New York Jets

Wed, 17 Sep 2008 20:56

The history of New York Jets

About the NFL team New York Jets.

This team from the Eastern Division of the NFL traces its beginnings in 1960, where it started as American Football League’s charter member. Their home court is the Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. In 2008, the New York Jets opened their training facility and headquarters in Florham, New Jersey, moving out from the old home at Hofstra University in Hempstead in Long Island, New York.

They used to be known as the New York Titans when they started in 1960, and, as already stated, the team has been a charter member of the American Football League.

In the beginning of the Titans’ bid to stardom in 1962, the team was down. Despite fielding good players and finishing impressively in two seasons, the future of the team remained doubtful. Harry Wismer, the team's original owner, saw an opportunity when Sonny Werblin and Leon Hess signified their interest to buy the failing team.

On March 13, 1964, Werblin and Hess bought the New York Titans, and they were renamed the New York Jets, a team that joined the NFL after the American Football League fused with the National Football League. Leon Hess retained sole ownership of the team after buying it out from Sonny Werblin. The also changed its colors from blue and gold to white and kelly green, the official colors of Leon Hess’ gasoline refilling stations.

From 1964 to 1983, the Jet’s had their home field at the Shea Stadium. A phenomenal break arrived in 1967, when Joe Namath, who plays as a quarterback for Alabama, joined the team. Namath led the Jets in attaining an 8-5-1 record, their best ever. The star player also set a milestone that year, when he passed 4,007 yeards in a 14-game season. Namath’s record made him the first-ever professional quarterback who made more than 4,000 yards in a single season. What was normally considered excellent is passing 3,000 yards.

The Jets made history when they downed the Baltimore Colts during the Super Bowl III. They were the first American Football League team to put down a National Football League member team, a distinction they hold until today. Prior to the Super Bowl, Namath rallied his team to beat the Oakland Raiders in one of the most thrilling AFL championship match; the score is 27-23.
In the match against Baltimore Colts, many considered the Jets as the underdogs. While Namath is receiving honors from the Miami Touchdown Club, wherein he was named Player Of The Year. His famous heckle “We will win this game, I guarantee you” proved that the greatest moment for the Jets is indeed just few sleeps away; and so, they gained the full respect that was never bestowed to them before.

After Joe Namath, Walt Michaels took the teams lead after his hiring in 1977. The odds were not friendly to the Jets until the 1978 season, when quarterback Matt Robinson rallied an 8-8 finish for the team. In the next season, Richard Todd worked from the center to maintain an 8-8 finish. Todd intercepted 30 times in the 1980 season, but the team finished last place in the AFC east division. The following year, the team was rejuvenated again, finishing 10-5-1 with Todd passing 3,231 yards and 25 touchdowns to Wesley Walker and Jerome Barkum.

In 1983, a new coach took over – Joe Walton, who was able to lead the Jets to a 7-9 standing for than season. The following year, they moved to the Giants Stadium after finishing the lease with Shea Stadium. Staying in a New Jersey stadium, the Jets maintained the “New York” tag, similar to the move of the Giants who use to be the stadium’s tenant. However, the physical distance to the Times Square and the middle of Manhattan from the Giants stadium is closer than Shea’s.
Dick Steinberg, who use to work for the New England Patriots, was hired as the team’s general manager in 1990. Bruce Coslet also came in as head coach. Brad Baxter came in the following year, sporting an impressive 11 rushing touchdowns, to move the Jets to an 8-8 finish.

In 1994, Dan Marino executed that famous “Fake Spike” against Dolphin’s Aaron Glenn, who expected the Jets would spike the ball to freeze time but he threw a winning touchdown to Mark Ingram, who delivered victory in less than a minute of time left. Marino came from the Miami Dolphins, where he also set an outstanding feat.

In 1997, Bill Parcells agreed to take the coaching job for the Jets. Parcells urged the team to bring back the 1960’s uniform, this time with a darker shade of green. He wanted to see again the Jets in the colorful victories during those years.

Upon Leon Hess’ death in 1999, the heir of his estate sold the team to Robert Wood Johnson IV, the wealthy heir of Johnson & Johnson. The new chapter in the Jets’ life is what is now called the Chad Pennington era.

By the year 2000, Chad Pennington was seen as Joe Namath’s “Second Coming.” This period saw the fast changing of faces in the team, with some old mates coming back with some new ones arriving. The East Division of the AFC became more competitive after two years. The injury sustained by Vinny Testaverde somewhat crippled the Jets momentarily. Newly hired coach Bill Belichick, who was personally picked by Bill Parcells, made a record after he resigned with just a day in the job. His widely intrigued napkin-written resignation letter reads “I resign as HC of the NYJ.”

The year 2004 brought the Jets a promising 10-6 finish. On January 8, 2006, it was unfortunate for the Jets to lose their head coach Herm Edwards, who signed a $12,000,000 contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.

In 2006, Eric Mangini, New England’s defensive coordinator, replaced Edwards. On February 7th of the same year, General Manager Terry Bradway passed on his position to his assistant, Mike Tannenbaum. The season was friendly to the team, allowing them a 10-6 finish.

The next season marked an intense rivalry between the New York Jets and New England Patriots, which is mainly attributed to Eric Mangini and Bill Belichick’s much publicized “not-in-good-terms” relationship. The raging rivalry produced a domino-effect among the fans, which fueled the team hotter. Later that year, the Jets accused Belichick of authorizing his staff to sneak through their home ground and film their defensive signals, in violation of league rules.

Today, the Jets are back alive by the arrival of Brett Favre, a 4th round draft pick from the Green Bay Packers. Although still less than a month ago since August 6, 2008, replicas of the Jets’ deep shaded green jersey with the name “Favre” and number “4” are selling in the Jets’ memorabilia shop. Basically, the Jets history is a succession of two great players, Joe Namath and Chad Pennington. Will Favre be the third coming of the Jets’ saviour? Will Favre be able to prove he is the third “messiah” to prime up the New York Jets in the upcoming games at home against the New England Patriots this September 14th, in the showdown with Cincinnati Bengals on October 12th and finally the coming of the Kansas City Chiefs on October 26th?