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Jets Tailgating Changes In Many Ways, But Still Fun

Sunday turned out to be a great day for a lot of people.  Before the Jets beat the Patriots 28-14, the Jet faithful were having a great day getting ready for the game.  Since it was a Sunday, people arrived faster and had enough time to get set up and tailgate the day away.  I like the 4 PM kick off time.  It may eat into the day a little, but it gives everyone good prep time to get there and have fun before the game.  Met some new fans out there.  Looking for first time tailgaters and season ticket holders.  So walking around seeing old and new faces makes this a season to witness.  In a way, it is the changing of the guard.  New era of football experience in the New York era.  Feel’s a little more like George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”.

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Was fun to meet some new fans and get opinions on what they paid for. This new parking structure you find both old and new faces.. We came across a lot of blacktop chef’s. Two different types with some mighty big rigs. One in Yellow Lot J and one in Green Lot F. The Lot J one were the guys form The Smoken Pit on Staten Island, NY. This was the first game for his pit. They had wings, burgers, dogs, brisket, ribs, nachos, and more. He does it with his friends and also rents it out. Sunday was a day to break it in for football. The other big grilling set up in Lot J come every couple games and just use it with friends and family. Form Long Island, the had sausage and peppers, steak, ribs, burgers, and a great day of food prepared. I will have pictures later in the week.

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Seems everyone we went to was warm and inviting. Many long time ticket holders eager to talk about past seasons and other stadiums they have been to. Everyone was joyous and and wanted to feed us. We must of shared at just about every tailgate we went to. That is what I love about the Jets fans. They are always willing to share their bounty. Everyone is proud of their set up and their food. It was an endless buffet that every fan contributed to. No one wanted the day to end.

One fan we did stop and talk to was Michael Finizio. He was a former Giants season ticket holder who just became a Jets season ticket holder. Complaining about how the Giants charged more for a PSL and tickets than the Jets did. That was his reason, lower prices with the Jets. Thought both the Mara’s and Tisch’s could stick it and felt Woody Johnson was more accommodating to his fans. Seems many have their opinion on each team’s decision to institute the PSL’s. Another Jets fan, who paid $75 to park his camper, thought they should get free electric for that price. He said they had to pay mroe while others who took up two parking spots should pay more than their $25.

In one of the Green lats we came across a limo driver whose limo gets rented for Jets and Giants tailgates. He has clients from Long Island who pay by the hour for him to sit there as they tailgate out of the back of his limo. They managed to save a piece of fillet Mignon for him. A couple of ladies from ESPN made the trek down from Bristol. One was a Jets fan and the other a Pats fan. Neither wanted to be seen with the other but still tailgated together. A lot of verbal jabs were made but it was all in good fun. No one got out of hand.

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The prices at Lobel’s/Weber grills was outrageous though. Seeing those prices and the ones inside the stadium made one ponder who are the games being catered to? What fans with what pickets are they looking to attract? I am going to let the price;s speak for themselves.

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There were some groups missing members. The Jets Pack who I have been visiting for the past two years was down a considerable amount. They have been setting up at games since 1967 and this has been their smallest turnout to date. The PSL’s forced many long time season ticket holder to opt out. Not many wanted to pay up and it left Robert Parrin and company with a smaller group than usual. What was about 40-50 is now down to less than a dozen. A lot of groups are down member from precious years. Many have said the experience is not the same but they come anyway. The Jets & Giants really do not know how much the PSL’s have hurt game day friendships.

That is one aspect I have noticed from talking to people, the loss of friends. Some only saw people at games, ones they met there and partied with. Others who are long time friends who planned the tailgates and arrived together. The younger the fans are the rowdier the tailgates are. You can see the difference in those who have been coming to game longer than those who are more recent season ticket holders. The set ups and demeanor of the people are so different. But everyone is there for the same reason, to see their team win. That is what brings everyone together.

Everyone was ecstatic with a win over the Patriots. The attitude of the fans before the game let the team know how much they wanted a Gang green win. The team knows when their fans are into the game. With the home crowd as the 12th man, there was no way the Jets would lose to Tom Brady and the Pats. Fans were letting others know how much they hated the Patriots. We even came across our second Revis Island. Fans are getting more creative and letting everyone know how much they care about their team. I will have more later in the week. Too much to cover in one post.

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Jets Fans Celebrate Season Opener & Filming Continues

Yesterday was the inaugural game for the New York Jets in their new home, the New Meadowlands Stadium.  It was a Monday Night Football game that ended in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens 10-9.  But before the game even started, many fans were still getting acclimated not just to the new stadium, but to the parking and tailgating as well.  With it being a Monday night game starting at 7 PM, it did not leave much time for those coming right from work.  Some were able to get the day off while others battled traffic and the incoming elements to get there in one piece.

The start started off great, the sun was out and had a ride schedule to get myself & my friends Paul and Sixto who were helping me film into the stadium.  Since I did not invest in a PSL or non PSL seats, there was no way I could park at the Meadowlands.  Bruce Speight from the New York Jets mentioned he might be able to get me a parking pass for $25 but that never happened.  So Sal & Carmine who run one of the best tailgates was to be our ride into the parking area.  Sal & Carmine have been “base camp” while filming the past few years.  They have been great and so have the guys who party with them.  But since Sal was taking a different route, we had to meet him close to the stadium and they picked us up as we made our way over.

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Sal                                                                          Carmine

Just trying to find the right sport to enter the parking at the stadium was not too easy, for the first time.  A lot of people were waiting on long lines just to get into the parking section they wanted.  Depending on the lot you wanted to get into depending on how long of a line you waited in.  We were headed into Yellow Lot J and the line was not too long.  Some people got into the lot a little early and were asked to leave, then come back.  One of Carmine’s friends made it into the lot.  They asked him to leave around 1:52 PM and to come back in when it opened, 8 minutes later.  Crazy.  The thought they were making it easier for everyone to park but people just felt waiting on the lines were stupid.

After we got ourselves set up we decided to get a lay of the new land.  Felt weird walking across the parking lot where the old Giants Stadium stood.  Was a strange feeling not seeing it there.  I saw it come down for weeks in front of my eyes.  Just hard to stand on the exact site where it stood and knowing the parking structure was now sinking into the lot.  A huge stadium was there just a few months ago.  And now, just a basic parking lot.  The Green parking where the Club and Suite PSL holders park is the site of where the stadium once stood.  I am sure many others feel strange about parking and tailgating on the site of the old stadium.

It seems Weber Grills and Lobel’s of New York have teamed up to give fans an option in tailgating.  If there are fans who do not want to bring the grill, food, or even a cooler to the tailgate, Weber & Lobel’s will do it for them.  Yes, one can either rent the equipment & buy the raw ingredients or have them cook it for you there.  That is, if you do not mind paying $18 for a steak sandwich.  It was very pricey, once again it shows the clientele they are catering to at the new stadium.   They had all kinds of cuts of meat and chefs who were ready to prepare them all for you.  They will offer these services every Jets and Giants home game.  Keep in mind their stand is set up between Lots F & G of the Green parking.

From there were toured around the new lots.  Not too many people were there yet.  Was somewhat empty in many lots until people got out of work.  We did however come across some people partying it up and did not care who was around.  There was the 40 foot tall inflatable gorilla one fan had purchased off Ken Pikowski that wore his Jets shirt.  One tailgate had their own Revis Island complete with Revis and Ravens jerseys.  But everyone still had opinions on the PSL’s.  Everyone did not like the fact they were used but felt if they wanted to see their team live, in person,  they had no other choice.  Some were even proud to pay to them and said those who didn’t were f’n morons who were stupid not to since they did.

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Paul, Sixto, and I went all the away across to yellow Lot D by Route 120 to visit a guy who had a Jets hearse with a casket in back with a Ray Lewis jersey.  Another one not proud to pay for the PSL’s but felt the need to as he wanted to keep coming to the stadium to see the Jets.  Seems many who have the cheapest PSL’s thought they did the least of all the PSL evil’s.  Seems not many are proud they have them, but still feel fortunate to have kept their tickets.  A confusing situation to some.  The sky was looking very ominous.  The clouds were dark and looking like they were about to open up very soon.

As we were walking back over to Sal & Carmines, I managed to get some words with some Baltimore Ravens fans.  They had to endure PSL’s back in the late 1990’s.  They instituted them not too long after the Carolina Panthers brought them into the NFL.  Seems if you wanted seats 3 rows back from the 50 yard line all one had to pay was $3,000 for a PSL.  Higher up in the mezzanine it was $750 a seat.  Now this was over 11 years ago but still a bargain.  They said for the prices they were asking there was not much of a complaint by the fans.  Even the ticket prices were low.  But the Ravens fans did feel the Jets and Giants prices were too high and felt sorry for the New York fans.  Some ravens fans even sold their PSL’s making a profit.  One who had two $2,500 PSL’s sold them off for $8,000 a piece not long after they won the Super Bowl.

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The closer we got to Sal and Carmine’s the closer rain was coming.  We got pulled over to some Jets fans burning a Ravens hat on their grill.  Some Ravens fans came over and thought it was cruel.  Come on.  That is how fans are.  Well, maybe after a few beers.  Before the rain started to fall we got some footage of a band playing at one of the tailgates.  Seems every year some group has a band playing.  We managed to get all the gear away just before the clouds opened up on us.  Lightening was coming down pretty close by so we got out of there as fast as we could.  Tailgating was cut short by at least an hour and 20 minutes.

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As we were walking out to our car parked on the other side of route 3, the lines getting into the stadium were jammed.  Seemed no matter what road you came in on there were long lines backed up at different points.  Those who came from work or any time after 5 PM had to wait in long lines as the rain poured down.  It was coming down heavy at times and I Know it is not a good feeling coming to a game in the rain, stuck in traffic , and you think you will be parking far.  But I guess with the new parking some felt that no matter how long they waited, they would have a close enough spot.  Unless you had to park over by the Izod Center and had to walk all the way over to the stadium.  Guess everyone learned to get there early from now on and try to avoid the lines.

Now that I know the parking lot sections better it will make it easier to find people I would like to go back and interview.  Plus, I will be finding out from others their input for the season.  I want to see if by the end of the year if the Jets are not living up to expectation, how people feel about their PSL purchases.  Will they think they invested in a team that did not live up to their expectations.  Will they stand by a team that is all hype and no bite.  Only time will tell.  One game down and seven to go.  Still plenty of time for the Jets to turn it around and give their fans something to cheer about. Read more

Xtra Point Football: NFL Draft Prospects: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame. A Jets Fit?

Morning all.  I came across this article this morning on Notre Dame Wide Receiver Golden Tate on Xtra Point Football.  Just from the name alone I had to stop and read the article.  After reading it, I agreed on a lot of points in the article on how this kid can fit into the Jets offense.  The Jets can really increase their threat down field and really turn it up. The Jets have missed opportunites in the past to have an all around solid offense.  They would have either a good QB, running game, or good wide receivers.  They finally have the running game and QB situations in place.  They are so close to having a great wide receiving core they can not miss out.  This is a key to going back to the AFC Championship game and maybe the Super Bowl.  If they can keep Thomas Jones and a three back core, then there is no stopping the Jets.  They need to same depth at WR.  Edwards can not do it on his own.  Dustin Keller had a great rookie year and Jericho Cotchery was hampered by injuries.  The potential is there and Golden Tate can be a golden fit.

Golden may only be 5’11”, but wasn’t Wayne Chrebet a short receiver who stunned many?  Someone able to get his hands on the ball and make yards after the pass.  Same thing as Tate.  Tate was also a great high school running back rushing for over 200 yards his Junior year.  I read a couple more scouting reports on Tate and he looks like a great fit.  But the founder of XPF Mike Cardano thinks otherwise.  He thinks they already have a solid WR line up.  I disagree.  They need a stellar tandem on both sides of the field.  Braylon Edwards is primed to be one of those men.  He has the potential to be a great receiver.  Tate has the speed and agility to throw off the defense and make key catches.  Mike Cardano believes they already have enough depth at WR.  Although Brad Smith can do QB in the Wilcat, he can not be a running back,.  This is where Tate can come in.  You throw his back experience into their versiion of the Wildcat then you give Brian Shottenheimer more options to throw off the opposing defense.

Here is the article and Mike Cardano’s response to Golden Tate being looked at by the Jets.

Written by MC3 Sports Media
Friday, 19 February 2010 07:40

godentateThe college football season is over; withdrawals, depression, misery. Before you slip into an apathetic stupor for eight months, remember that the NFL Draft is just around the corner! From now until April’s NFL Draft, I will be profiling some of the more interesting prospects. I can’t promise that I’ll get to your favorite player, but if you’d like to see a certain player profiled, shoot us an email and let us know.

What a freakin’ sweet name ‘Golden Tate‘ is. I wonder if his given name had anything to do with his Irish commitment back in 2007.

Critics’ biggest knock against Tate has been his ability, or lack thereof, to separate from defenders. Draft Overlord Mel Kiper concurs. According to the South Bend Tribune, Kiper notes, “He didn’t separate from the [cornerbacks] on the initial routes. But he was great after the catch in the open field, running with the football.”

Separation or not, he showed that he has a knack for adjusting to the ball and making the catch with defenders around. Tate was quarterback Jimmy Clausen’s go to guy in 2009, even before and after fellow star wide receiver Michael Floyd was out with injury. He had at least 5 receptions in every game in 2009 except for two-blowouts against Nevada and Washington State. In an overtime win against Washington, Tate blew up, catching 9 passes for 244 yard including a 77 yard reception and a 67 yard touchdown reception.

Like Clausen, Tate played on NBC his entire career and was subjected to the scrutiny that comes from playing at one of the most storied programs ever. He’s also familiar with the pro style offense used by Charlie Weis. These factors likely make Tate more NFL ready than his peers; consider it usually takes three seasons for wide receivers to mature to the NFL game and this will only improve his draft stock.

Tate’s height is the bane of his draft stock according to some analysts. He’s 5’11 and while he won’t be the shortest receiver in the pros, he certainly won’t be the tallest either. He’ll have to use his quickness to get off the line against physical NFL corners.

Among his attributes heading into the draft, and mentioned by Kiper in the quote above, is his ability to run after the catch. Tate is a former running back, rushing for over 2,000 yards as a junior in high school, and is an experienced return man. His strong legs, quickness and ability to make cuts will make him a nightmare in the open field even against the faster, more disciplined NFL defenses.

The South Bend Tribune article mentions Tate’s 40 time at the NFL Scouting Combine as important in deciding his eventual draft position. Kiper is quoted as saying, “To me, if he runs well, he could be a late-first-round pick. If he doesn’t, you’re talking about second or third round for Golden.” To some (I’m looking your way Al Davis), 40 times are everything. To others, they’re just measurements that don’t necessarily translate into production on the field.

He’ll likely be picked late in the first round-really the perfect spot to pick a receiver. It’s not that pro bowl caliber pass catchers haven’t gone in the top 10; it’s that so many busts and disappointments have gone so high. With wide receivers, talent sure plays out, but I’ll use the old credo that they depend on others to get them the ball.

The Jets are a popular choice to nab Tate in the latter part of the First Round. Questions surround whether Braylon Edwards will ever develop into the wide receiver the Jets hoped he would when they acquired him from Cleveland midseason. If he does wind up in New York, can you imagine the marketability a guy named Golden would bring in a city whose mayor dubbed Manhattan ‘Revis Island’ after their star cornerback? A billboard of Golden next to the Golden Arches in Times Square comes to mind.

XPF Founder and New York Jets fanatic Mike Cardano isn’t so sure.

“I actually don’t think the Jets will take a receiver that high. They are set with Jericho Cotchery as a possession receiver and I think that they think Braylon Edwards can be ‘the guy’, especially with a full year of training camp.  Something that often goes unnoticed/unmentioned is that Edwards is a fantastic blocker and that helps the Jets running game on the second level springing big runs.  If they can get him to kick the ‘dropping the ball thing’ just a bit, I think they are OK there.  I’m OK with Brad Smith as the 3rd guy and one of these days the speedster David Clowney will catch a 70 pass (not in pre-season but an actual game).  I wouldn’t be surprised if they picked up a veteran receiver, but I would be shocked if they drafted a receiver in the first three rounds.”

The Cowboys, picking two spots ahead of the Jets in the first round, may be in the market for a wide receiver to play alongside Miles Austin. Like Edwards, Roy Williams is largely considered a disappointment since coming to Dallas as Terrelle Owens‘ successor.

If he slips into the second round, there are some teams picking at the top of the round that could certainly use help in the passing game. – Danny Hobrock

Danny is a sports journalist who primarily covers college football and professional baseball. He is a contributor for several sports related blogs and is the former editor of a political and current events website.

  • For more player profiles and complete coverage of this Year’s NFL Draft, visit our NFL Draft Prospects Home Page with new profiles being added each week.

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New York Jets Pep Rally in Times Square

Morning Jets fans.  My friend and associate Anthony covered yesterday’s pep rally in Times Square to pump up the troops for the Jets battle against the Indianapolis colts in the AFC Title game.  Here are some videos from yesterday’s event.  I will not be able to to the rally at their training facility in Florham Park, NJ so once again Anthony will be there for both of us.  You can see mropictures on his website Quintano Media.

New York Jets Pep Rally in Times Square from Anthony Quintano on Vimeo.

New York Jets Pep Rally Times Square Part 2 – Gov. Paterson and Jason Derulo performance from Anthony Quintano on Vimeo.

I should have some pictures this weekend to go with a game preview.