The New York Jets and a Time Before Socia Media


Jul 28, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets fans look on prior to heavy rain and thunder that suspended practice during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

I am a big fan of social media, like I am sure many of you are as well. There is good reason for that, as some of it is quite magical. Think about it, with a few clicks on our phones and other devices, we can make conversation with just about anyone in the world. Heck, I myself have made friends with New York Jets beat reporters, and even some of the players. It’s a great tool.

For all of us it has been a great tool as well. Consider all of the people you have met through social media. Our fan base has gotten to know each other pretty well through social media. I know I have met a lot of my readers, and a lot of great Jets fans through it, and that is invaluable. We do have a passionate fan base, and the more of us that know each other, the more we can band together.

But, has it all been good? I am really not so sure.

Twitter, in part, ended a tradition. We all know the story of Fireman Ed. He was the leader of our chant for many years, until harassment from fans has caused him to retire. Some of that harassment apparently occurred on Twitter. Yes, it was Ed’s choice to start an account on Twitter, but that doesn’t mean people need to be abusive. What was his crime? WEARING A MARK SANCHEZ JERSEY! Seriously?

The Jets have joined the world of social media, and quite successfully. They have one of the biggest followings on Facebook, and it has been a great way for them to convey events, contests..etc. Their Twitter account has been a way to converse directly with fans as well. As they talk on Twitter, they look on Twitter, and likely noticed everyone disappointed about Ed’s retirement. As such, they have taken to assigning each letter to a different section of the stadium.

Now fans are crazy up in arms about it. The Jets should let the chant comeback organically.

What about all of the fan on fan crime? Now that we know at every moment, what is happening at training camp, Jets fans have been on each other’s cases, and hard. It has gotten personal sometimes even, which I have ranted about previously. The point here, is that it has happened due to social media.

I remember a time when there was none of this access. If we wanted to know about our team, we actually had to read the newspaper. Remember that thing? Unless you went to training camp (I don’t remember if it was open back in the day), you didn’t know about the camp battles. You had to see them play out during training camp. We didn’t know quarterback stats from training camp.

As such, we couldn’t get on each other’s cases all the time. We would gather at the games, and root for our team, no matter how bad they were. We didn’t give each other grief, we banded together. We didn’t give our leader, Fireman Ed, any grief either. You know what we did? We rallied with him, and simply screamed our hearts out. No social media, there was less time for fighting, more time for loving our team, the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!

As great as social media is, it has its flaws. For all it has done for us, it has caused some problems as well. Sometimes, I long for the time before we had it. Things were easier back then.