"We're trying to have all our fans wear green for the game, so a Green Out if you will," Ryan said in his opening remarks at this afternoon's news conference at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. "I look at it as a sea of green so the Patriots get to see that. ... It would be fantastic to support us that way."
This may be the first time in franchise history that a Green Out of this magnitude is being called for. Not only are all fans encouraged to wear Jets colors but green towels with the slogan "JET UP! GREEN OUT" will be distributed one per ticket holder upon entering the stadium.
And if fans want further encouragement, green beer will be sold at concessions stands.
The players I polled in the locker room after today's practice — evaluated by Rex as "outstanding ... a great practice" — were learning about the green plans for the first time, and appeared to be happy to hear it.
"Your fans are just as important as any other aspect of the game," LB
"I think the crowd will get into it," said CB
So is QB
"You've seen what it's done for the Pittsburgh Steelers with the Terrible Towel and all that," Reuland said. "It kind of gets everybody a little more amped up, and that's exactly what we need this week. We need the fans to come out and be a big-time factor in the game."
Of course it would be hard to argue that flapping green towels will distract Tom Brady from his appointed duties or will induce Stephen Gostkowski into shanking a few field goals. But one way to negatively influence an opponent is to make loud and sustained noise.
One measure of that is presnap penalties, and in the last four home games against New England, even including the last two losses in '11 and '12, the Patriots committed a combined 11 presnap penalties for 53 yards.
And in two other home "towel" games — 2009, Game 16, vs. Cincinnati, "Win And We're In," and 2010, Game 16, Buffalo, "Play Like a Jet" — the effects were a combined nine presnap flags for 44 yards.
Ryan said he wouldn't mind this turning into an annual tradition, but for starters he's only looking one game ahead, to Sunday.
"I’ll tell you what, our fans are awesome," Rex said. "I just kind of like the idea of ‘You know what, New England? It’s our last shot at you this year. Let’s green up here a little bit and show our colors. You don’t just have to beat us, you have to beat our fans.’ I like that combination. You put our team with our fans, it makes it a lot tougher."
"We definitely appreciate our fans," said Davis. "They've been tremendous to this point. It's our job to give them something to cheer about."