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Thread: Looking back on Hofstra

  1. #1

    Looking back on Hofstra

    I had the opportunity to go out to JETS camp on Thursday and I had a great time, just like I have for the past 25 plus years. I have had a day now to let it sink in and wanted to share some of my thoughts with my fellow Jets fans here at JI. Going to Hofstra to watch Jets practices over the years has been a big part of my life. Ever since I was a young boy my dad would take me out to Hofstra from Queens. We went numerous times throughout each summer. I believe it really kept us close to the team and each other, especially when the JETS moved to GIANT STADIUM. It was one place I felt was “ours” as it relates to our NY JETS. It was a place where almost 100% of the people were pulling for the JETS. This tradition has continued in the past several years with me and my daughter. She is presently at an age where she is just starting to understand the idea of sports. I take her out to practice when I can.

    As I matured during my teenage years I noticed rather abruptly that there were far more Giants fans than Jets. This didn’t matter because I loved my team and it was one of the interests I could share with my dad. Looking back to those teenage years, where I was somewhat disconnected at times from my parents, interestingly enough it was Jets practices that was always a common bond. I never passed up an opportunity to go out to practice when my dad would ask me. What great memories! Two examples included Mark Gastineau patted me on the shoulder after an autograph and on a different occasion when I was able to go into the complex and watch a private practice during the Coslet years. My dad knew someone that could get us in. At this private practice is where Blair Thomas threw me a pass after an interview he did for Jets Journal on MSG with Dave Jennings. I know he didn’t have a good career with our team but I thought it was so cool that the number two pick overall threw me a pass and was acting like a "regular guy.” Both of these memories will stick with me forever.

    As I got a little older I started to get into the NFL draft more and more. I loved everything about it and going out to JETS practices aloud me to observe, first hand our new draft picks each year. I would “jot down” some thoughts to discuss with other Jets fans that didn’t get to go out to camp. It made be feel important (LOL) as if I were some sort of scout for my friends. It was a time in my life where I didn’t have much responsibility but was old enough to be on my own. Still, I would continue to go with my dad to practices, not all the time, but none the less I believe it kept us close.

    In the last few years I have had some challenges in my personal life where I went from living with my daughter and her mother to being a single dad. When times were not so great and it seemed like the world was coming down on me, believe it or not, Jets practices were somewhere I could go to get away from it all. At times I went alone, with friends, or with my dad, but always it was a place to relax and enjoy the team that I love.

    I started this thread thinking I was going to bash Woody Johnson at some point for moving the team that I love so much to an area that I will not be able to frequent as much. How he promised the fans a stadium to call our own somewhere in NY. I was going to be negative and write about how in the end we are further away from our roots than ever and continue to share a stadium that many fans will be priced out of because of PSLs. I won’t let Woody Johnson's actions ruin my JETS memories at Hofstra in this thread. The reality is that this is a business and I understand that. In the end, I am grateful that the Jets were not moved out to California or some place were I can’t follow them at all.

    Summing up my thoughts on the Jets at Hofstra only bring back wonderful memories. I feel that an important part of my "sports-fan-life" was spent there. I will go back to Hofstra for at least one more practice this summer, hopefully with my daughter. The memories from Jets practices over the years will never leave me.

    To the resident Jets fans of Floram Park, New Jersey and the surrounding areas, I hope you get to have the same great memories that I have had over the past 25 plus years. I can only imagine that somewhere out in New Jersey there is an eight year old that is just starting to follow sports and will be introduced to this team and there practices. I hope you enjoy the experience and have a lifetime of great memories like I was fortunate enough to have.

    Thanks again for letting me express my feelings about this important place in my life.
    Last edited by copernicus; 08-01-2008 at 07:36 AM.

  2. #2
    I grew up the next town over from Uniondale and went to many training camps over the years. Even if the team played in another State, it seemed that it was still a New York team as long as they returned to Hofstra.

    Not so much anymore. With the new training facility in Florham Park, the Jets have cut their last perceptive tie to New York.

    Although I share your thought that an eight year old in New Jersey might have your happy memories in time, at this moment I am bitter about the move.

    Construction on the new Giants stadium continues, right next to the old Giants stadium. However, from my perspective, the team is just farther away from their original fan base.

  3. #3
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    TC at Hofstra has afforded me some lasting memories as well, cop. I've been attending TC religiously every year since 1993.

    I've been to TC twice so far this year, and will be attending the Green & White game tomorrow afternoon.

    It's gonna be a very sad feeling walking out of that stadium tomorrow afternoon knowing that I have experienced my last TC session. :(

  4. #4
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    Nice read Copernicus, thanks...

    I'll throw out one of my early Hofstra memories, it was during the Namath days towards the end. A family friend brought me to camp and told me if anyone asks to say I was from the orphanage. In those days the team practiced on a field with nothing more that a string around the field separating the team from its fans, but an orphan could get really close, lol. Anyway after practice, I'll never forget this, there was a blond bombshell (only word to describe this woman who looked like something out of a 60's Playboy pictorial) leaning on a fancy car, and Joe W. strolled right over to her and she had that look, that even as a youngster I recognized, of the cat who caught the mouse. :cool:

  5. #5
    I grew up in Hicksville and used to go al the time. I can remember Klecko, fields, Lyons and the rest. Freeman McNeil and Walker. Toon was a favorte. Never like #99 though. My wife and I moved to NC about 11 years ago so it has been a while. My son and I go to the Panther's camp in Spartanburg (Our secondary team) It is closer and much less crowed. We love it. What a great Father and Son trip.

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=Ty Shoes;2660630]I grew up the next town over from Uniondale and went to many training camps over the years. Even if the team played in another State, it seemed that it was still a New York team as long as they returned to Hofstra.

    Not so much anymore. With the new training facility in Florham Park, the Jets have cut their last perceptive tie to New York.

    Although I share your thought that an eight year old in New Jersey might have your happy memories in time, at this moment I am bitter about the move.

    Construction on the new Giants stadium continues, right next to the old Giants stadium. However, from my perspective, the team is just farther away from their original fan base.[/QUOTE]


    Thanks for your response Ty. Believe me, it took a lot of my strength to not go in that direction with my post. I agree with you. Just trying to stay positive about it. There is a "bitterness", trust me..........

  7. #7
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    Well done Copernicus.

    The new facility is about 20 minutes from me, I hope to take my son there in a few years when he is old enough to enjoy it, and I don't have to run around chasing him for 2 hours.

    Hopefully he and I will have some memories equivalent to yours :)

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=section137;2660653]Well done Copernicus.

    The new facility is about 20 minutes from me, I hope to take my son there in a few years when he is old enough to enjoy it, and I don't have to run around chasing him for 2 hours.

    Hopefully he and I will have some memories equivalent to yours :)[/QUOTE]

    Section 137, I wish you and your family nothing but great experiences visiting Jets camp. Being that it is close to your home will add to the "easiness" of it. You have a lot to look foward to..........

  9. #9
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    Boy am I glad I am a JI VIP member. The exclusive TC reports will be even more valuable to me starting next year. :yes:

  10. #10
    [QUOTE=jetswin;2660646]Nice read Copernicus, thanks...

    I'll throw out one of my early Hofstra memories, it was during the Namath days towards the end. A family friend brought me to camp and told me if anyone asks to say I was from the orphanage. In those days the team practiced on a field with nothing more that a string around the field separating the team from its fans, but an orphan could get really close, lol. Anyway after practice, I'll never forget this, there was a blond bombshell (only word to describe this woman who looked like something out of a 60's Playboy pictorial) leaning on a fancy car, and Joe W. strolled right over to her and she had that look, that even as a youngster I recognized, of the cat who caught the mouse. :cool:[/QUOTE]

    Thanks Jetswin, wow Joe Willie!!!! That is a one of those experiences that are never forgotten. Thanks for sharing...........

  11. #11
    [QUOTE=JediJustin;2660635]TC at Hofstra has afforded me some lasting memories as well, cop. I've been attending TC religiously every year since 1993.

    I've been to TC twice so far this year, and will be attending the Green & White game tomorrow afternoon.

    It's gonna be a very sad feeling walking out of that stadium tomorrow afternoon knowing that I have experienced my last TC session. :([/QUOTE]

    Please give us an update tomorrow. I wont be able to make it. I will probably get out to one more practice before they break for the season. I found it hard leaving Hofstra at the end of practice on Wed. It really is a sad for a lot of regulars that have made TC their place to connect with team.

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