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New Jersey Has Third Football Team, Starting A Revolution

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Taken May 11
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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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Taken April 30

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May 3

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May 4

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