Archive for June, 2011

Jets to train at Florham Park this summer

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

FLORHAM PARK, NJ — As it turns out home isn’t only where the heart it, but where football is as well. At least that’s the case for the Jets as they will conduct their 2011 training camp at their Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, NJ. For the 2009 and 2010 training camps, the Jets traveled to upstate New York on the campus of SUNY Cortland. General Manager Mike Tannenbaum said in a press release that the reason for this is due to the extended lockout and a rather unusual off-season.

“With all the variables presented by this unique off-season, we felt it was best for the Jets that we hold our training camp here at our practice facility,” Tannenbaum said. “This was not an easy decision, but it’s one we felt we needed to make in order to give us the best chance to win.”

John Conner, pictured above, made a name for himself on the SUNY Cortland practice field during 2010's training camp. Who will step up when the team takes the field in Florham Park this summer? (JetsInsider.com Photo).

When Rex Ryan became coach of the Jets in 2009, they moved their training camp from Hofstra University –  a place they called home for 40 years — citing the importance of eliminating distractions. The Jets, who have two years remaining on their three-year agreement with the SUNY Cortland, will resume their time at the university in 2012.

Clay Hampton, senior director of operations, said that moving the team, staff and equipment to upstate New York is a lengthy process. And with the obvious strains to date causing a shortened off-season, the Jets decided it would be in their best interest to stay home for the summer.

“Training camp is a collaborative effort that requires many different departments to work together to be successful,” said Hampton, “and staying at our facility gives us the best chance to accomplish that goal. This is a new operation, but with the template we have in place from OTAs and mini-camps, we are prepared for this scenario.”

SUNY Cortland President Erik Bitterbaum was disappointed but understood the decision by the Jets management, and their relationship is still on good terms.

“Our partnership remains strong, and we will continue to support the team as enthusiastic Jets fans,” Bitterbaum said. “We’re looking forward to hosting the team next year.”

Further details regarding dates and times of the team’s training camp sessions will released once the information will be available.

100 Depression-filled Days

Friday, June 24th, 2011

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – One hundred days. That’s how long we’ve been without football. I couldn’t tell you what I was doing on March 3rd, 2011. Can you? Hell, I can barely think back to what I did two weeks ago. The duration of the NFL lockout has been painstakingly tedious. To use the hyperbolic phrase “at a snail’s pace” wouldn’t be fair to those who eat, drink and sleep the NFL all year long. Despite the recent events of “forward progress” and the claim of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, the player’s association and the owners are still not in agreement.

As someone who considers himself to eat, drink and sleep the NFL I frequented my local pharmacy for re-fills of my Prozac prescription over the past 100 days. No mini-camps. No OTAs. No free agency period. No nothing. The only thing that’s allowed my to hold on to my last bit of sanity has been NFL Network’s Top 100 players of 2011. And even that forces a few grays to show (I mean, how can Brandon Lloyd be ranked higher than Santonio Holmes?).

While sports networks highlight the time line of the lockout, I think highlighting my time line of what I’ve been doing to replace the NFL is a little more interesting. In March the reality hadn’t set in with the sports world buzzing from the NCAA tournament and NBA and NHL being in mid-season form. Besides, did anyone truly think the lockout would continue before the NFL Draft happens?

Woody Johnson and the rest of the NFL owners just concluded a two-day meeting in Boston with the Player's Association on Thursday, June 23, 2011. (JetsInsider.com Photo.)

But after March Madness my growing urge for the NFL was not being satisfied by the Jimmer Fredettes and Kemba Walkers of the world, and before I knew it I was live-streaming access to the 2011 World Cup of Cricket three to four hours a day just to get an equal kick. Not only could I barely understand the game, but I gave up watching after butchering Chamara Kantha Kapugedera’s correct pronunciation. I couldn’t have been more upset about India winning. I’m a Pakistani fan through and through…ever since their dominating 1992 World Cup performance. Fear the Gold Stars!

Craving some sort of football in my life I found myself eerily stalking player’s Twitter accounts and player organized workouts. All the Reggie Bush/Rashard Mendenhall Twitter drama curbed my craving for all of a day, respectively. And the “Jets West” camp as well as the “Camp Lockout” only got my pallet salivating for gridiron battles. But watching and reading the coverage of these organized team workouts was like resorting to a methadone clinic to curb my heroine addictions. Simply, it just wasn’t the same kick.

Then, finally, came America’s past time — a damn-near Godsend. If anything could get me out of this no football funk, it was baseball. But a horrible start to my favorite team coupled with the glaring difference in physicality between the two sports just left me longing for some helmet-cracking hits. Although that Buster Posey collision at home plate definitely got me a little hot and bothered.

And now here I am, at 100 days without football and no real sign of it returning soon. With no basketball or hockey and baseball going through the lulls of a mid-season haze, I’ve been forced to scour the waver wires searching for a solid sleeper for my WNBA fantasy team. Anyone who knows a solid back-up for Candace Parker, let me know ASAP!

So to DeMaurice Smith, Roger Gooddell and anyone else who is directly connected to these negotiations who might come across this shameful blog post, please end this lockout. If for no other reason than the embarrassing fact that I just admitted to being apart of a WNBA fantasy league (SwinMEdaCASH is taking the championship this year!)