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A Day of Surprise, Happy Tears for Marty Lyons

Posted Oct 2, 2013

Jets Ring of Honor day is a week from Sunday, Oct. 13. But for Marty Lyons, this year's inductee, it's more like the Ring of Honor double fortnight.

Marty was around the Atlantic Health Jets Training Complex a few weeks ago and taped an emotional video with my partner Eric Allen. And the big former Jets first-round draft choice and New York Sack Exchange member is back today for more media stops and to watch today's practice.

Part of today's agenda was to have Lyons come into the fieldhouse to see his banner displayed on the wall alongside the banners for the 12 previous inductees, with the surprise being our entire business staff waiting on the turf to greet No. 93 with a long round of applause.

"It's my pleasure to represent all of you and all the Jets past and present," Lyons, now the Jets' radio analyst alongside 12-year partner Bob Wischusen, told the group. "I'm very honored. Sometimes those two words, 'thank you,' aren't enough to tell you how much something is appreciated in your life."

"What makes Marty special," general manager John Idzik told the assemblage, "is obviously his play over his number of years with the Jets but also the man that Marty is. We've been fortunate to have him around after his playing career. He's always a Jet and we're proud to have him here."

Marty told me later that the unveiling indeed was an unexpected development for him.

"John and Neil [Glat, team president] told me, 'Let's just show you where the banner's going to be,' " he said. "No. 1, I didn't think the banner was up. And No. 2, to see everybody from the building there, it was just a special moment."

Marty welled up when he talked with us two weeks ago, and again today entering the fieldhouse, and again with me.

"The emotions just take over," he said. "But they're happy tears."

Wischusen isn't worried about Lyons controlling those emotions during their ESPN New York 98.7 FM broadcast in the first and second halves of the Pittsburgh game, but the halftime ceremonies could be a different story.

"Marty cries at the drop of a hat," Wischusen said. "He was a big, tough football player but he's actually a big softy."

Yet Lyons brought some of his classic Sack Exchange-era fire and brimstone just a few minutes ago as he accepted head coach Rex Ryan's invitation and broke down the post-practice huddle with heartfelt words for the 2013 Jets.

"It's something that I'm sure he's extremely proud of and has earned," Ryan said of the Ring of Honor berth, "not just as a player but with everything he does off the field. He's someone I really look up to."

I'll provide another view on Marty Lyons before, during and after his dozen Jets seasons from 1979-90 with a special pre-Ring of Honor feature next week in the days before the Jets-Steelers game.

Rex Cetera

Our first injury report of the week doesn't have to be filed until Thursday for the Monday night game at Atlanta, but Ryan acknowledged that his wideout group is "probably up in the air right now, dealing obviously with [Santonio] Holmes and a hamstring and Stephen Hill going through the concussion protocol, so we have kind of a beat-up group right now." David Nelson is the newly arrived WR and reporter Charlie Frankel will have a story on him later today.

Ryan wasn't into announcing any lineup changes today. About CB with Dee Milliner still sidelined, he said, "I'd rather not get into it. We'll see how the week goes." About LG Vlad Ducasse, he didn't confirm a change was imminent but said about third-round rookie Brian Winters, "I'd like to see Brian. We'll work him with the ones this week." ... Rex was also in "we'll see" mode about RB Mike Goodson's return to action after his four-week NFL suspension.

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