The fifth annual Jets House, staged with Green Giant as presenting partner, is now in the books, and in keeping with the theme of the New York City venue, the event was a smashing success.
Over a thousand Jets fans, dressed in all shades of green and wearing gameday uniforms ranging from Joe Namath's iconic 12 to Jamal Adams' 33, made the scene during the four sessions on Saturday and Sunday at SPiN New York, the flagship location for the international chain of table tennis clubs. And they were treated to a variety of experiences one floor below the streets of lower midtown Manhattan.
All fans entered SPiN to the warm smiles and rustling pompoms of the New York Jets Flight Crew. From there, some played ping-pong with Jets head coach Todd Bowles on Saturday or any number of players, including tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and safety Rontez Miles. Some talked football with team owner Chris Johnson and general manager Mike Maccagnan.
Many were entertained again with stories from quarterback Vinny Testaverde and wide receiver Wayne Chrebet on the Monday Night Miracle and Testaverde's famous 4½-yard keeper on fourth-and-goal at the 5 to beat Seattle in 1998, and from QB Chad Pennington and WR Laveranues Coles on the crowd-pleasing, playoffs-clinching win over Green Bay in 2002.
"It was a great experience for me to play in front of the New York fans," "Vinny from Elmont" told the fans Sunday morning. "I grew up in New York and coming back here is something I'll always cherish."
At one point the seven-foot Green Giant mascot neared the stage, prompting Pennington to reminisce. "The Jacksonville Jaguars had two tackles, Marcus Stroud and John Henderson, who were about that tall," No. 10 said. "When they were coming at you, you couldn't see anything down the field."
The Jets Kicked Off 2018 with Jets House at SPiN in New York City
Newyorkjets.com hosts Eric Allen, Olivia Landis and Ethan Greenberg kept the crowd involved with the current players and legends as hosts of contests involving Jets trivia, What's In Your Bag? and Dress Like a Jet — with kids teamed up with Demario Davis and Buster Skrine at one session and with Wesley Walker and Freeman McNeil at another to see who could put on a full Jets uniform quicker.
All guests lined up for autographs and selfies with Jets Ring of Honor members Walker and McNeil along with a number of other Jets Legends — Bart Scott, Willie Colon, Erik Coleman, Ray Lucas and Tony Richardson.
Current Jets Bilal Powell, Brian Winters, Brandon Shell, Darryl Roberts, Quincy Enunwa, Ben Ijalana, Davis and Skrine strolled among the ping-pong tables to meet and greet fans and signed all kinds of items, from programs to hats to game jerseys. Seferian-Jenkins even was spotted signing a ping-pong ball. We assume his signature on that item read ASJ.
Four table tennis pros conducted exhibition games, demos and lessons. A highlight of the Sunday afternoon "Pro Bowl Viewing Party" session was a ping-pong tournament with 48 entrants. Estee, 16 years old, won the top prize of 2018 regular-season season tickets and two round-trip flight certificates, all courtesy of JetBlue.
Also there was a virtual reality/augmented reality area for young and old alike. And the buffet featured slider and smoke & BBQ stations and a Sunday brunch starring chicken and waffles.
Miles was as impressed with the event as were the fans.
"It's amazing. This is my first Jets House and I didn't know what to expect," "Tez" said. "The Jets did a great job. It's a great atmosphere."
The Jets House presenting partner was Green Giant and supporting partners were Clorox, Corona, FanDuel and JetBlue.