New York Jets safety Kerry Rhodes rings the bell at the New York Stock Exchange
On behalf of his fellow teammates and the entire New York Jets organization, safety Kerry Rhodes rang this morning's bell at the New York Stock Exchange - ushering in a new day of trading and the beginning of a well deserved off-season for the team.
"It was a real honor, a great experience to be here," said Rhodes of his morning at the NYSE. "I have watched so many important people stand here to ring this bell, so to have this opportunity was very special."
Standing with Jim Buck, a Senior Vice President of North Fork Bank and Jets corporate sponsor, Rhodes rang the bell amid cheers from the men and women below. Moments later, the typical bustle of the day began and traders buzzed around the floor.
But, for Rhodes and his fellow teammates, the grind of daily practice, meetings and workouts has come to an end. Players have cleaned out their lockers, said their goodbyes, and are heading home to enjoy quality time with their friends and families.
"In football, you never know which of your teammates will return the next season so it is always tough to say goodbye at the end of the season. We hoped we would still be in it, but we have a pretty effective year."
"I am looking forward to going home for a few days and catching my younger's brother's basketball game," Rhodes added.
Though they did not win a championship, the team, and Rhodes, both have many reasons to be proud. Bouncing back from a 4-12 season, the young team with a rookie coach and numerous rookie starters gave their fans a lot to cheer for and much to look forward to in the seasons ahead.
Rhodes, in his second season with the Jets, had a breakout year. Only a few weeks ago, Rhodes received an important honor from perhaps the toughest critics of all – the fans. After a tough loss to the Buffalo Bills, Rhodes headed into the parking lot at the Meadowlands to accept the Spark Plug Award of the Year from one of the Jets oldest and largest tailgates, the Jets Pack. The group unanimously chose to honor Rhodes placing him in among some of the jets most historically valuable players such as McNeil, Toon and Martin.
"It is always nice to be acknowledged by others," said Rhodes of the accolades.