony Richardson in the Fullback spot in my opinion.  His showing in training camp and the Jets/Giants preseason game shows he wants to hurt people.  He loves throwing blocks and making opposing player lie on their backs.  Richardson is passing his knowledge and experience along, that may be his undoing in getting a starting spot on the roster.

I do not have to go into details about the Jets/Giants preseason game.  Everyone has done their reviews and saw the highlights.  Seeing Woody Johnson walk around the parking lot makes me laugh.  He is the owner of the team, not a fan and one of the true fans.  It is more about a PR session for him that knowing what the true fans are about.  Maybe if he sat in the upper deck, the non PSL seats for a whole season he might know what it is like to be one of the true fans of the Jets.  Everyone wants their picture with him, I got mine.  But I also asked him some touch questions.  If you see him walking around, confront him, he is fair game.

REx Ryan has every right to yell at the team.  They are a playoff caliber team.  The second and third string players need to show they want to make the team.  They need to step up their game and prove to the coaches they want it as bad as the high paying starters.  This is why there is a preseason, to make your impact.  Show the coaches you want that first team spot.  Make the tackles, the catches, the key blocks.  They still have some time to prove they are worth that spot.  I know they will do what they can.

OK, today the Giants announced they would put single game tickets on sale.  IN return, the Jets said they would not put single game seats on sale.  The Jets have under 1,000 PSL’s remaining from the 9,000 marked down seats.  This does not count other various seats still unsold throughout the stadium.  If the Jets do not sell out these seats by opening day, what will they do?  They have to sell them one way or another.  It will come down to the wire.  If Woody Johnson does announce single game seats, he will have to backtrack his steps as far back as Cleveland.

The Giants do what is right and it shows in their sales.  They have made wise decisions in their sales practices.  The Jets are still playing second fiddle, caring more about the bottom line than doing what is right to sell them off.  Maybe the fans would not be so upset if for once they listened now rather than later.  I was told by one high ranking official in the Jets organization that they can not please everyone and do what they can.  They are confident they will sell all of the PSL’s by opening day.  What if they don’t.  What will be their next decision.  The closer it gets to opening day, what will the right decision be?

The Monday Night Infomercial

So the Jets lost the first official NFL game in the New Meadowlands Stadium by a score of 31-16. Albeit it was a preseason game, but it was the game for New York bragging rights.  The New York Jets did show some promise.  Mark Sanchez was 13 for 17 with an interception & touchdown early in the first quarter.  LT and Shonn Greene ran the ball well and had both speed and yardage to get into the end zone.  Running behind rookie fullback  “The Terminator” John Connor helped create extra running yards as he opened up the lane and created many key blocks.  Al in all the Jets showed promise in their first preseason game.  They were able to show they can transfer what they learned in training camp into an actual game.  Now they can take a step forward and improve for their next outing.

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I believe the game took second chair to what was truly on the main stage tonight, the new Meadowlands Stadium.  Tonight’s Monday Night Football game was the first time a Jets and Giants preseason game was held on a Monday night.  Let alone any preseason game on a Monday night.  The team owners and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell probably talked months ago about how a Monday Night Football game would really show the new stadium in a way that could not be shown on a Friday night or Saturday.  Figuring having it on prime-time on ESPN would really make the place stand out to those who were on the fence about a PSL.  The camera shots not on the game and sideline made it feel more like an infomercial for the new stadium than a football game.

Coming back from commercial they showed the bars on the mezzanine and lower levels.  The Clubs around the Coaches Club area.  The Green rooms where certain PSL holders get their free food.  The Luxury suites with leather chairs and fireplaces.  Coaches Club VIP areas behind the teams bench.  I think the only thing they did not show was how spacious the bathroom stalls are.  To me it felt like an infomercial about the new stadium.  A way to showcase it to millions watching at home as if to say “don’t you wish you paid your money to be here?”  Even the commentators were going on about the new stadiums amenities.  Did everyone forget there was a game going on?  Of course they didn’t.  They want fans to spend time out and about away from their seats in the other areas of the stadium.  They already got their money for the PSLs and tickets, now it is time to spend it in other parts of the new stadium.

There will be those who will disagree with me and say how sports is a luxury.  Say how that is how it is these days and if you do not have the money then you can not experience the way a game was meant to be seen.  There are two sets of fans now.  Those who have and those who had.  The ones who had wish they could still be there, but do not want a PSL or sit so far up.  Those who have are excited, able to watch their team in a state of the art stadium.  But will it be worth the price in a few years?  Many view the PSL as stock and what will that stocks price be worth if the Jets become the Jets of old?  If the Jets do not win the Super Bowl or make the playoffs, how much will those PSLs be worth?  Now it seems like a great investment to many and many will hold onto them for life.  But to others, the not so die hard fans who have been there for years, how long will they want them?

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Many were very excited to be there tonight, win or lose.  Able to gawk at the new concession stands, bars, and other areas to shake your wallet at.  But in the end, everyone is there for the game.  To see two football teams play on the field.  If you are there to watch the game at one of the bars, VIP lounges, or any other screen away from your seat, what was the purpose in buying your seat?  Just to say you have season tickets?

I wish the New York Jets well this season.  I hope they can provide that elusive Super Bowl win they have wanted to give their fans for decades.  But unless they sign Darelle Revis, what will those odds be?  ESPN played one hell of an infomercial tonight.  Woody Johnson must be proud of his new county club.  I am sure the Jets and Giants sales representatives will be by their phones tomorrow hoping tonight’s prime time sales pitch did its job.

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.

Giants Stadium Demolition: Stairway To Heaven

I guess this is the last week to take pictures of the Giants Stadium demolition.  All that seems to be left are half the spirals and escalators from Gate C and little from Gate D.  I went over on Monday June 28th and today July 1st.  There was only one section remaining Monday in front of gate C.  Funny how my seats were right in that section too, Section 226.  As soon as you went up the Mezzanine escalators it was to the slight right.  Took the Section 226/227 entrance to get to Row 8, Seats 7 and 8.  Kind of a strange feeling knowing the section I was in was the last section to go.  Yes the seats and floors were taken out but the structure was there.

My father Gerald Levy passed in August of 2002.  He died at the age of 67 from complications related to smoking, emphysema. Eventually, an aortic aneurysm got him.  He may have done better if he was n better health.  That is why I hate to see people my age, kids, or anyone for that matter smoking.  I know what it can do to someone.  It may take pressure off, relax you, but it can also shorten your life.  If you are a mother or a father just know what you are doing to your kids.  May tell me to F off but I know first hand what smoking can do to someone.  I was my father’s caretaker in the end.  I did not live with him.  But I took him to the doctor’s, hospital, dealt with the doctor’s, his prescriptions, and more.  He carried a small oxygen tank with him towards the end.  He died two months after I was married.  He carried the oxygen tank with him as he and my mother Susan brought me down the aisle.

It is hard not to think about going to games at Giants Stadium without thinking about my father.  It has been close to eight years and it still feels like yesterday.  I do not think I am over his loss still.  I was not prepared for him to go yet.  I still have a lot of things I want to talk to him about.  As I write this I am fighting the urge to cry.  It pains me and makes me so upset to think of his death.  I was so not ready to let him go.  I miss him so much.  I may not get along with my mother all the time but I want her to be around for as long as possible.  I can’t fight the tears.  Even grown men have to cry now and then, it cleanses the soul.

So many of us have memories of going to any sporting events with our father, or mother depending on your situation.  My brother and I split games to go to with my dad every season.  We always fought over the Miami Dolphins game, New England Patriots was second.  When my brother Ean started driving then he and I would go to games.  When I wrestled as a kid in independent tournaments, it was my dad who drove me to them and did what he could coaching from the edge of the mat.  He may not have known very much, but it was that encouragement that made me want to keep entering them.  It was time like that that made our relationship special.  Going to the football games was the same really.  Talking about the players, hearing him try to coach all the way up in our section.  Every game I would get a new banner to put up on my wall.  Tried to collect all the teams.

I am dedicating my documentary to his memory.  Without him, the Jets would never have been the only team I have truly loved to watch.  Al Toon will always remain my all time favorite player.  Took me until high school to get his 88 jersey.  I always think of the games we went to.  Every time I have gone back to take pictures of Giants Stadium I think of him.  I know he would love every second of what I am doing now.  He would have been in the car with me several times when I was up and close.  He would have tried to talk to the Skanska guys if he was there to get me out of trouble.  He would have BS’d for me, he was good at that.  He would have taken the heat or anything else to get the situation resolved.  Then would would laugh about it in the car after we left.

I have a couple shirts from Belmar, NJ, where my dad was from.  I wore them a lot when I would go over to the stadium.  My mom is from Queen’s NY.  No shirts from there.  They met on Fire Island.  My brother and I have joked and said the bar must have been dark.  That is our family’s sense of humor.  When they were married, my father had both New York Jets and New York Rangers season tickets.  He was going to keep only one set and asked my mother which ones he should keep  He was trying to be fair.  My mother says she was a hockey fan and wanted the Rangers tickets.  He Kept the Jets tickets instead.  One decision I stand behind to this day.

Many of us had the parental figure or are that figure to someone we went to our early games with.  In football, the memories stand out if you are a season ticket holder .  There are only eight games, 10 with preseason.  Easier to remember specific memories to me.  Every game was an adventure.  We didn’t tailgate but there was the drive from Parsippany I can remember.  When an ADP was where Clifton Commons on Route 3 in Clifton is now was standing, traffic was always back to there.  I can recall a car of about five guys parking out from by these huge bushes.  The place was feet from Route 3.  All five in less than a minute were out of the car and self watering the bushes.  Hoses attached. We never laughed so hard and anything before.  My brother was there too, we went to the 1985 AFC Wild Card game against the Patriots that day.

My father was a great friend to me.  We had those father/son moments that I remember like they were yesterday.  I do have memories about my mother too.  One’s from summer camp, trips to NYC, Holidays, and countless other memorable moments.  But those football games was male bonding, a sacred ground to guys.  Guess when I saw a piece of the stadium come down each time more memories came back and got harder to see it go. Anyone can pick their own stadium that brings back memories for them.  My father and I shared Giants Stadium.  Seeing it go just just brings back memories of my dad.

Below are what remains of the old stadium.  Best angles I could get.  Glad I had the times I did with my dad there.  Made being a New York Jets fan that much better.  Something we shared for a long time.  With everything the team has gone through after he passed it would have made for great conversation.  Glad I have those memories to look back on.  Going to seem weird to not see anything of the old stadium remaining.  Have some great first time and last times memories there.  See if I get some in the new stadium.  Not looking forward to paying, even on Stub Hub.

June 28
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July1
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Giants Stadium Demolition: One Brick Left In The Wall

OK, so I am a Pink Floyd fan and  took a few liberties with the lyrics.  Thought going back one week later there would be more left standing.  I was wrong.  Seems they gutted it enough to the point to where they can drop it and clean it right up.  Only one section really remains.  A few pieces of the spirals as well.  They can not get it down fast enough to create more parking.  I am sure it is the parking meant for those with the high priced PSL’s.  This way they can park close, get in, and get out with little to no traffic.  With the Meadowlands Fair going on there will be many pictures taken by people of the remains and open hole that was left behind.

Still, seems strange to see it gone.  I know many could not wait for it to be wiped off the earth.  But I thought it was a great place to watch games.  I even saw the Cosmos play there.  Many have memories of non football related events there.  Concerts, soccer, USFL, MLS, World League, XFL, UFL, and many other failed attempts at football leagues.  Countless concerts by countless names.  They have a commemorative book out already about Giants Stadium.  It was put together by the Star Ledger.  I wonder if they included any pictures of the stadiums demise.

I have seen more items on Amazon and other websites that depict Giants Stadium as well as calling it Jets Stadium.  They will make their money on it.  I am sure whatever pictures and video that is on the internet will not restrict any sales.  Maybe if their heart was as big as their greed they would have sold more PSL’s by now.  I know some feel I am harsh and believe I think the organization does nothing good.  but they do.  They do their charitable events, donate to causes, and other good will PR events.  But the bottom line is profit and staying in business.  Every company/organization does charity work as it is good Public Relations and an even better write off.  Bottom line is they do not care if you have had tickets for one year or forty years.  As long as the seats are filled, that is all they care about.

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Click on the photos to see more in my Flickr album.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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