The Friday I've been waiting for...

Finally Friday ….only 2 days left until one of my favorite days all year. The New York Jets first home game of the season is finally here! Every year, the first home game somehow evokes emotions in me that I never thought football could possibly bring about. It’s the day when I couldn’t be prouder to be a Jets fan…..a day when I would do anything to show them my support.

It’s like no other home game really. You reconnect with people you haven’t seen since that cold Sunday in January. The parking lots are full, there’s pyrotechnics, and fireworks - the player introductions have the crowd up on their feet – you could see them feeding off the energy of the crowds. Just when everyone is pumped you hear a low rumble only to see the ceremonial fly-over the stadium after the national anthem. I’m not sure why, but year after year I see grown men with teary eyes as they gaze to the sky to watch. Firemen Ed makes his debut and for the first time the ever famous J-E-T-S chant roars from the crowd. The fans are loud, the seats are packed and yet again, as devoted fans we have a glimmer of hope in our eyes that this year will be a great one.

With such great energy at this annual game, you would think the environment would be conducive to helping the Jets win. Unfortunately that is not the case. Since the year 2000 – the Jets have only won 3 times at their first home game. The last time was in 2005 against the Miami Dolphins. It’s pretty common that the Jets open up their season at home against the New England Patriots. A team whose name makes me nauseous just hearing it. It’s the Patriots who have managed to be the buzz kill at this great home opener event. They have successfully beaten the Jets at home since 2000 in which the Jets were able to pull off a 20-19 win. It’s a streak that every Jet fan wants to see broken….no better time than the present to pull that off.

In a recent interview about Sunday’s game Jerricho Cotchery said “We need to protect our home. They’ve been beating us in our home for years now and we got to get that taken care of." I’m pretty hopeful that this year may be the year that fans get their win. Instead of going home with the same sense of disappointment , this may be the year that keeps that sense of hope alive.

As fans we need to do our part to keep the energy going throughout the game. As Rex Ryan said at this week’s press conference “We need our fans to show up. Our team is going to show up and we need our fans to show up. We need to be loud and make it miserable on them……I want our fans to be a factor in this game to help our defense out, make it loud and make the communication tough”.

I know I’m up for the challenge! I can’t wait until Sunday morning to wake up, put on my Keller jersey and head to the stadium. A family tradition that I cherish and look forward to yearly. I’m ready to have no voice on Monday regardless of the score; and would love nothing more than to do what I can to break this home-turf losing streak against our rival Patriots.

From the Jets website, here are some “new” things to look forward to on Sunday.

New player introductions with a new musical theme and new pyrotechnics.

The unfurling of a huge American flag.
A flyover by a squadron of A-10's.

The regular-season debut of the 2009 Jets Flight Crew, expanded to 30 members, all wearing their cheerleading group's new uniforms, and ready to lead a new cheer prior to player intros

An inspirational new video to be aired right before kickoff — it will get you pumped!

An air raid sound effect. When you hear it, no need to seek shelter — it means to get loud!
See you there! :)


As the season begins....

It seems like only yesterday that the endless Jets tweets were coming in from the first days of training camp at Cortland. Here we are over a month later with the regular season only days away. Amidst all the roster moves happening this weekend, I took some time to reflect on the team's growth, development, performance and on-going concerns over the preseason. Here are some thoughts lingering in my mind this week, as well as some interesting preseason facts:

1. The much talked about "QB Battle" is over - we survived and I couldn't be happier with the outcome. The one thing I can't help but think is how lucky we are that Eric Mangini is not the head coach this year. Sanchez wasn't kidding when he said how being named the starter really changes you, your confidence and mental preparation for the season ahead. Had Mangini been around we'd still be roaming around wondering!

2. Two names have dominated Jets news articles this preseason - Mark Sanchez and Vernon Gholston. If a Jets player is in the news this much it better be for a good reason - and one of these names hasn't been attracting too much positive attention.

3. Rex Ryan and the Jets have found a new home for annual training camp in Cortland, NY. Players bonded, Hairy Tony's has a skirt steak sandwich to die for, and Ahmad Carroll & Robert Turner went to the mall together....I'd say that spells success no?

4. Thomas Jones' biceps have grown by inches every time I see him....Do they make custom jerseys to fit those guns?

5. Some Long Island fans are a lot angrier than I thought. Many fans actually boycotted this year's Family Night practice at Hofstra as a result of feeling abandoned by the Jets after 40 years of camp being held there. While I understand, I do hope they'd want what is best for the team and show their support.

6. Leon Washington should win an award for being the most unselfish player in the NFL. We've been following his contract situation for months. Despite all the distractions - Leon has still managed to put football and the Jets first.

7. Sanchez's pump fake is just too good.....he's going to have plenty of angry safeties after him this year.

8. It's amazing how one coach can change a team's confidence and attitude by leaps & bounds in such a short time. From Kerry Rhodes stating "we will be the best defense in the league this year" to D'Brickashaw setting sights on the pro-bowl, Rex Ryan has helped this team do a complete 360. Hoping this new attitude leads to wins on the field as well.

9. A 200m dash between Usain Bolt and David Clowney would be ridiculously fun to watch. This preseason has left us yet again pondering...."Who can cover the Clown?".

10. Brian Schottenheimer has an important year ahead of him. This is his time to calm Jets fans worries of having nightmares every time his name is mentioned - similar to the agonizing years of Paul Hackett's horrendous play calling. With a trio of good running backs, a great O-line, and an explosive defense - Schotty has enough positives to work with this season and prove his worth now that the Mangini handcuffs have been taken off.

11. After 4 preseason games - the Jets lead the league with 18 total sacks. The highest total previously was 19 by the Patriots in 2003. Not bad for playing a "vanilla defense".

12. The NY Jets have scored the most points in the league this preseason with a total of 108 points. They were tied for second with 13 total TD's behind New Orleans who had 14.

13. If I had to pick the top 3 concerns going into the 2009-2010 season I'd say they are :
1) #2 CB opposite Revis
2) depth of D-line - can they stay healthy
3) #2 WR - who's the deep threat when J.Co is double teamed
All in all the preseason was a successful one. A QB has been named, the team has started to build some chemistry, and no major injuries were had. Let's hope the positive points from above carry over to a successful regular season and dare I say post-season as well.


Who will stay...Who will go? My predictions for the final 53

The time has come! While Jet fans have been anxiously awaiting the end of preseason football, the current 75 players on the New York Jets roster may have some mixed feelings about it. D-Day this year is this Saturday September 4th, the day in which approximately 20 of the Jets players will be cut from the team. According to league rules, the Jets must have a 53-man roster by 4pm this Saturday. Lucky for us, the Jets will be allowed to have 2 extra players on the roster to accomodate for the upcoming suspensions of Shaun Ellis and Calvin Pace ( always something positive to a negative situation!)
These players have worked hard trying to secure their spots as this new exciting season begins. I've taken a stab at my predictions for the final 55-man roster. I think there were less positional "battles" then I originally thought a few weeks/months ago after seeing these guys perform at camp and 3 preseason games.

Wishing nothing but the best to those who are cut....hopefully some will make it on the Jets practice squad soon enough!


Caulcrick - (need some security to back-up Veteran T.Rich since heavy emphasis this year on running game)

Allison - (I know Marcus Henry's size would be more beneficial - something tells me Rex likes this guy)

Simmons -(if Rex decides to use Hunter at TE more often, possible to see Simmons cut & Kracalik added to OL)
Dearth (LS)

Slauson - (familiar with OL coach Callahan from Nebraska - have to go with the rookie!)
Hunter - (looked decent lining up at TE at practice last week)
DL +1:
Douglas - (played for Rex 2001-2004, 2008 - filling in the Coleman void)
Green - (played for Rex 2002 season)
Potter - (for Ellis 1 game suspension)

Cole - (tough one between Cole and Coleman - too many mistakes by Coleman in preseason games)

LB +1:
Westermann - ( a definite! )
Murrell - (has shown us great pass rushing skills)
Trusnik - (could use solid player like him on ST)
Cummings - (for Pace 4 game suspension)

Special Teams:
Pakulak - (I'll take anything but Hodges right now....still missing Ben Graham!)