The best analogy I can come up with for yesterday’s practice at Hofstra, is that your hot ex-girlfriend, who has recently moved on to another man, has rolled into town and is willing to meet you for lunch. Not dinner mind you, for that would have been a full pad practice and certainly not drinks and dancing afterwards, which would have amounted to a full on White vs. Green scrimmage. Sorry Jets fans, dinner and dancing were never in the plans. Meanwhile, lunch consisted of a slow-paced workout in nothing but jerseys and shorts, where the hardest hits came to the hearts of the fans as they watched their beloved Jets leave for a rendezvous with their new lover across the Hudson.
The fans came in droves to support the team. Not as big as last year, but as Leon Washington noted, “Last year, a lot of people came out to see Brett Favre, but this year there’s a lot of people here showing their support for the team.” Leon also touched on how good it felt to come to the Jets’ “heart” as he put it. “This is where the real fan base of the Jets’ organization is.” He also spoke with great fondness for the restaurants and hot spots he frequented on the Island over the last couple of years.
If Leon thinks he misses the Island, he should appreciate and empathize how much Jets fans miss the Jets being on the Island for camp. Cortland is great for the players. Coach Ryan has spoken at length several times how it has helped foster team chemistry and made long lasting relationships between individual players. “When training camp first started, you saw players coming to practice by themselves in their own cars and now you see guys coming with three of four guys in a car.”
Maybe the facility lacks the “state of the art” panache that many of the newer facilities offer, i.e. outdoor inflatable domes that enable practices to continue in excessive heat or lightning storms, as well as the sleeping quarters that may not be up to snuff when compared to some of the larger, better financed colleges. But for better or worse, Cortland is now where the Jets summer, and apparently by all reports, they are very happy in their new surroundings. Which means from now on, the Jets will spend maybe one day a year on Long Island. At one time, the Jets practiced, played, and lived on the Island. The fans could see them any time they wanted and maybe they took the Jets for granted in the process and subsequently never thought in their wildest nightmares that one day the Jets would get up and leave.
Now the Jets, like your ex-girlfriend, are hotter than ever and her new lover is stopping at nothing to make her happy. A new stadium, a new coach, new free agents, a new practice facility to clear her mind and get you completely out of her thoughts… and if all reports are true, if training camp thus far is any indication of the upcoming season, a bonafide, perennial all star, franchise quarterback. You think you’re getting her back? You think you’re competing now? You got your lunch and your couple of hours to reminisce about days gone by, but that’s it. No more dinners, dancing, late nights or walks in the park for you. Oh, and FYI, come next year, no deals for you either, for the new seats are going to cost you more as well… How else do you expect her new lover to buy her all these pretty things?