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Jets Fans Enjoy Better Food Before The Game Than During

Here we are less than a week away until the Jets open up the 2010 season in their new home.  They face the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football as the first game of a double header at 7 PM.  Every Jets fan is on pins and needles to see Gang Green for the first time in a regular season game in the new Meadowlands Stadium.  While some will be watching from home for the first time, opting out of returning as a season ticket holder.  Monday begins a new era for everyone.  Some even are season ticket holders for the first time.  It will be an interesting first season in the new stadium for Jets and Giants fans alike.

I have a few things I would like to go over so this will cover a different topics.  Do not have the time to write 2-3 articles with Rosh Hashanah beginning tonight for my Hebrews and Shebrews.  Have dinner with family tomorrow and not sure about Friday.  So I will sum up a few things here tonight.  Things from the food at the new stadium to filming during tailgating to people I have interviewed in the past.

Ryan Sutton, the food critic for Bloomberg NY, recently reviewed the food at the new Meadowlands Stadium.  His article, New Meadowlands Has Horrible Edibles; Go With Deli, goes in depeth not just about the food, but about the stadium, drinks, and sight-lines from the Coaches Club section.   He talks about how expensive anything to drink there is.   $12 cocktails, $18 rum and cokes, $4.75 bottles of water are just crazy prices.  One does not even get the cap to the water as they worry fans would toss them at players.  Even one of the lounges is named after Captain Morgan.  Wonder how much sponsorship dollars that brought in.

Here are some of Ryan’s quotes about the food:

“The pizza’s free but so bad I almost yearned for a Domino’s slice. Miserable Manhattans, poured into a plastic cup with neither shaking nor stirring still help you forget about the turnpike-quality concessions and pricing on par with tuition at New York University.”

“Food is included in the Coaches Club ticket price; the David Rockwell-designed buffet dished out overcooked penne a la vodka, rubbery kosher chicken nuggets and mushy cannoli. There are medium-rare skirt steaks, succulent beef tenderloins, juicy stuffed turkey and spicy chili.”

Meats

Grilled filet mignon, turkey roulade and honey-glazed pit ham at New Meadowlands stadium. It’s the same type of fare one might find in any hotel buffet, anywhere in the country. Photographer: Ryan Sutton/Bloomberg

“The fare at best is generic and utterly boring. The opposite is true at our other new stadiums: At Citi Field for example, Mets fans can snack on New York’s best local fast food, including burgers from Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack, crispy fries from Box Frites, great tacos at El Verano Taqueria and David Pasternack’s fresh, meaty lobster rolls.”

“The Coaches Club, in contrast, embarrasses our country’s culinary capital with retrograde, flavorless Tex-Mex chicken tortillas, tuna fish-like lobster rolls and soggy fries. A “custom grind” Brooklyn Burger from the Mezzanine Club tastes nothing like the good sliders I’ve had in Kings County. Other sports complexes hire well-known regional chefs and restaurateurs; the Meadowlands picked the mass-market Food Network to provide $11 short rib hot dogs.”

“instead, have the deep-fried franks for $6.00. Or gorge on the least crowded and most authentic vendors in the general concessions area — the bridge-and-tunnel Italian deli stands.”

Coaches Club

Fans stand behind the Giants bench at the Coaches Club private on-field patio. Personal seat licenses cost $20,000 each for the club. Photographer: Ryan Sutton/Bloomberg

Ryan is right on the ball.  Other stadiums across the country put more into the food served, even into the vendors brought in.  They go with local far and local vendors to run their own stands.  The Meadowlands still dishes out the same pre made slop.  Seems they put more into the building that what goes into the food.  I have watched specials on Food Network and The Travel Channel that spotlight stadiums & arenas across the country.  I see so many stadiums with such mouth watering goodies.  The Orioles have hand made crab cakes. The Royals has BBQ right in the place.  MEadowlands could not even give us NYC deli favorites or anything regional.

This is why many people tailgate.  One can cook better food than they could buy inside the stadium.  Then again, one could buy a six pack of beer cheaper than one inside the stadium.  It is cost effective for many to do it in the lot.  That is one of the best things about filming during tailgating, seeing all the food and smelling all the great barbecue.  I love to catch people on camera enjoying time with friends and family before the game eating and drinking.   Filming people in the parking lot makes for an enjoyable time.  Everyone is a big family and people invite you into their tailgate.  It is a very warming experience.

When I went to game with my father, we never tailgated.  We went right o the game, that was it.  When it is just the two of us there was no reason.  Plus, we did not know many other Jets fans.  These days, you can find tailgates that charge to eat their food so you can tailgate anywhere really.  Sal and Carmine charge but it is worth it for the food and drinks they provide.  So these days, you do not need to have a set up to tailgate.  You can join someone’s.  Just bring friends and enjoy the party.

When I go out filming, people offer myself and the crew some good stuff.  We have had some unbelievable food. Chicken vodka Parmesan sandwiches, homemade pizza, ribs, quesadillas,  chicken, and so much more.  Of course, who can forget the beer.  I just talk to everyone like they are friends and get their stories of being a fan.  In return, they share their food.  Like a community of neighbors sharing dishes during a block party.  I have met some great people while filming.  I expect this season to be no different.  It is best to interview people in a comfortable atmosphere so they are relaxed and able to talk openly.  For some, talking after a few drinks makes it easier too.

100_0132

Some I have interviewed in the past have set up their last tailgate and will not be back.  Guys like Steve Kern, Ken Pikowski, John Allen, and some of the Jets Pack who have been coming to games since 1967.  What some would have spent on PSL’s have been spent on large screen TV’s.  Not everyone went for a PSL.  Some of the Jets Nuts did, Sal and Carmine, Mary Lou Wilson kept hers after her husband Tommy had passed away.  Even their son Tommy Jr. keeps going.  I had written about Tommy Wilson on here & XtraPointFootball.com before.  I am hoping to find more fans like him this season.

I want to find people who not just have stories of the past to tell, but new tailgaters.  People who are new to it all starting their traditions.  It makes for a great story, and a great game experience.  I will be going back to those I have talked to before.  Hoping to add to their stories and see if their tailgating futures will ever be the same.  Let’s face it, with some friends and family not able to be at game anymore it changes the dynamic of the tailgate and game time experience for some.  This is a new era for many.  Will have more for everyone next week.  Until then, are you ready for some football?

DaveJetsPig

Xtra Point Football: NY Jets Fans Cornerstone Of Team & New Stadium

Hello football fans.  I figured that would be the best way to open up.  I would like to thank Xtra Point Football for allowing me the room to talk about a growing concern in this country.  The fact that professional sports has been changing and not for the better.  Professional teams are always looking for a way to increase profit.  Some increase ticket prices, some increase luxury seating, and others create a whole new stadium with state-of-the-art features & amenities.  It seems the PSL has been a viable alternative for some time now.  Organizations figure they can charge fans additional costs to help fund and pay for these new stadiums or renovations.

I am a life long New York Jets fan.  My father had our season tickets since the then New York Titans of the AFL first offered them.  My father and two friends were waiting for New York Giants season tickets but the wait was too long.  The minute the Titans offered them, the three of them got in at the first opportunity.  The tickets have been in my family forever.  Well, until now.  I have not purchased a PSL nor will I.  I cannot afford it.  I am not in favor of it.  Not too many are actually.  But that does not mean I will not cheer them on.  I will always be a die-hard Jets fan, it is in my blood.

Once I heard the Jets were going to use PSL’s to help finance the new stadium, I knew many others would be as outraged as I am.  What started out just creating viral videos turned into a documentary.  I started filming in August of 2008 during the preseason and have not stopped.  There is more to this story than two teams charging PSLs for a new stadium.  There are lifelong fans who followed this team everywhere, except into the new Meadowlands stadium.  The Jets fans themselves have their own stories, intertwined with the history that is the new York Jets.  From simple tailgating with friends to finding husband’s and wives.  Many stories have come to an end with the old stadium.  Many new chapters for some will be written this September.

newstadium2I am doing this documentary, for now titled Gang Greed, solely on the New York Jets.  I am not a full time filmmaker and do not have the time to cover the Giants as well.  I wish I could.  But when you are a two-man team & have other jobs, you have to use the time you can.  I say two-man team because one other individual is assisting me, another life long New York Jets season ticket holder Anthony Quintano.  I feel the fans have truly not been heard. They do have a voice & deserve to have their stories told. Some have followed the team longer than anyone has worked in the organization itself. I do not want to go into any details yet about the fans, Jets, or even the documentary.  I would rather give a history and overview first on what a PSL is and how it is used.

In the late 1980’s, America’s major league sports teams were caught between the need for newer and larger facilities and the public’s growing unwillingness to foot the bill. Fearful of raising ticket prices to the point of diminishing returns, teams looked for a way to raise more money without incurring more expense. Taking a cue from the options market, personal seat licenses turned out to be their ticket to easy street.  The Carolina Panthers were the first true NFL team to use PSLs to pay for a new stadium in 1996.

When you buy a personal seat license (PSL) for a stadium or arena, you buy the rights to a specific seat; say section 32, seat 3B. With this comes the right to buy the ticket for your seat for any public event that is held there. If you decline, the venue can still sell the ticket to someone else, and they don’t have to share the money with you.

If you do decide to attend an event, you still have to pay for the ticket. The PSL simply gives you the option to buy the ticket before it is offered to the public.

For fans, a PSL guarantees that they will never again miss a game of their beloved team, be it the Jets, Giants, Raptors, Cardinals or Maple Leafs. For an investor with a high tolerance for risk, the PSL is a product that can be resold, sometimes at a huge markup. For the teams and venues, the PSL is free money with an added bonus; anyone paying for a PSL is unlikely to let the seats go empty very often.

Even if they do, they still have the option of selling their tickets and making a profit.

Since its inception, PSL revenue has been a major source of income for many pro and amateur sports. The New York Giants and Jets are currently building a new stadium in the Meadowlands, and 20 percent of the $1.7 billion price tag will be covered by PSLs (to the dismay of longtime season ticket holders who suddenly have to come up with tens of thousands of dollars to secure their tickets in the new stadium.)

In 2004, Churchill Downs, home of The Kentucky Derby, sold 3,000+ 30-year PSLs for $18,000 -$75,000 each. Some colleges’ have even taken advantage of the income PSL’s can bring. Ohio State sold 40-year PSLs for its men’s basketball program for up to $15,000 each!

You can go to PSLMarketPlace.com and just pick the NFL team you want to buy a PSL for.  SeasonTicketRights.com even has Motor sports, NBA, NHL, and MLB teams in addition to the NFL.

Right now on SeasonTicketRights.com there is an auction for 4 Dallas Cowboys PSLs, Row 5, Section C136 for $250,000.  Oh, and no parking pass.  This is just for the PSLs, not the season tickets.

The resale market on PSLs is extremely volatile, and dependent largely on the success of the sports franchises that play in the venue. On eBay you could buy eight Dallas Cowboy PSLs for $160,000 or two for the Pittsburgh Steelers for $60,000. In contrast, two PSLs for the Cincinnati Bengals can be had for under $500.  Some Dallas Cowboys PSL costs are over $100,000 per seat.

newstadium3When it comes to a business model, how can you go wrong selling people the option to buy something you want them to buy anyway? Genius. Pure genius.  But for the fans, it may come at a bigger price and for some, a price many cannot afford.  We are still in a down economy and the New York Jets say they are selling PSLs and the economy is improving.  Considering they are a private company, they can say whatever they want.  The only reason they think the economy is getting better is because they are slowly selling the PSLs but nowhere close to selling all.  If my business were making a profit even I would think the economy is turning around.  Many Jets season ticket holders will not purchase a PSL and still believe the economy has not turned around yet.

This coming season will be an interesting one, not just for the Jets, but for the fans as well.  Like I have been doing the past two seasons, I will be there in the parking lot filming Gang Greed to see how many will continue on and follow a team in a place they can finally call home.  The fans there will know they helped to build the place, but at what cost? I will have more on not just the Jets, but the Jets fans and the PSLs as well.  You can go to my website at LevysBakeryProductions or QuintanoMedia for more information.

The Jets write their own story, the Jets fans write the checks for the option to have a story to tell. – David Levy

David Levy is a life long New York Jets fan. He is also a football documentary filmmaker giving Jets fans a voice in Gang Greed & sports blogger. David is also working on other various media & writing projects for others and himself, Levy’s Bakery Productions.

Jets vs. Colts – Revisiting Super Bowl III

This morning I received an e mail from Mike Cardano of Xtra Point Football.  He is a fellow die hard Jets fan and was amazed at this past season, like everyone else.  He forwarded me an article from his site about Super Bowl III that was great to read.  Made me almost believe I was at the game from the statistics to the game footage.  For all of you Jets fans out thre, he is your chance to revisit Super Bowl III:

Written by MC3 Sports Media
superbowliiiIn talking to my kids yesterday I realized that while they know that Joe Namath and the NY Jets won Super Bowl III, they don’t really understand that magnitude of the game and what it meant to football today as we know it.I don’t know how many of you actually saw the game, or remember it if you did. I was just a little kid at the time and while my dad told me I saw it, anything I remember is from highlights I saw through the years. I’m going to be 43 this year and I realize from listening to sports talk radio and going to the games that I’m actually older than many of the fans, so there are many of you who have likely never seen the game.

I know almost everyone has heard about the game, but for all of you (even if you are not a Jets fan) who have never seen the game that changed football here it is in all its glory……

You’ll notice a few things from watching the game that are drastically different than today’s NFL games.

  • No headsets in the QB’s helmet. (For the younger generation) Peyton Manning isn’t the first one to call his own plays, all the QB’s used to have that responsibility. The coach put in the game plan during the week of practice before the game with the play choices that should be used and the QB called the plays on the field as he felt appropriate.
  • Kickers all used the straight on style and not all teams even had players that specialized in kicking. Very often “The best player who could kick” handled the kickoff, filed goal and punting duties. It was not uncommon to see a lineman kicking the ball.
  • The goal posts were on the goal line. An extra point that would normally be spotted on the three yard line and put down by the place holder on the ten yard line was a ten yard kick, not a twenty yard kick. So that 61 yard field goal that Sebastian Janikowski kicked from his own 49 yard line a few weeks ago would have only been a 51 yard field goal. A 61 yard field goal would be from your own 39 yard line!
  • The hash marks are spread outside the goal posts (college and high school are still like that today). You’ll notice when Jim Turner of the Jets has to kick a short field goal from the left hash mark it creates some unique problems.
  • No net catching the field goals as they come through the uprights and apparently no such thing as NFL security either (sign of the times) as the ball just goes through the uprights and fans and children kids come running on the field to fetch the ball.
  • While there may have been some trash talking in the trenches (it was football), there was no end zone dancing, no first down celebrations, no sack dances or anything of the like that could be misconstrued as unsportsman-like.
  • And watch the referees. There would never be a blown call in the NFL if they hustled like you’ll see here. They are literally part of the play….

Super Bowl III was the third AFL-NFL Championship Game in professional American football, but the first to officially bear the name “Super Bowl”. (Although the two previous AFL-NFL Championship Games came to be known, retroactively, as “Super Bowls”.)

The game was played on January 12, 1969 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida – the same location as Super Bowl II. Entering Super Bowl III, the NFL champion Colts were heavily favored to defeat the AFL champion Jets (the Jets were a 19 point underdog). Although the upstart AFL had successfully forced the long-established NFL into a merger agreement three years earlier, the AFL was not generally respected as having the same caliber of talent as the NFL. Plus, the AFL representatives were easily defeated in the first two Super Bowls.

This game is regarded as one of the greatest upsets in sports history as the (AFL) champion New York Jets (11-3) defeated the (NFL) champion Baltimore Colts (13-1) by a score 16-7. It was the first Super Bowl victory for the AFL.

The game itself wasn’t a particularly well played game and it didn’t have a dramatic finish. How exciting could the game have been when the MVP, Joe Namath, didn’t throw any touchdown passes and didn’t even throw a pass in the 4th quarter? In certainly didn’t finish with the drama of either of the last two Super Bowl’s we had.

Statistically the game was just about a dead heat in every category (except for the turnovers.) There were six turnovers in the game, 5 by the Colts. In fact, in large part the 5 turnovers by the Colts more than anything is the reason that they lost. Two of the INT’s were in the end zone.

superbowliiistats

Some other Super Bowl Facts before your show starts………..

  • Anita Bryant sang the National Anthem
  • The Florida A&M University Marching Band played “America Thanks” (you know, like “The Who” is this year’s Super Bowl half time entertainment.
  • The Attendance was 75,389
  • It was televised on NBC (in Technicolor) with Kurt Gowdy, Al DeRogatis and Kyle Rote announcing the game.
  • A 30 second commercial cost $55,000

Enjoy the game…….

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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