The Super Bowl is about stories, circles within circles, connections lost and then found again, trips short and long and in between to the highest of pinnacles.
And no one knows that better than John Idzik.
The Jets' now second-year general manager held court in a Q&A session with Eric Allen on "Front Office Day" at Jets House this afternoon, and EA recalled that Idzik has quite the track record along the Super Bowl trail on his way to the Green & White.
Idzik, fans will recall, was Tampa Bay's assistant GM when the Buccaneers won it all after the 2002 season. And he was Seattle's vice president of football administration up through last season, and now of course the Seahawks are vying for the Super Bowl XLVIII title with the Denver Broncos on Sunday night in Idzik's new home stadium.
"I feel great for them," Idzik said of the still rising 'Hawks. "First of all, I'm very grateful to have been a part of that organization. That community really supports their team. We kind of went through a three-year deal there and now they have gotten to this point. And I feel very proud and very grateful to have been a part of that, very happy for those guys."
That Super road was even longer, both for the Bucs and for Idzik, who joined them in '93 for a 12-year run.
"It's an incredible feeling. You really can't describe it. But it was really about the journey," he said. "In Tampa's case, it was a long journey, and to finally make it to the top was a great feeling. And that's what we anticipate right here with the New York Jets."
That was music to the ears of the green-clad fans who made it to today's sixth consecutive sellout session at Jets House, right across the street from Madison Square Garden. Idzik had no Namathian guarantees for us all, but he didn't shy away from telling us the trip is under way.
"What makes our sport unique is we bring together so many different people from different backgrounds to so many different facets of the organization," he said. "I feel real unity in our building. I feel real unity in our locker room, our coaching staff, our personnel staff, our front office, our business side. We even feel it in this Jets House here today. And I think there's strength in numbers in what we do and that's what gets us excited."
Idzik said that all of us in the room who recalled the joyous aftermath of the visitors' locker room in Sun Life Stadium after we knocked the Dolphins out of the playoffs, got to 8-8, and put the final piece in place for Woody Johnson's announcement to the team that head coach Rex Ryan would return for 2014 were getting a glimpse of something genuine.
"For those of you that witnessed the emotion that we felt in that locker room, that's real, that's real. The emotion that we felt in our exit interviews with the players the next day, that's real," he said. "So it's very, very exciting to be working with a group that's really coming together."
Johnson Drops By Too**
We mentioned "Front Office Day" before because Johnson also made an appearance at Jets House during the day session today. He spent some time engulfed by Green & White fans, shaking hands, signing autographs, and taking photos. One young fan presented him with a Jets cap to sign, which he immediately put up to his trademark light green tie to see how the different shades of Jets colors matched up.
As Johnson was looking the other way, Into the crowd came one large "fan" who said, "I want an autograph, too, Mr. Johnson." It was Marvin Jones, the middle linebacker on Johnson's first teams as owner of the Jets from 2000-03 and back for his second day at Jets House. Employer and former employee embraced. Touching sight if you're a longtime fan of the J-E-T-S, as many were in this session.
Also on hand were C Nick Mangold, S Josh Bush, followed by a pair of quarterbacks, Chad Pennington from the past and Geno Smith representing the present and future. I'll have a story on Geno's remarks and Chad's comments to me about the Jets signalcaller that will go live in another hour or so.