The Jets begin the second half of their season later this afternoon in Seattle and we are going to find out an awful lot about this football team. After a bye, the 3-5 Jets have an enormous challenge in front of them at CenturyLink Field against a Seahawks team that truly feels it can't lose at home.
If you live locally and have power, I am filling in as host of "Jets Flight Plan" this morning and that will air at 11:30 AM on WCBS-2HD. You will see a conversation I had with Rex Ryan about today's game and our Jets Television Network cameras were also in Hollywood this offseason as LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson got a lesson in filmmaking.
Then later in the afternoon, I'll visit with Don LaGreca and Greg Buttle on ESPN NY 98.7 FM's "Countdown to Kickoff" for a pregame segment. That pregame show begins at 2:00 PM and I'll also check back in with LaGreca and Buttle on ESPN NY 98.7's "Jets Fifth Quarter Show" that will air after the game.
You can also check in this blog space later tonight and I'll give you some of my postgame reactions. Rex Ryan will don a special black hat — "NJ/NY STRONG" — on the sideline today as the organization continues to think about all those people impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
"It's just to let people know, especially the people in our region that were affected by Hurricane Sandy, that our thoughts and prayers are with them," he said Friday. "Hopefully, when they see this on the sideline that they understand that we're with them and we're definitely thinking about them. We're also trying to represent our region when we go up there to play this game. If they can get something encouraging out of our performance, then that really motivates and drives us as well."
On Saturday, I went with a couple of colleagues to a friend's home in Island Park, NY. His house and much of his neighborhood has been decimated by the storm, but each day he goes there and works around the clock. We helped throw out some of his family's possession that been destroyed by flooding and remove some drywall on a first floor that has to be completely rebuilt. His neighborhood looks like a War Zone, but his spirit is strong.
As we ate a meal at the makeshift disaster relief site at Island Park's abandoned LIRR station, he reminded us how football can provide a distraction.
"I haven't watched TV for two weeks, but tomorrow at 4 PM — I'm going to watch my team play and try to return to normalcy for a few hours," he said.
So let's all enjoy the game for a few hours, but remember there are a lot of folks in need right now. If you can help, please do so. Earlier this week, the Jets donated $500,000 be split among three organizations: The Mayor's Fund for NYC Hurricane Relief, the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, and the Nassau and Suffolk County branches of the Salvation Army.