January 23, 2014; Honolulu, HI, USA; Team Rice center Nick Mangold of the New York Jets (74) signs autographs for fans during practice for the 2014 Pro Bowl at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets Return To Their Roots On Long Island For Family Night

Oct 8, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets fans pose in front of a bus during tailgate festivities before the game against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets called Hofstra University home for training camp until 2008 before moving to Florham Park then Cortland. They had a couple of Family Night practices at Hofstra but then have avoided the site since 2010.  This year they have decided to go back on August 21st and I, for one, could not be happier. It will bring back a ton of great memories for me.

Some of the most memorable times of my child and young adulthood were spent at Hofstra with my Dad and the Jets. We would find the shade under the trees and just enjoy. You were so close to the players and coaches that it was normal to carry on a conversation with Bill Parcells in between drills. Whether the team was good, bad or ugly we were constantly there. We saw everyone from Vinny Testaverde to Jeff Blake (as a 3rd string unknown) to Keyshawn Johnson to Wayne Chrebet when he was just a UDFA. We’d pair it up with a trip to our favorite Italian restaurant down Hempstead Turnpike Domenico’s and make it a great day.

I had hoped to be able to have the chance to take my son there but just a year before he was born the Jets moved camp. Don’t get me wrong I try to get up to Cortland once a year for the Green/White Scrimmage but it is an expensive trip from Eastern Long Island. Maybe next year SUNY Stony Brook will step up and bring the Jets back to the core of their fan base.

Until that happens at least I will get to go see the team at Hofstra again with my Dad and son. I have August 21st circled on my calendar. Hopefully we create some memories like I had as a kid, ones that will carry my son into his fandom.

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