Oct. 8, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets former player Wesley Walker during the Ring of Honor half time ceremonies at the game against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Texans won 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

When I Fell for the New York Jets

This one is in for my father, as it is his birthday today. Out of respect, I am not going to tell you how old he is. But today is his birthday, and I know he reads our posts. This one is for you Dad.

Yesterday, I wrote about how we all fell in love with the New York Jets, for various reasons.  This morning, I wanted to share with you how I fell for the New York Jets.  I have shared this story before in different forums, but with some new readers now, and since it’s Dad’s birthday, I felt it a good time to share it again.

The year was 1985, and I had recently turned 8 years old.  I guess that gives you my age, that’s OK.  It was the first year I remember watching games, but I had not been to one as of yet.  Well, the date was November 24th, and that all changed when Dad took me to that afternoon’s game against the New England Patriots.

I had no idea about the winds in Giants Stadium yet, so Dad made sure I bundled up and off we went.  Dad also brought a thermos full of soup, as the rules for what you could bring into the stadium were a lot more lenient back then.  Good thing, I remember that it was quite cold that afternoon.

I remember first coming through the tunnel to our seats, and being amazed at the size of it all.  For an eight year old, that field seemed so big in person.  The field was huge, and the players were so big!  Way bigger than they appeared on television.  I guess that is to be expected, but what did an eight year old know about that?

That was obviously my first experience with the J-E-T-S chant as well.  At the time, one side of the stadium would do it, and the opposite side would do it back in response, which confused me.  Dad explained that away, told me about the tradition, and all that.  My Dad isn’t a loud guy, but with football, he gets loud.  That really inspired the passion I have for this football team, when my Dad was loud.  I knew that it was OK to get emotional about my team, you know?

On to my memories from the game.

The game was a close game.  I’ve looked at the boxscore to confirm my memory, but I remember that the game went to overtime.  How cool is that?  My first football game of my life, and I got to see an extra session!  Awesome.  What made it even more awesome was Pat Leahy kicking a field goal in overtime to win it for the Jets.  With that, my real passion for the New York Jets was born.

My favorite player, Ken O’Brien, threw for over 300 yards that day, connecting with other favorite Wesley Walker for an 88 yard touchdown pass.  That however, I didn’t remember, I read in the boxscore.  But I am sure a bomb like that was exciting to see live.

So that is how I fell in love with the New York Jets.  It’s caused me a lot of heartache as we all know, but it has been a great ride.  Thanks to my Dad, who ignited the passion.  You could say that without him, I wouldn’t be the one editing this page for you guys today.  Thanks Dad.  Happy birthday!

So how did you guys get into the Jets?  Stories below would be great…..

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  • Gavin Buck, London (UK)

    I was semi-coerced into it…..

    I spent my second year at university in at Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania and a friend invited me to stay with him for Christmas. After Christmas was week 17 of the 2001-2002 season (when Brady won his first SB, bugger).

    Anyway, the Jets needed to beat the Raiders in order to make the playoffs and my friend’s Dad said to me, “OK, Gavin, we going watch some proper football today, i will teach you it, but there is just one. You have 2 choices, you can support the Jets or sleep in the snow.”

    There you have it… It was only on TV but Vinny Testaverde was the first QB I saw and Jets won with a game winning field goal and my love affair with Jets began.

    Now, if only my best mate wasn’t a Pats fan…….

    • TheJetPress

      Good story Gavin..thanks. My wife knows that is pretty much the deal for her too hahah, she can stay outside or support the Jets.

  • Joe Willie

    I seen Joe Namath on the Johnny Carson show in 1968 with his fu manchu mustache the rest is history.

    • TheJetPress

      lol I like it

  • matr dontelli iii

    baseball left an impression on me before football as i have earlier baseball memories than football. i am guessing my uncle, who was living with us at the time influenced my choice of teams. he probably had the jets on each week and i watched and became a fan. my mom was more of a baseball fan, though in football she favored the giants. my dad’s sport of choice was pigeon racing. my earliest jets memory was the heidi game, of all things. i certainly should have taken that as an omen, but i know i was already rooting for the team before that game. amazingly, just eight weeks later i won fifty cents when the jets won the super bowl. talk about teasing a little kid. who ever would have thought that 45 years later i’d still be waiting for them to win their next one? but as i’ve said before, i’m confident that we’re much closer to our next one than our last one.

    • TheJetPress

      I can imagine what it must have felt like when we beat the Dolphins. I am sure nobody thought we would be here and have not won another one.
      Thanks for the story.

      • matr dontelli iii

        dolphins? i can only guess you’re rushing through and thinking shula then linking him to miami, the team he coached afterwards rather than the city where we won. that was the year the jets, mets then knicks won. to be so young and witness all that and have no idea these teams would be so championship challenged for decades upon decades was a terrible injustice. you never could have anticipated it, especially given that those teams represent the biggest city in the country. oh and happy birthday to mr. schechter and thanks for making alan a jet fan. he runs a great site here.

        • TheJetPress

          oh duh…..yea you are right I rushed that comment…meant the colts of course