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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
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Taken May 23
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Taken June 10
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Taken May 19
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Taken June 10
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Super Bowl in New Stadium, No Pictures of Old Stadium

Well, looks like the New York/New jersey area has finally nailed down the Super Bowl. I know I should be more excited than I am but I am not. I saw many Jets and Giants fans are ecstatic. It is great for the local economy to have an event of that magnitude in the NY/NJ tri-state area. It will help local businesses, restaurants, hotels, and give a boost to the local economy. But unless the Jets or Giants are the ones playing in the 2014 Super Bowl, then fans can only be happy they have the biggest game being played in New Jersey. If the Jets or Giants make it to the big game, then there will be a true reason to celebrate.

Plus will the Pro Bowl still be in the same city or will it be moved back to Hawaii? This is also one other thing to consider. Fans in the area can definitely take part in the Super Bowl week festivities and events that will be going on, that is a huge plus. But how many will actually attend the game? The ticket breakdown is split in so many ways. The Jets and Giants will get limited seats to pass around. Season ticket holders will be fighting over the seats in a lottery. Depending on how many are left after the host teams distribute them amongst sponsors, family, friends, and employees. So much can happen between now and 2014.

The Jets still have several thousand PSLs left to sell. I do not feel having the Super Bowl will change a lot of peoples minds about purchasing a PSL. If people did not have the money before they will not have it now. Maybe for some on the fence it will be the deciding factor. But thee will not be any big rush on it. I already spoke with some who will still not purchase a PSL. It will certainly help get a name on the stadium though. Any company would love to have their name on the stadium that plays host to the Super Bowl. With all the revenue the Super Bowl, naming rights, and other deals being made I am sure they will make enough to pay for the stadium. So the money being made from the PSLs will be total profit. Is that still fair to the fans?

I did not want this to be a rant on the Super Bowl coming to the area. Just wanted to play devil’s advocate and bring up both sides, good and bad. Between now and 2014 everyone will be posting articles, opinions, and facts about the dealings & events leading up to it. Is this a bigger story than BP in the Gulf? I guess to some they care more about seeing their team in a Super Bowl 4 years from now rather than seeing life survive in the Gulf of Mexico right now. But that is a story for another article.

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I do have my own concerns right now that revolve around the old stadium. Seems they do not want fans to come down to the old stadium and take any more pictures. This all started with me last week May 20th. I have touched on this on my own website as well. I was told by a Skanska supervisor that no more pictures are to be taken of the old stadium. He informed me that “there were too many pictures on the internet. If I was caught taking pictures I would be told to leave.” This puzzled me. Too many pictures on the internet? Once again, they exhibit control on what the public or fans can and can not do.

I thought i would go back to the stadium at the end of the day, thinking no one would really be there. The minute I got out of my car I was approached by a Skanska employee in his car. Staying out of sight until they saw me. he told me, according to his supervisor, no more pictures are to be taken of the old stadium. So before I leave the premises I see if I can snap a few on the other side by Gate D. The skanska supervisor approaches my car in his ATV and takes his own pictures of my car and license plate. He then says “We warned you a few times so I hope it was worth it” and drives off.

In the beginning I guess it was fine to have pictures out there for everyone to see. But now, it is no longer OK. I guess if there are too many pictures roaming around for free they will not be able to sell their own and make another buck off the football fans. One of the workers informed me there are a few cameras that are constantly on the old stadium. Plus, if you watch any news broadcast or footage now, they focus on the new stadium and never even pan to the old one. They want to sell the seats, goal posts, and anything they can to make a profit off the old stadium. They are even taking chainsaws to the remaining seats so no one can take them or sell them.

Just once I would like to see the fans who have supported these teams given just one free pass. Is it wrong people want to take pictures for themselves or is it taking away that much revenue? I do not think too many pictures on the internet will stop them from making the money they want to make off their own memorabilia. Do they even know how many fans have already taken seat backs at the last game that was there? Probably not. For once just be honest and not hide behind the typical corporate rhetoric. The more you drive your fans away with the little things, the less likely you will be to sell PSLs.

I usually like to tell everyone how the documentary is going or what has already transpired. But when the organization keep taking a step forward then two steps back, I have to say something. I am also covering the New jersey Revolution indoor football team. There are alternatives to the high cost NFL out there, you just have to find them. It may not be s high profile, but the action and intensity is still there. I still have hope for the Jets. Only time will tell if they do the right thing.

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Giants Stadium Security & A Revolution in Football?

The past week has been kind of a blur.  I mean a lot has happened and it all went by so fast.  Let me start with last Thursday.  I had the opportunity to have Matt Nackson work with me on an interview.  I met Matt through Twitter (@MattNack) as he is a recent film school graduate and wanted to help me in filming my documentary.  He had the opportunity to use his Cannon t2i as we interviewed Assemblyman Anthony Chiappone of Bayonne.  Assemblyman Chiappone is also running for Mayor of Bayonne.  The Assemblyman along with two other Assemblyman are sponsoring a bill before the NJ Legislature which is a “Personal Set Holder’s Bill of Rights”.  The Bill comes at a time when the teams are already willing to make deals and other concessions to fans.

Saturday night was my first time seeing an indoor football game.  I was at Mennen Arena in Morristown to see the New Jersey Revolution face the Reading Express.  I was there to film the game and the NJ Revolutions.  I acted as their “NFL Films” or “Hard Knocks” for the day.  I want to show there are alternatives to the NFL.  It may not be at the same peak level, but there are alternatives where the guys play just as hard.  Rob Tester who is GM and majority owner of the NJ Revs has bent over backwards to have me there.  I want to thank Rob and everyone at the Revs for their time and hospitality.  Rob, Coach Al, Coach Chris, the team, the Rev It Up Girls, all practice hard and give the crowd what they came to see,great football action & fun family entertainment.

For the first time I was filming a football event and had to cover the entire game from so many locations.  I stood in the stands, with the players, the opposing team, the cheerleaders, and anywhere else I thought I could get a prime shot.  My boom operator Sixto was right behind me as johnny on the spot and was a great help.  Covered them in the locker room meetings, practice, and the coaches reactions.  Ton of F bombs were dropped so I guess it will be rated R for language.  Definitely need a second cameraman there.  Too much to cover and could use some reverse angles the next game.  This is the still I am learning as I go, but it is fun learning.  Will be going back on May 29th so now I know what to look for.

I will have more about the NJ Revolution in future posts.  I see potential there.  A lot of the players have a ton of passion and heart.  A few of them can go to the UFL or a NFL tryout.  Past couple of days I went over the Giants Stadium.  Went to my usual spots and took pictures.  Sunday was a perfect day to go, Mother’s Day, no one was there.  Between today and yesterday a new section has been ripped into the side and part of the Spirals at Gate A are gone.  Most of the concrete from the inside has been removed to leave a shell to tear down.  Matt Nackson came with me after interviewing Assemblyman Chiappone last Thursday to take pictures.  Felt good to have someone along for the ride.

Had a security guard stop me over b y Gate A today.  HE recognized me from last Thursday and called one of the offices.  Told me to go to the security trailer to get permission to take pictures.  Even though I knew it was a waste of time I went as he was only doing his job.  A worker in the trailer he sent me too said not to worry.  Even the worker takes pictures inside and had no issues with me.  Different would we live in today.  But it is not like I am going to blow up the old stadium.  Already done.  Just a matter of time before the land is all one big parking lot.  Just another faded memory for some.

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Taken May 9
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Taken May 10
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Giants Stadium Demolition: Budweiser/NJ Lottery Get Free Advertising

What a week it has been over at Giants Stadium.  Seems every 4-5 days a major section comes down.  When I was there last week, the 2nd in the four spirals was to come down.  I was told it was going to be done either today or tomorrow.  I ask today about it and I was told it would be done once the stadium was down completely.  I think the Skanska guys know more than they let on.  I was then told by an associate at the NY Post that they signed forms not to talk about it to the press.  Well, since I am not the press I have been able to get small amounts of information.

As it turns out there are many crews working in so many areas.  A few guys got to NJ yesterday from Chicago to work on the old stadium.  The spirals from what I was told could come down anytime and plans change.  One of the workers informed me they mainly bring down the huge sections after 5 PM.  The wrecking ball drops through the sections where the seats were to get rid of the concrete.  They then knock it down inward into the old stadium.  They then clear it all just to do it again.  I am hoping to get shots of them tearing down sections or spirals.

Last Friday, the construction foreman told me he wished he could get me into the new stadium high enough to get some overhead shots.  He then told me to wait and see if he could get me closer but did not return.  I do the best I can given the parameters around the old stadium.  One of the crew that is working on the parking lots informed me that the seats from the stadium are being destroyed.  Seems only very few were saved for sale.  The rest were left in the stadium and either destroyed or dumped into garbage bins.  He let me know that they cut out sections shaped like a “V” in the back of each seat so no one could take a seat or sell it.  Not air if you ask me.

I was there for about two hours today.  Walking around and surrounded by cranes, dump trucks, wrecking balls, and other equipment I should have a hard hat for.  Seems many come by to take pictures, but I am the only one documentating its fall.  One of the crew asked if I wanted a rock.  I asked for a seat instead.  Didn’t get it, obviously.  These guys are working 12-14 hour days just to get this thing down.  Can tell some do not care about what info they talk about.  To them this is just another job.  Below are pictures taken over the past week.  You will be able to see the changes by the old Gate A that have happened.

The new stadium plays host to a soccer game this Friday night.  Kiosk workers and others were going through orientation and training tonight.  Also, more Jets fans were visiting to check their seats out.  Construction crews were finishing up away from the new stadium.  I did not get any shots when I went back over.  Camera issues.  But I will be back and hopefully get those shots.  Only so many places to stand and snap pictures anyway.  Not many good angles.

Thursday I will be sitting down with Bayonne Assemblyman Anthony Chiappone.  The Assemblyman and some colleagues are behind a Bill that would provide a PSL holder a “Bill of Rights”.  Hoping to give PSL holders more options than the team will allow.  After that, it is off to Mennen Arena in Morristown, NJ for the New Jersey Revolutions practice.  The New Jersey Revolution of the American Indoor Football Association (AIFA) will face the Reading Revolution on Saturday May, 8th at 7PM.  At least I will be getting some football footage for the documentary.

Funny note.  As I was headed to Giants Stadium today, 101.9 WRXP played John Cougar Meloncamp’s  “And The Walls, Came Tumbling Down”.

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Taken April 28

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May 3

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Giants Stadium: Visiting VIPs & the Crater

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The new Meadowlands Stadium sure has been busy.  The New York Jets have been letting PSL and non PSL buyers visit their seats.  Everyone is getting their first inside the new stadium completed.  Some same it during college lacrosse but many mroe have had their first glances.  I heard a story one non PSL buyer made a hasty decision and moved from the upper desk and invested in three PSL’s totaling $18,000.  He second guessed the decision and made some deals with friends on the seats.  That is what the Jets wee hoping for.  The chance some, if not many, would want to upgrade to better seats.  They need this right now since all PSLs and non PSL seats are not sold.  One has to wonder if all the new additions, rest areas, lounges, bar’s, etc will take away from people watching the game.  You may be able to say you were there, but would you rather say you were in your seat to see the big play or on TV in the lounge?

Many people have been saying they did not like Giants Stadium.  Saying how it was not the true home of the Jets and they did not like going there.  Well, if you do not like a place then do not go.  But then the argument that comes next is Giants Stadium is where the Jets play.  Well, you can not have it both ways.  Yes, it may not have been “their” home but it was the home for many great Jets moments, far and few in between.  I did not have the hate for it it appears many have.  I am one of the few I guess sad to see it go.  I grew up watching Jets games there so I will have a reason to miss it.  The new stadium may be a colossal conquest of riches but it will just not share the same place in me.  Sometimes a sport is just best watched with no distractions, just the game and the spectator.

I guess at some point I should embrace the new stadium, but it is hard for me to.  As long as I can still see into the old stadium it is hard for me to focus on the new one.  And that time is soon.  Between that and Xanadu it looks like a different area completely.  In some of the pictures, you can still see rows of seats falling over each other.  Resembles a condemed stadium that should have been torn down years ago.  But I guess many will have their way soon, out with the old and up with the new.  So for now, enjoy some pictures of what is left.
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Jets Woody Johnson is “Scooter” Johnson

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson with quarterback Mark Sanchez after the 2009 dra
By James Lang/US Presswire

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson has a reputation for being reclusive, but it turns out he’s out riding a scooter on the streets of New York on most business days. Johnson’s mode of transportation came to light in a lengthy interview with the New York Times. Said Johnson:

That’s how I go to work every day, when it’s not raining. It’s a kick scooter. Two wheels on the front, one on the back. It’s relatively safe. You only fall about, oh, what, every, maybe month and a half. I’d say it’s about a month and a half between spills. You wear gloves.

I don’t know if I get recognized. It’s such an easy way to go. I’m surprised people don’t do it. I can ride all the way to the East Village. It doesn’t take that long. You go on the sidewalk. You go on the street.

And I like this suggested innovation from Johnson:

I’m hoping to let the players come out of the tunnel without their helmets on. I’d like the fans to get to know the players. It’s hard to see a football player. When you look at his teeth, it looks like he’s missing teeth, when you look through the helmet. But yeah, when the fans get to know the players, they’ll be very impressed, as I am.

New York Jets Pep Rally at the Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park New Jersey

New York Jets Pep Rally Atlantic Health Training Center Florham Park New Jersey - Fans

Today was absolute madness. I arrived at the training center around 8:30am and already the fans were starting to line up. Im hurrying up to edit video of the event so here are some pictures for you guys to start off but keep checking back or follow me on twitter and I will notify you when the video of the pep rally is up. thank you all your fans for your kind words and support of my site. Please make sure you also visit http://www.levysbakeryproductions.com hes one of the most die hard jet fans I know and the Producer of all our content for the Jets.
New York Jets Pep Rally Atlantic Health Training Center Florham Park New Jersey - Fans

New York Jets Pep Rally Atlantic Health Training Center Florham Park New Jersey - Fans

New York Jets Pep Rally Atlantic Health Training Center Florham Park New Jersey - Fireman Ed

New York Jets Pep Rally Atlantic Health Training Center Florham Park New Jersey - Fans

New York Jets Pep Rally Atlantic Health Training Center Florham Park New Jersey - Fireman Ed

Jets vs Patriots – Sal and Carmine Tailgate

Well, today the New York Jets faced & DEFEATED the New England Patriots.  Yes, Tom Brady went down in defeat to the new Gang Green.  I had the chance to walk around the stadium grounds and get an idea of how tailgating has changes.  Some of the areas used last year have been built over and it seems less space is available.  Sal and Carmine though are right where they left off last year.  Feeding the masses while playing beer pong and playing poker.  One small fee gets you all the food and drink you can handle.  If you would like to tailgate with them, let me know and you can meet us all there.  Sal and Carmine’s tailgate have become “base camp” while Anthony & I roam the grounds.

I managed to get some footage and talk to some I had interviewed last year.  I found that some said one thing last year and this year it is a whole new story.  Some who said no to the PSL’s did end up getting them.  Some are in sections they did not think while others are sitting in the top of the bowl next to God.  I also came across some French Canadians who rented a bus and brought 40 or so fans down with them.  They were Jets fans and Patriots fans.  The ones shirtless below were some of the French Canadian Jets fans.  I also sat down and debated the Jets/Patriots game with guys form the website FanvsFan . Glad I won that one. They have an interesting site so check them out. In one of the videos Carmine gives his opinion of Tom Brady and a family member.  I this year did not predict Brady having an injury as I feel they will have enough problems over the season.  More to come next week when the Jets are home against the Titans.

IF you want to see more pics just visit this link http://public.fotki.com/GQquintano/jetspats-tg/jetspats/page2.html