The younger audience knows Marty Lyons as the radio broadcaster, alongside Bob Wischusen, doing each and every Jets’ game. Us older fans remember Marty Lyons from his playing days. Youngsters, ask your parents about Marty. Marty Lyons played defensive end, and was with the team for most of the 1980s, becoming part of the “New York Sack Exchange”, that set an NFL record for sacks.
On October 13th, we will all know him as the most recent inductee into the Jets’ Ring of Honor. Marty will be honored at halftime of the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Lyons met with the media yesterday, reflecting on his two most memorable games in his career:
I think there’s two. One, when we beat the Green Bay Packers at Shea Stadium and the fans came down on the field and tore down the goalpost. The other is losing that AFC Championship Game 14-0 in Miami. Coming in, they called it the mud bowl. We were all covered in mud. I remember the coaches saying, “Don’t worry, we’ll get them next year.” That was 1982. I finished up in 1989, that next year never came. So you always remember the good, but unfortunately, you always remember the bad, the negative things.
He also gave an interesting insight as to how injuries were evaluated back when he played:
I wouldn’t make an accusation towards the league. You’d come off the sideline and maybe they wouldn’t use the word that, “You got a concussion. You got dinged.” Many times they’d say, “How many fingers,” and you’d go, “Three,” and (they would say), “That’s close enough,” and you’d go back in. But that was by choice. That wasn’t the doctors or the trainers saying, “Hey, you’re OK.” They would tell you to sit on one side of the bench and they would go and look at other players. Next thing you know, you’d be back out there on the field. So, I think it was players had to probably be more responsible for their own actions. So, I’m not saying the league didn’t know. I’m not saying the players didn’t know. It was part of the game.
Marty Lyons was a terrific player, is a terrific guy in the community, and one week from Sunday, will take his rightful place in the Jets’ ring of honor.