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Jets Need To Focus On Season, Not One Game

Sometimes, football seems so easy, right? Now that the NFL has resumed operations players, owners, coaches, fans, media, can all travel down that hard working path that is the NFL season..

The prime directive? To win the Super Bowl. Unless you are Rex Ryan, in which case the goal is apparently to stay on the front pages, be heard in the opening segments of SportsCenter, and beat the New England Patriots.

Ryan is one of the better coaches the NFL has to offer. The New York Jets, regardless of whether you like, love, hate, or despise them, are a very good football team. The short list of top Super Bowl contenders this season? Jets, Steelers, Patriots, Eagles, Packers. Until a few seasons ago the Jets were an afterthought.

It doesn’t matter what one thinks about Ryan and the Jets. They are a solid team. The Jets feature a successful young quarterback in Mark Sanchez, a big play receiver in Santonio Holmes, and a hard-hitting and well-coached defense, anchored by two of the leagues best cover corners in Darrell Revis and Antonio Cromartie.

The last two AFC title games have featured the Jets and the last three seasons, they’ve gone 9-7, 9-7, and 10-6. The Jets are no doubt a serious contender, able to beat any opponent any week of the season.  But with a shortened training camp due to the lockout, these guys need to get ready & work as a team faster to make the same run they have been making.

There’s a problem though — the New England Patriots. This is where it gets strange because when another team is a problem it’s usually because they can’t be beat.  And Rex loves to find ways to focus his time, energy, and mouth on the Patriots.

Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots shakes hands with Rex Ryan of the New York on November 22, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots won 31-14. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

For years, the Boston Red Sox had a two-headed monster that they were fighting: an inability to win a World Series and a New York rival that always seemed to have their number. In 2004 they cut off both heads, beating the Yankees in the ALCS and then sweeping St. Louis in the World Series.

The Jets already know how to beat New England. Last season the Jets took two of three from the Pats including a demoralizing defeat handed to the Pats in Foxboro in the playoffs. The Patriots should be in the rearview mirror for the Jets now, it’s all about the Super Bowl right?

Wrong, Rex Ryan has an odd obsession with New England and he just can’t stop talking about them. Every press conference seems to be punctuated with a bitter speech about how much better the Jets are than the Patriots. Last year in the run-up to a divisional playoff game in New England, he declared the game the most important game in Jets history.  Wouldn’t that be Super Bowl III?

The Jets won 28-21 and it wasn’t really that close. The problem, of course, is that the Jets followed up that win with a stinker in the AFC title game, losing to the Steelers after falling behind 24-3 in the first half.  They left their blood, sweat, and tears in Foxboro and played with their heart at Heinz Field.  But heart was not enough.

It’s probably hard for a team to show up and play as if their season is on the line when they’ve just won the biggest game in team history. The goal is the Super Bowl and the problem with Ryan’s irrational and constant obsession with the Patriots is that the Jets will never be awarded a Super Bowl ring for beating New England.

In a recent press conference, Ryan continued his infinite stream of New England comedy.

“I think we have to find somebody out there to beat New England besides us, I think that would help,” Ryan said. “Anybody out there that wants to sign up for it? Are you good enough as a team to beat the New England Patriots? Forget about us, are you good enough to go out and beat the New England Patriots? I’m challenging the league.”

Rex Ryan has two signature traits. One is running his mouth, and the other is fielding very good football teams. One used to be his time for shutting down a buffet.  At some point one of those traits may begin to take away form the other. Everything Ryan says at this point is something he’s said already in some form.  He is going into more reruns than Sinfeld.

Two weeks ago, Ryan claimed the Jets team he has for the upcoming 2011 season is his best team ever. Something he’s claimed in each of the last two seasons, just like he’s claimed they would win the Super Bowl.  How can one make that claim when all the players had yet to be signed or known?  This 2011 team has yet to play in a game together for Rex to determine if they are better than last year.  But that is Rex Ryan.

Sean Ellis recently signed with the Patriots after being dropped by Gang Green.  That move did not sit too well with Rex.  It just added more fuel to an ever burning bonfire.  Ellis is determined to let the Jets know how wrong the move was on their part.

Confidence is nice. Showing your team that you believe in them is good too. Eventually, those words become somewhat meaningless if there’s no follow through.

Stop worrying about New England, the rest of the league, and stop telling everyone how good you are and how good your team is Rex. Show a better poker face instead of letting your ego write checks your butt can’t cash.  If you want people to believe you, you don’t need to say anything; you just need to win.

Players & Fans Wait Together On End To NFL Lockout

When sports crown a new NBA champion & NHL Stanley Cup winner, it begins the summer sports lull that is usually filled by the start of NFL mini-camps and the start of training camp.  A buzz normally fills the air on what teams are looking good in training camp, even before the preseason opener.

This year is different. This year we are being submitted to endless baseball highlights & whatever else ESPN can show during SportsCenter due to continued arguing over a billion dollar industry.  A summer that should be filled with players and teams preparing for gridiron battle.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has reduced his pay to $1 for the duration of the lockout. With each passing day not being paid, players miss out on crucial practices and playing tim. However, fans have it much worse: they are stuck at home with no hope of a Super Bowl come January. Stuck with Packers fans bragging about their epic title run.  Stuck talking about a season that may never come.

Goodell says that the lockout isn’t just to benefit players and owners though; fans will benefit as well.  Fans never benefit when players and owners talk about what money they are owed.

Fans wait to make certain decisions before the season starts.  What single games do they want to purchase, what away games to attend, what to buy in preparation for tailgating, when to buy that new HDTV, and other decisions usually made before football begins.

Certain fans have already given up their season tickets.  Some have had it with riisng ticket prices and others just feel the lockout was the last straw in seeing how little the fans mean to the NFL.  Some Jets fans have not just given up their seats, but trying to sell their PSL’s as well.

“That’s why we are trying to get a better economic model” Goodell told reporters last week. “And I think everyone understands that. You (the fans) are not being left out of the equation. The fans are a big part of that equation and a big part of the success of NFL football.”  He sees costs being passed down to the fan that would be prevented with a better business model.  Costs are already too high so any economic change for the fan is good.

Free agency is a critical time for teams to acquire new players to help supplement their squad. The big signings that occur every year and change the landscape of the NFL excite fans for the coming season. This is when we can stop talking about the Super Bowl champion and have a reason to feel that this year is different.

Last year former Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers was probably the biggest name amongst free-agent signees. Peppers went on to be a contributor for the Chicago Bears with 8 sacks against constant double teams. Bears fans were sure they were on the right path to win the big game.

Kenny Britt awaiting judges decision. Credit: NJ.com

This year it’s supposed to be whatever team can land Nnamdi Asomugha, a cornerback who has proven that he can shut down half the field. Unfortunately, he won’t find a home until the lockout finally comes to an end.  Same goes with the NFL rookies.  Drafted by their new organizaton, they can not be signed or talked to.

Our favorite players are also getting into trouble because they have too much time on their hands.  Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt was charged with resisting arrest and tampering with evidence this week when he crushed a joint as police approached him.  The police didn’t find any drugs on him, but this is likely a situation that would have been avoided if players were focused on the season.

Now the Titans are entering the season with a diminished receiving group and are likely facing another sub-par year.  Less time to work with coaches, less time to improve.

Former Giants and Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress just got out of jail but can’t sign with a team because of the lockout.  The best he can do is workout and practice with others so he can get into some kind of playing shape.

Formerly a dynamic game changing receiver and Super Bowl hero, Burress will enthuse the fans of whatever team he goes to – if and when he does actually get signed.

I hope Goodell is sincere that the resulting post-lockout business model reduces costs that are being passed down to fans. We are the reason the league is so successful, and the more of the league year us fans lose to the lockout the more interested we will become in things not related to the NFL.  Goodell should learn from what happened to MLB and the NHL.

Week In Review

Good morning one and all.  Glad some of you decided to come back and check things out.  Thank you.  The past week has been a crazy one on so many fronts.  I heard back from the New York Jets, saw Dorney Park for the first time in well over 15 years, and Gina and I went to the mecca of hunting and fishing that is Cabela’s.  Plus not to mention my own thoughts and outlook on things that are going on.  Just glad Brett favre has given up on coming back.  If Brett really needs that much attention, I am sure some TV station could use a former QB as a football analyst..

OK, let us begin with Bruce Speight and the New York Jets. I am home from work last Friday and Gina and I are cooking on the grill.  I get a call about 6:30 from Bruce saying that have no issue with me filming at the Meadowlands at no cost.  That is right, they have ZERO issues with me filming at Giants Stadoum and not having to pay fees to the NJSEA.  I know the NJSEA is out to make a profit, they are a profit business.  But I am NOT out to hurt the NY Jets like they think.  I am a storyteller looking to tel the stories of NT Jets fans.

I am also going to report on the truths that have been in the press the past year about the NY Jets.  I am not going to turn any information around or take peoples information and put it into a light that will make the Jets look bad though the power of editing like many do.  People can find a lot of the information I have on their own, the truth has been out there a while on everything.  From waiting until the NY Giants announce their PSL rates all the way up until the Jets calling season ticket holders 2-3 times to try and sell their PSL’s.  All I do is sit back and the powers that be write my material for me.  I am just the one filming it all and reporting it.  I am not CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, ESPN, MSNBC, etc.  I do not have to air only 45 seconds of a 45 minute minute interview.  I can report it all.

OK, I will be coming back to the NY Jets and the rest soon.  On Sunday, Gina and I went to Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom for 2 days.  Was a nice ride out.  But first we went to Cabela’s in Hamburg, PA.    The largest mail-order, retail and Internet outdoor outfitter in the world.  I will have some footage up this weekend.  Gina and I decided to go after seeing the place on the Travel Channel.  When you see this place from Rte 78, you have no clue what it can be.  The place is HUGE.  Huge may not be the right word for a store that is 250,000 sq ft in size.  From live bait & an aquarium to beef jerky & a militia arsenal they have it all for anything outdoors.  In the middle of the store they have a mountain that has a different face on every side.  One side had ice and polar bears, one had deer and bears, and there were 2-3 other sides.  A bunch of different animals stuffed all over the place in many different scenes.  The food there was great too.  Yes it is a roadside stop oof sorts and you can eat there as well.  We enjoyed a lunch of homemade fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, green beans, salad, and biscuits. Go to  www.cabelas.com for more information.  Leave comments if you like what you se.

On Monday we ent to Dorney Park and walked around Wildwater Kingdom.  A big bonus was having a Dunkin Donuts right across the street from our HoJo.  When I say across the street, I MEAN across the street.  We could open our curtain and see the front door staring us in the face.  How can we not enjoy their coffee and latte’s on a daily and nightly basis.  Now, I remember Dorney as a place that had some great roller coasters.  They were supposed to have some great wooden ones, but didn’t.  They had the Talon, Hydra, Possessed, & Steel Force.  I am not talking about the Thunderhawk because it was not in the same category of roller coasters as the others.  Hydra and Talon are their “big ones” designed to give you that big league roller coaster rush.  I did not get that feeling.  I thought they were good, but not great.  Possessed was like a boomerang and only thought the initial take off was the best part.  Steel Force was the best one, built with steel but the feel of an old wooden coaster.  The best of the lot.  Talon and Hydra may have loops, twists, and you hang beneath the track but Steel Force had the dips and speed for a true coaster enthusiast .

I went on very few rides like Enterprise and a a sky shooter ride but that was it.  We walked around the park most of the time.  Just felt Dorney Park is more for kids and teens than it is for adults.  Over the years I think it has moved from adult tastes.  Cedar Point is hurting and they need to find a way to get adults interested again.  The highlight was lunch at their Game Time Sports bar restaurant.  Was enjoying lunch in air conditioning and enjoying SportsCenter too.  How can you beat that?  Could of had a beer but not for the price of a 6 pack.  Did not do Waldater Kingdom as their were hundreds of day camp kids there and they made lines hard for some rides.  We got on every coaster we wanted to before noon.  Dorney Park opened at 10 AM and we were right down the street from the poark, big bonus.  I would go back to Dorney with kids so it is a more enjoyable experience.  If I want to go to a park for adult riders, I will go to Hersheypark or Great Adventure for the close parks.

I will give Dorney Park their due though as they have a very clean park.  It was kept very neat and clean.  It was a pleasure being in a park that toook care of itself.  Some good shops to walk in too.  They have Snoopy Country for the little ones which was fun to walk around.  DO not get me wrong, I am not saying Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom is a bad amusement park, just not for adult park enthusiasts.  So now Gina and I are home and getting ready for a few days along the beach on Long Beach Island.  Not going to have internet so a bunch of updates to come this weekend.  Can follow my updates on Twitter as that will be my only chance to get info out to all.

Well, time to get a move on.  Gina is waiting for me to get my ass in gear and finish what we need to do. Will have more on the above topics this weekend.  Time to start part two of this vacation.  Hope it does not rain down the shore as much as it has been the past week.  That will put a true damper on the rest of the week.  But I am remainging positive.  Later al.