Jets Rookies Capture Bowl Win over the Giants
Much to just about everyone's surprise, nearly 60 combined players from the New York Jets and the New York Giants squared off in a free-for-all to kick off the 2006 season. The match was somewhat unorthodox for both teams, as it was played with no refs, no fans, and no pads; just balls – bowling balls that is.
At Chelsea Piers Bowling Alley, the Jets rookie class unleashed a dramatic come from behind victory over the first year G-Men, and claimed the inaugural title in the Jets, Giants Rookie Bowl. The event, put together in conjunction with Jets Player Development Director Jerome Henderson and Giants Director of Player Programs Charles Way, was organized for more than just direct competition between the cross-town rivals.
"Their rookies are going through the same things that our rookies are," said Henderson. "It's good for them to see some new faces, to interact with other people that are in similar situations, people whom they can identify with, and that are going through the same struggles they are going through. It's good to just let them let their hair down for a change."
The Jets victory, sparked by running back Stacey Tutt's pin-shattering performance, came in spite of a triple digit point deficit following the first of two intense rounds. Tutt led all bowlers with scores on the brink of the 200 point plateau, earning him the first ever highest bowler trophy.
"I lived about a mile from a bowling alley growing up, and my Dad was in a league, so I would bowl two to three times a week," said Tutt, who came fully prepared and was also exceedingly heckled with his own ball and shoes.
Despite the heart-rending defeat, Way felt the event was a success from the get go, even after graciously handing off the three-foot trophy to his victorious counterpart, Henderson.
"It's just a fun event. It gets them out of their regular environment of everyday practicing, studying, being around coaches and being around us," Way said. "Just to get them in a relaxed environment with other players who are in the same situation they are really helps and it's just something new."
Unfortunately for one particular Jets rookie, the Green & White took home all of the available hardware. Tackle Ed Blanton, who scraped up scores nearly a quarter of his body weight, received an attractive trophy of his own, as he earned the lowest total score among all bowlers.