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Liz Gonzales: The Beginning of a Long Journey

Posted Sep 11, 2013

It took me two days to drive up to New York from Texas and 27 years to get here, but I have finally arrived! Jets Nation, it is official, I am now a staff member of the Green & White. I will be working alongside Eric Allen to bring you everything Jets, all the time.

My time here has not been long, but I can tell you, it has certainly been eventful.

Last Friday I made my way to Hoboken for Fan Fest at the Pier. The view was incredible (there's really nothing more majestic than the New York City skyline) and it was my first outing as a Jet. Between the larger-than-life Jets cake and the Flight Crew breaking down the place, the party was on point.

Of course a party wouldn't be a party without the most important detail: the people. Fans of all ages gathered to support their favorite team and paint the town green. That's when I really understood the magnitude of this job.

I've been a football fan my entire life. Growing up in Texas (no, I am NOT a Cowboys fan), football truly is a way of life. Sundays are dedicated to watching games and Thanksgiving meal is eaten around the games. It means a lot to me and my family and now I get to be a part of the sport I’ve loved for as long as I can remember.

Sunday arrives. Gameday. Finally.

Grills are out, beers are popped open and fans are ready for a team they’ve been deprived of since last December. Tailgating was taken to the next level this year with the addition of the Aviators, the New York Jets drumline. Fans were taken by surprise as the beats marched through the entire parking lot, adding a college football element to the NFL.

But out of the other 31 teams, ESPN’s power rankings placed the Jets dead last, 32 out of 32. This particular game was the chance for us to quiet critics and answer questions with action.  

And what a way to answer them.

I was in the pressbox the majority of game, and although the view is crystal clear and the accommodations are topnotch, the emotion of the game is more or less removed. It's difficult to hear fans and impossible to hear hits.

Several minutes before the end of the game, EA and I went down to the field. Instantly the energy was overpowering. Jerseys filled the stands and the game was within our grasp. Geno Smith rushed, the penalty flag was thrown, and the kick was good.

The crowd erupted. We were still perfect, 1-0.

But like all things, this season won’t be perfect. It will be full of challenges, joys and disappointments. I’m excited and prepared to face them as part of a team filled with history, tradition, innovation and determination: your New York Jets.

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