Posts

2012 Season Preparation Begins For Jets & Their Fans

Over the past week, training camp began across the NFL.  The Jets reported to training camp with more questions than answers.  Even though the Jets will not be on Hard Knocks there is always enough drama and media following around Gang Green.  Just turn on SportsCenter.

From the release of information regarding locker room issues to the Mark Sanchez/Tim Tebow so called “QB controversy”, the cameras will keep rolling through Jets training camp.  Let’s face it, the Jets provide more drama than TNT.

The veterans need to let what happened months ago slide off their back and get down to business.  If Santonio Holmes, Mark Sanchez, and the other starters want to look ahead to the 2012 season, they need to forget about how the 2011 season ended.  The incoming rookies need to be led by the veterans example and act as a cohesive unit.

But as much prep work the Jets need to do, so do the fans.  Why should fans do prep work?  What could possibly be so important that fans need to do prep work for the 2012 season.

It’s called tailgating.

Majority of you are probably thinking all one has to do is pack food, beer, and a grill.  Then drive to the stadium, find a spot, set up and enjoy.

Sure, for the basic one timer this is a great idea.  But to the experienced season ticket holder who makes a day of tailgating, there are many steps taken for the quintessential tailgating experience.

Before MetLife Stadium & parking permits, one would be able to arrive as early as they wanted to.  At the old Giants Stadium, my wife Gina & I would get there as early as 7 AM before a 1 PM game.  A few others would arrive before us.  We made a day of it, breakfast and lunch before the game.  Everything packed the night before and finding a prime spot the next day.

The best part about arriving at least 6 hours before kickoff was that there were no employees at the entry gates.  One could drive to their stated parking destination and not pay $20.

I am 37 and I talk about 5 years ago as if I was referring to 1943.  Like technology, everything seems to be moving faster these days.

Some groups already established like L7 Tailgate, Dave Fier and the group at L5, and “Flagman” Frank Conway staked their clam the minute they were first allowed into the newly established MetLife lots.  They get there early enough to the same location to ensure there is room needed to support their tailgating experience for everyone involved.

MetLife Stadium is set up  according to your parking permit.  The more you pay for it according to its list price, the closer to the stadium you are.  This could play a factor in your tailgating.  The farther you are, the earlier you may have to end your tailgate.

This is why the Jets have preseason games, to work out the kinks before the season starts.  Same should go for those wanting the best tailgating experience during the season.

First off, not many die hard season ticket holders attend preseason games.  One could go and scout every location needed.  To go from colored lot to colored lot is not easy, but it can be done.  Attend one or two preseason games and you will find your prime spot for the season.

Here is a layout of the MetLife Stadium parking situation
Parking lot B was formerly a non PSL parking area.  In 2011, it was converted to yellow PSL parking.

By viewing the map, the areas that fill up first are the outlined black areas in each parking section.  Look at is as real estate while tailgating.  You can have a small plot to host a tailgate and not have to compete with drivers looking for a place to park.

Many campers, diesel trucks, and u-hauls tailgate on the “outer rim”(Star Wars reference).  “Flagman” Frank Conway has room to fly his 546 flags this way.  If there is a section of concrete or grass that can be occupied, those will go first.

Next to go are the parking lot lights with the lot location on it.  Hence the L7 Tailgate and Dave Fier with L5.  Get a bunch of friends to park side by side and in some cases, on the opposite side as well to have a central hub for tailgating.  Some of the guys at L5 have a fun and entertaining way to mock the opposing team each game day as someone drives through their tailgate.

Once the outside rim and the lot markers are gone it all spreads out from there.  The prime spots are usually gone in about an hour.  This is why many line up at least 1-2 hours before the gates are opened.  They know by waiting, even for that long, you can guarantee yourself a prime location.

Relax, one does not have to line up as early as fans did to watch Peyton Manning practice for the first time with the Denver Broncos.

Just keep in mind the larger your tailgate, the earlier you want to arrive to secure a spot that can hold not just all the people, but what everyone brings with them.  So act like Indiana Jones and choose wisely.

August is a great time to get those needed essentials for tailgating.  Many stores view August as the end of summer.  So many tailgating essentials for grilling or barbecuing will be available for a discount.  One can find coolers, utensils, charcoal towers, certain portable grills, and more for prices lower than some expect.  Stores would rather sell them for a deep discount than not sell them at all.

One item that is an essential for any tailgate is a pop up tent.  They come 10’x10′ standard and usually start around $95.  It comes it handier than an umbrella in rainy situations.  Keep your grill and food dry so your tailgate can continue in any weather.  Many put them over the back of their car so friends always have a dry place to stand.  Trust me, if it rains and you do not have one, you will wish you did.

Other items like chairs, tables, flags, inflatables, air horns, fire pits, flat screen TV’s, satellite dishes, couches, end tables, or whatever else makes your tailgate a memorable one is up to you.  I provide the basics.

Maybe a future article will focus on the more extravagant and stranger tailgates out there.  I have pictures on some and they will definitely make you laugh.

One could use the above guidelines for either the Jets or Giants home games.  The parking doesn’t change.  Only the fans tailgating.

NY Jets Fiscal Year Leaves Stockholders In Doubt Regarding Performance

New York Jets fans were not sure which Jets would be on the field against the Miami Dolphins on the first day of 2012 received a response to which we have seen time and time again..

The team which has a rich tradition of late season implosions, embarrassing answers, and never living up to their hype has returned to our amazement after two years of really lucky moments and 4th quarter rallies. Isn’t this the feeling we are all used to?

Jets stock holders are not used to this feeling yet.  They are not seeing a return on investment nor are they seeing a stock dividend of a playoff game.  Money put into a team that is not living up to their IPO.

The Jet season ended with complaining & self benching and another sub par quarterback performance, with only a one-point Titan victory over the Houston Texans keeping the Jets from having the glory of missing the playoffs by losing to a below .500 team while every other team with a chance was squandering their opportunity. The Jet brass has to somehow come to term with every fact presented. They put together a team that has not compared to the past two seasons in a year when there are fewer obstacles than ever to hurdle on the way to the Super Bowl. And isn’t that typical of the New York Jets, they not only squander their chances but keep their fans from getting the home playoff game they were promised.

The New York Jet faithful deserve to see a return on their investment.  With high prices come high demand to deliver.  An AFC title game appearance last year and taking control out of their own hands this year has not been looked favorably looked upon by season investors. Rex Ryan had everyone believe they were Super Bowl bound in the preseason.  If Rex was investing in futures and offered advice, everyone would have lost this season.

There will be plenty of time in the weeks to come for the blame game to start as to the downfalls during the Jets season. But in Game 17, the thorns were Santonio Holmes and, once again, Mark Sanchez. its beyond reproach to call out Brian Schottenheimer for Sanchez, who has not proven his high NFL Draft status since he first started as a professional..   The team has been corralling Sanchez long enough he can not fight out of situations he is unprepared for, it has finally crippled the team.

Younger fans and season ticket holders are not used to seeing their team implode like this.  They are used to seeing a team go to the playoffs, players step up to make last minute clutch plays for wins, and a coach who likes to show his bark is worse than his bite.  But these are the real Jets, the ones your father told you about.  They team they spend their hard earned money to see to be disappointed at the end of the season as well.

Holmes’ actions during the Dolphin game should not be overlooked, especially since he was designated as a Captain. But, frankly, his frustration is understandable. Remember, Holmes resume involves experience with a clutch, Super Bowl quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger…and he caused trouble there anyway. Here, he must be stunned to play on a team that was supposedly poised for a Super Bowl run under the field leadership of a completely clueless, inconsistent, less than professional standard QB in Sanchez. He’s right. In a game this important, how does he go completely ignored by the hack under center?

This team is unfortunately descending in the wrong direction once again. There should be a litany of changes this off-season, but nothing will effectively reverse another brewing Jet catastrophe.  The Jet fans have seen this and are accustomed to it.  The Jet investors do not want to hear promises from its board that can not be backed up.  If the Jets fans were true investors, imagine the leadership changes they would be able to vote on.

Every public company makes a push by the end of the year or their fiscal year.  The Jets did not do that this year.  They made no push to guarantee their stockholders a return going into the playoffs. With no dividend  paid this year, analysts might conclude there will be a repeat performance next year.  That is, unless management makes the right decisions and boosts the moral of their stockholders.  Only way to find out is to see who show up for kick off in 2012.

Jets Visit Ground Zero, 9/11 Opener Means More To All

In less than ten days the New York Jets will have their season and home opener in the newly named MetLife Stadium.  Rex Ryan is primed and ready to make another run towards the playoffs and the Jets first Super Bowl appearance in more than 40 years.

On a day where the team and its fans should be screaming from the roof tops may see it just a little quieter that Sunday.  Where some will be shouting with joy, others will be a little more somber for remembrance on the tenth anniversary of the September 11th tragedy.

The New York Jets took a visit to the World Trade Center site yesterday, showing their respect to the site and appreciation to the workers that are rebuilding the hallowed ground.  They visited the site after their annual luncheon at Ciprini on Wall Street to get a first-hand look at the rebuilding of a site where many lost their lives.

All players, coaches and front office visited the site, where they surprised workers during lunch.  A trip like this for the Jets should give enough motivation and fill them with pride that they will represent New York on September 11th.

“It was a great morale boost for the thousands of construction workers that are there around the clock and our police officers and security workers,” PA spokeswoman Jamie Loftus said.

Dustin Keller was quoted as saying “Everyone was just kinda in awe”.

Asked why the Jets took the team to Ground Zero, Keller said: “9/11 is a huge part of the history of New York City. We’re the New York Jets, and we should know our history.”  Several of Keller’s teammates Tweeted their experience after the visit on Twitter.

“It was really cool just to see — obviously, it’s been a while since 9/11 — the towers get back up,” tight end Dustin Keller said. “It’s hard to explain — so many people here lost family members or friends, or knew somebody. It’s kinda touching when you think about it, all the lives lost, and to get the building back up there … it’s awesome.

“Very humbling experience,” tweeted cornerback Antonio Cromartie. “Just walked out to see Ground Zero. A really heart felt experience God Bless everyone.”  Many of the Tweets reflected heart felt emotions by the team.

It shows how powerful a took Twitter can be.  Where one can express deep heart felt emotion and convey it instantly to thousands to feel for themselves.  The teams emotions could be felt not just by those who read their tweets, but to the workers and other staff on site.

“When you think about the fact that 3,000 people got up that morning and all they wanted to do was go to work — they weren’t doing anything reckless, they weren’t taking any chances — they just wanted to go to work and they lost their lives. When you think about that, it’s hard not be moved,” Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum said.

The quotes above come courtesy of Brian Costello & Steve Serby’s article in the NY Post.  The full article has more from the Jets and their visit to Ground Zero.  Reading it may me wish I was there to experience it with them.  I have seen the site before so I can understand their emotion in seeing it for the first time.

Sometimes the grimmest of tragedies and experiences make us hold our heads higher for the future.  Perhaps it is good that the Jets will be home on Sunday, September 11th.  After visiting the site, the workers, looking at photographs, and soaking it all into their hearts, perhaps they will play with a confidence and emotion they need to start the season.

The team must take pride in knowing they play for New York & New Jersey.  They represent fans of New York and New Jersey.  They represent those who not just bled green and white, but gave it all on that fateful day.  To the fans in memory who watch from above and have the best seats in the house.

The fans at the game and watching on tv will not just be cheering their team, but cheering with pride.  Remembering what that day means to all parties involved and to those family and friends each of us lost.  Ten years may have gone by, but to some, it still feels like yesterday.

As I walk around the tailgating faithful, I am sure I will feel a different vibe amongst everyone.  Many ready for the Jets to defeat the Cowboys, and others remembering the tragedies of that day.  It will be a home game like no other.  The feeling amongst fans will be a mixed bag.  Some may not know how to react, if they should be cheerful or not.  But all will be thankful they are together at a New York Jets game to share it with everyone.

So this September 11th, do not cheer just for your favorite team, remember those who lost their lives.  The Jets will take with them their visit to Ground Zero next Sunday.  Those emotions, thoughts, and feelings will be with them on the field, before the opening kick off and when the game is over.  Sports has an uncanny way of bringing us together through tragedy.  The past three years have seen many go through tragedy.  Maybe Sunday’s remembrance is what we need as Americans to bring us all together again.

New York Jets, Met Life Revel in Last Week’s Accomplishments

With MetLife purchasing the naming rights to New Meadowlands Stadium, the Jets got the first win in “The House That Snoopy Built” on Monday night, a 17-3 preseason win over the Giants.
Deemed the “MetLife Bowl,” the insurance company presented the Jets a trophy with Snoopy in leatherhead gear, holding a football in a Heisman pose.

Ryan grinned awkwardly, trying to look poised as he held a trophy for a preseason win.  It was a rare moment in the life of Rex Ryan. The Jets head coach didn’t know what to say.  Not too often Rex is at a loss for words.  Perhaps he is rehearsing in case he gets to hold the Lombardi trophy.  Then again, holding that trophy may not keep him quiet.

Now the Jets and Giants can take part in a Bowl, exclusive only to them, to battle for New York bragging rights.  The MetLife bowl sounds more suited for college than the NFL.  To some players, this could be the only bowl they get to play in.
This past Friday, players from the New York Giants and New York Jets rushed Manhattan’s Bryant Park in an unprecedented event that brought both teams together to celebrate MetLife Stadium with fans of all ages. The event was hosted by 1050 ESPN’s Mike Golic and numerous New York Jets and New York Giants were in attendance.

The New York Giants were represented by Head Coach Tom Coughlin with Eli Manning, Antrel Rolle, Brandon Jacobs, Chris Smee, Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks, Corey Webster, Aaron Ross, David Diehl, Kenny Phillips, Jason-Pierre-Paul, and Will Beatty.
|
New York Jets had as their contingent Head Coach Rex Ryan, with Mark Sanchez, Darrelle Revis, LaDainian Tomlinson, Nick Mangold, Shonn Greene, Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller, Bart Scott, D’Brickshaw Ferguson, Eric Smith, Sione Pouha, and David Harris

The event was held to commemorate the signing of a 25-year deal with the Jets and  Giants to name the East Rutherford, N.J. sports and entertainment complex. Game tickets and MetLife Stadium-branded hats, t-shirts and mini-footballs were distributed to the loyal and passionate fans who attended the event.  They did have green and blue shirts so fans from both sides felt equal.

The MetLife bowl was not just about a trophy, the Giants and Jets also battled for charity in their annual preseason game. The winning team received the MetLife Trophy as well as $40,000 for the charity of their choice, while the other team will be awarded $10,000. The Jets donated their share to The Trust for Public Land and the Giants donated their proceeds to KaBOOM!

“We had a great time bringing the fans and teams together in Bryant Park,” said Beth Hirschhorn, chief marketing officer of MetLife. “This is just one example of the exciting opportunities coming for fans in the months ahead, and we look forward to welcoming them at the new MetLife Stadium.”

At the event, New York and New Jersey fans interacted with active and retired Giants and Jets players and had multiple autograph opportunities. Vinny Testaverde, Wayne Chrebet, & oe Klecko were the veteran contingent for Gang Green.   Otis Anderson, Carl Banks, and Armani Toomer were there for the Giants.

Kids had a chance to participate in a “football handoff” from  Jets RB Shonn Greene or Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw, and had their very own Kids’ Zone where they could get close to players, have autographs signed and interact with the Peanuts gang.  It was a kids dream come true where there were no lines to wait on and all their favorite players around them. 

To those fans in attendance who could only stand by and watch the festivities, the players walked the perimeter and signed autographs for anyone who wanted.  The merchandise MetLife handed out proved to be great for capturing autographs.

Nick Mangold, who is a die hard fan of the fast casual chain Chipotle, was asked to comment on how great the food is.  His response was they already have enough positive attention and he did not need to add to it.

Through the naming rights sponsorship, MetLife plans to significantly expand the unique experiences available to fans, including tickets to big games, the opportunity to play on MetLife Stadium turf, face-to-face meetings with star players, field passes, trips to away games, signed memorabilia and much more.

Even though Monday nights win over the Giants was sloppy, it was a win.  Both teams will meet on December 24th during the regular season.  It will be a different story then.  No preseason bowl.  Just two teams looking to make a run at the playoffs and a true battle for New York supremacy.

If this past Monday night;s game is a precursor of how the teams will look this season, there is still a lot of work to be done.  With the regular season just 11 days away, both teams need to make big strides on both sides of the ball.  Even with MetLife on the new stadium, the Jets and Giants are in no ways insured they will be going to the Super Bowl.

New York Jets Fans Cope After Another Super Bowl

The past two weeks I have not been as excited for the Super Bowl I guess as I should be.  Even a fellow fan John Allen passed along the same comment.  He was thinking that for some reason his favorite team should be playing this past Sunday, but for some reason, they ended up losing to the Steelers in the AFC Championship game.

The Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV on Sunday night. Aaron Rodgers won his first Super Bowl and it is tough to believe he can’t win another.

The Steelers jumped out to a quick 24-0 lead over the New York Jets in the AFC Championship, but fell behind a quick 21-3 to the Packers on Sunday night. At the end of the night, Clay Matthews was throwing a WWE championship belt over Rodgers’ shoulder.  Ric Flair is taking credit for having the WWE send the belt to him, as told to ESPN,  to use if they won the Super Bowl.

How do us Jets fans feel now?

No one can really say what the result would have been on Sunday night had the Jets been playing in the Steelers’ place. Jet fans may feel like they definitely would have won the game, but again, we cannot say for sure. It’s hard not to feel disappointed these last few nights.  One never know what their team would do if they were never in that situation.

Credit: bettor.com

The Super Bowl was right there; it was in our grasp. The Canyon of Heroes was ready for the parade that should have been filled with streamers and fans jammed in to see Gang Green. Everything was going as planned, just for it all to come crashing down.

Just imagine: Rex Ryan could have been saying “I told you all we were going to do it, AND WE DID IT!” on that podium Sunday night standing next to owner Woody Johnson, GM Mike Tannenbaum and Mark Sanchez.

Bart Scott could have been having another postgame interview that would go viral on the Internet. “WORTH THE WAIT,” he could be yelling in Sal Paolantonio’s face.  Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery could be running all over Cowboys Stadium with their arms outstretched like airplanes while wearing their “New York Jets Super Bowl Champions” caps and t-shirts.

Credit: Gang Green Nation

Credit: Gang Green Nation

Nick Mangold and Dustin Keller could be racing to their cell phones to be the first Jets to tweet about the win.  Antonio Cromartie’s kids could be dogpiling him in the end zone.

Shaun Ellis would then join the team on the podium to get his fingerprints on his Lombardi Trophy and press his lips against its mirror-like surface.  He has waited long enough to get his hands on that trophy after being with the team the longest.

To me Super Bowl Sunday was just another day of football.  I did not put on my Jets jersey.  No Jets shirt or hat to be worn.  Not even my trusty Jets boxers I wore every Sunday the team played.  Two teams were playing that were not my team.

The Jets were deserving of a Super Bowl this season. Anyone who is not a Jets fan will instantly contest this, because everyone else HATES the Jets. I can’t blame them. The Jets have a bunch of big mouths and a coach who has no filter. But the fans take on the personality of the team, and I can safely say we had a lot more fun than many others did.  Even the Jet fans who are haters enjoyed themselves this season.

Gang Green fought through all the criticism this season. After a bunch of close games that should not have been close and after some bad losses, the Jets showed everyone who they really are in the playoffs.  It does not matter how you finish the season, it is how you finish in the playoffs.

They took down Peyton Manning after he made them look bad in last year’s postseason. They took down the Patriots who were already being crowned champions. They forgot to show up for the first half against the Steelers, but almost pulled off one of the greatest playoff comebacks in history.

I am not trying to take anything away from the Packers or the Steelers by saying this. Both were much more deserving of a championship after the way they have played in the playoffs. Just because the Jets were a worthy candidate does not mean other teams were any less deserving.

Credit: SportsNewscaster.com

Things get even harder knowing there might be a lockout on the horizon. Knowing that there is a possibility the Jets will not get a chance to play in the Super Bowl in 2012, nor will any other team, is a tough reality to face.

I could go on about this, but all football fans are feeling the same way about this except maybe Packers fans that have the privilege of enjoying a championship for two years if there is a strike, but I am sure even they would rather lose than not have football.

Knowing that we will all be at least a year older before the Jets get another shot at a Super Bowl run is a feeling that I have felt time and time again. I have always hated the offseason because of how long I have to wait for Week 1. I hate the offseason because of how long I have to wait for the AFC Championship. Again, no guarantees that they will make it again, but it’s tough to feel like the Jets would fall short again.

It seems as Jets fans we are always waiting.  Always waiting until next season hoping that will be the season the Jets win it all.  If there is no next season, we just have to wait longer.  Easier said than done.