Two days before officially entering the New York Jets Ring of Honor, the newest member of the Green & White pantheon came by to inspect his new place of residence — high up on the south wall of the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center fieldhouse.
"Aha! Looks nice up there," Emerson Boozer proclaimed about his smiling face from a photo almost a half-century earlier on a 12' x 10' banner, nestled in the middle of the banners belonging to now fellow Ring members Joe Namath, Don Maynard, Larry Grantham and Wayne Chrebet. While Boozer's likeness now hangs from the left of the Super Bowl III trophy, the banner for Matt Snell, being inducted along with Boozer, hangs to the right.
"Great bunch of guys, too," he said of his company on the wall.
A group of Jets employees, including head coach Todd Bowles, were on the fieldhouse turf on Friday applauding and greeting Boozer, his wife and daughter for this special tour of the building.
"I watched Emerson play all the time," said Bowles, the Elizabeth, NJ, High School grad who went on to play for the Redskins in the Eighties and Nineties. "I didn't see the start of his career but I saw him during his career and I just remember him being a great football player."
Boozer and Matt Snell rolled on like no other two backfield teammates in franchise history. They teamed up for the Jets from 1966-72, including the glorious 1968 season that culminated in those two and many others hoisting the trophy for winning Super Bowl III on Jan. 12, 1969. They'll be inducted into the Ring of Honor at halftime of Sunday's game at MetLife Stadium against the Miami Dolphins.
The Ring of Honor, now 17 members strong, is one of the focal points of this weekend of Jets football, but it's not the only one. The Super Bowl is being celebrated around the NFL this year leading up the SBL in Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, on Feb. 7, and so the members of the Jets' Super Bowl team have been invited back this weekend to join in the festivities, as well as all other former members of the team for Jets Alumni Homecoming.
The Jets legends will begin arriving in New York City on Saturday for a dinner welcoming all. One of the activities at the dinner will be presenting the newest Ring members with, well, their rings. Usually the date of the induction is inscribed inside the ring, but for this occasion the inscription reads simply "19 Straight" — the Boozer/Snell signature play, the play they ran to their only touchdown and the first points of Super Bowl III, Snell powering left for 4 yards behind the blocks of, among many Jets, Boozer.
On Sunday at the stadium, the group moves to the auxiliary locker room to "suit up" once again — Ring of Honor members in green jackets, Super Bowl players in white jerseys, the rest of the alumni in green jerseys — before being introduced to the crowd.
About 75 alumni are expected in for the big day. About 25 of them are representing the Super Bowl team and nine of them are Ring of Honor members. Several men, among them Namath, Winston Hill and now Boozer, qualify as members of all three groups.
"I'd like to thank everyone that helped organize this event," Boozer told the group before moving on to interviews with SNY and Jets reporters. "I appreciate all the efforts that have been made to bring this event on. I thank you and let's roll."
And so one of the great weekends in New York Jets history was off and running. We'll pass on the list of all the Super Bowl members and alumni in attendance after Sunday's game.
Former Jets Great Emerson Boozer Gets the VIP Treatment at Jets Practice