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!