Posts Tagged ‘Florham Park’

Dolphins Will Be No Pushover on Opening Day

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Sorry, I’ve been out of blogland for a while as I was on our annual family summer vacation in lovely Cape Cod and Lake George last week. I hate doing it during training camp but with kids and summer schedules and camp and sports, it’s the only week we can do it. It was actually nice that it was hard to log on for a few days but obviously with all that’s been happening lately was on the laptop more than my wife wanted me to be.

Anyway, back to the grind!

First off, It’s a very bittersweet time at Hofstra as camp has broken and the team embarks on it’s last week at Weeb Ewbank Hall, EVER. It’s a bizarre scene as the Halls of the complex are filled with boxes and moving vans are streaming in and out of the lots. Kinda reminds me of the Colts when they left Baltimore without the sneakiness.  Tuesday will be the last official practice at Hofstra as the opening week regular season routine will begin in Florham Park. I will give you the complete skinny on the new facilities next week. The one thing that kinda bothers me is that I sensed no sadness from anyone on the team, ranging from the players to the coaches, to even the PR staff. This is truly a business to all involved and nostalgia is indded dead.

Now, regarding our opening game…I had a chance to watch the Dolphins/Chiefs game from Saturday on the NFL Network replay (BTW: You saps who are still paying the Dolans don’t know what you are missing. FIOS and the NFLN rocks!) and those who think the ‘Fins are the pushover they were last season are in for a rude awakening. This team is improved on both sides of the ball. Our old friend Chad Pennington seemed to be extremely comfortable with his new team and was moving the ball with ease through the air completing short and medium length passes with minimal effort like he’s been with this offense for years. He has also seemed to gel with his new favorite target Ted Ginn Jr. who the Jets will also have to watch very closely on punt returns as he ran a long one back for six.  

When he wasn’t passing the ball against KC (and I must mention that our other Old Friend Herm Edwards, is in for a hellish year with the Chiefs…they look putrid), Pennington was handing it off to RB Ricky Williams who looks like the Ricky of old. If Williams can stay off the Panama Red, he will be an effective weapon for Miami this season.

Don’t get me wrong… I think the Jets are a much better team than Miami and I’m confident they will prevail on opening day. I’m just saying, with emotuons and drama running high and the ‘Fins on their home field, the Jets will have to bring their “A” game on September 7. This is a game the team can ill afford to lose with New England and San Diego following. God forbid the Dolphins steal one, the Jets could very easily be looking at a 0-3 start.

Mackeys Back!

Mackey's Back!

One cool thing today that I was fortunate to participate in was the inner-circle of regular beat guys got a special up close and personal chat session with Brett Favre (why I was allowed in still is a mystery :) ). He wasn’t behind the podium, but just sitting in the press room BS’ing like a regular guy for almost an hour. No questions were off limits and though, I’ll reserve the details for a blog post later this week, I will say that Favre one-on-one is a cordial, regular nice guy and he is very happy to be here.

Although, I’m bummed that the summer is almost over, there are some things I am happy about:

-NFL Football back.

-My 10 year old son’s Pee Wee football is back.

-My five year old son starts flag football.

-My daughter is already five months old and almost fits in her baby Jets jersery.

-”The Shield” and “Entourage” new seasons are starting.

Life is good! Enjoy your holiday weekend!

BTW: Please check out our 2008 JI tailgating contest. If you have a great tailagate party, shoot us an email and tell us about it. We may visit and do a feature video about it and you could win some cool prizes. Also, there are rumors that this could be the last year of the world famous 16H tailgate so JI may be looking for a new one to promote! Click the link below for details.

Also, for those who have been wondering about Fireman Ed and if he’s returning this year, I have it from a very reliable source that Ed is back healthy and will be raring to go on opening day.

Lunch With Woody

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

I was fortunate enough to be invited to a private lunch with Jets owner Woody Johnson at Wayne Chrebet’s restaurant on Saturday before the Green and White Practice at Hofstra Stadium. The lunch was attended by 10 or so select media members who cover the team. It was the first time I’ve been involved in an open on-the-record forum with the owner and from what I’ve been told, this is something that the he rarely does.


The purpose of the lunch was specific. The team is on the verge of leaving Hofstra permanently for their new facility in Florham Park, NJ and Woody wants to get the word out to the fans that the Jets will not fully abandon their NY/LI fanbase by having the annual Green and White Scrimmage every summer at Hofstra. For those who have supported the team during their many years here, this small bone is of little solace. Granted, it’s great news that the team is getting a new state-of-the-art facility but it would have been nice if it was built in NY to keep some ties to the state.


One reporter asked RWJ III if he thinks the team should change their name to the NJ Jets, since they technically will have no ties to NY anymore. Woody replied that the team has a huge fanbase in both NY and NJ and would always be the NY Jets despite their new residence.


Let me say first off, that RWJ III is a nice guy. The few interactions and brief conversations I’ve had with him over the years have been very cordial and despite his wealth he doesn’t come off as aloof or pretentious. I believe he’s a true Jets fan and bought the team with genuine intentions of getting it back to NY and establishing it’s own identity.


That being said, the problem I have is that he gave up too quickly after the West Side Stadium failed and was bullied by the Giants and the state of NJ to accept an inferior deal that’s sole purpose is to fleece the fan.


Although he didn’t specify the dollar amounts, for the first time, Johnson acknowledged (to no one’s surprise) that PSL’s are coming and at this point, it’s believed that they they will be set up in the same stucture as the Giants, who announced their pricing a few weeks back.


The owner mentioned that the fans may not “really understand PSL’s” and perhaps the team hasn’t done a good enough job “explaining their value”. Unless the Jets have come up with  a different, new kind of personal seat license that has never been seen before, I have issue with the owner trying to pawn a PSL as a commodity when everyone knows it’s not.


The only thing he did offer that could be considered somewhat of a value is that the PSL would give the owner the right to buy their seats for other events at the stadium (concerts, tractor pulls, etc.). However, how is this possible if your seat is PSL’ed by a Giants fan as well? Unless every event is done in pairs, someone is getting screwed. How do they choose which PSL owner gets which event? He couldn’t explain. Also, if the stadium hosts maybe 3 or 4 concerts per year, that’s a lot. Certainly, not a huge enough perk that would make anyone feel better about paying a fat PSL.


Be honest Woody, the only value of the PSL is to you since the proceeds will enable you to pay down a large percentage of the debt you’ve incurred to build the stadium almost instantly.


Another problem is that past owners who have charged  PSL’s say it’s a way to keep ticket prices down. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case here as the Giants plan gets them paid on both sides. Not only do you have to pay the PSL, but ticket prices are going up too (some quite significantly). Again, the Jets won’t announce their structure until the end of the month, but it’s believed that it will be in line with their co-tenant, Big Blue .


During the Q&A I brought up a real scenario to Mr. Johnson:


I have a good friend of average means who has four seats in Section 112 that his family has owned since the early days of Shea. He’s a DIE HARD JETS FAN and bought these seats every year for 40+ years…through good times and bad. Based on the PSL numbers the Giants have announced, he’s looking at $80,000 in PSL’s just to keep the right to buy his seats. Then,  on top of the PSL, his individual ticket price goes from $120 per game to $700.!! That means, his yearly ticket invoice goes from $4800. to a whopping $28,000!!!


Needless to say, my friend will be forced to give up his seats just based on the PSL alone. The worst part is that the main reason my friend has kept the seats for so long is to experience gameday with his kids who are just becoming old enough to appreciate it.


When I asked Woody what he would say a fan like my friend, he looked a little flustered and just said “That’s unfortunate…we’re not going to be able to make everyone happy and that’s something I’m disappointed about”.  Not nearly disappointed as my friend though, Woody.


The owner mentioned that “Finally the Jets will have their own home, something they have never had”. First off, I’m not sure if I agree with the statement since the team basically is doing the same thing they have for the last 30 years. Sure, the stadium will no longer be called Giants Stadium and it will have neutral colored seats and green accent  lighting…however, technically they could sell the naming rights of the current stadium, change the seat colors and it would be the same thing for around $1.5 billion less.   


Although Woody didn’t give any details regarding the surveys they sent to the Fans recently, he states “We understand the feelings of the fans and will try to incorporate many of those ideas into the way we package PSL’s” I would bet my bottom dollar the majority of the fans would choose to keep the current stadium rather than cough up a PSL and a spike in their ticket prices.


Johnson announced that the official move date from Hempstead to Florham Park will be  on September 2nd, five days before the Jets’ opening game in Miami. Most of the Jets staff is making the move with the team and some already have moved residences to NJ.      


It’s obvious that RWJ III believes his legacy will be as the owner who finally got the Jets their own home but for me (and thousands of other Jets fans), he’ll always be the man who facilitated the complete abandonment of my Jets from New York. Although I’ll always be a Jets fan, I’ll never be nearly as passionate due to this.