By a unanimous vote, the members of one of the oldest and largest Jets tailgates, Jets Pack, chose to honor breakout player Kerry Rhodes this past Sunday with their annual Sparkplug Award.
The Sparkplug Award has become more than just tradition – it is a right of passage for many of the Jets most historically valuable players including Gastineau, McNeil, Toon and Martin to name a few.
Each year, towards the end of the season, the members of the Jets Pack vote on the player they would most like to honor for their success on the field.
On Sunday evening, after a tough defeat to the Buffalo Bills, Jets safety Kerry Rhodes made his way through the parking lots to a tailgate party in lot 14B where the mood was anything but somber. Richie Parrin, founder of the Jets Pack, and more than 100 members eagerly awaited Rhodes arrival when they would toast the player's accomplishments and wish him continued success.
With enough food for a small army, and a cake decorated in Rhodes honor, the members of the group congratulated Rhodes on his stellar season to date. Heartened by his surroundings, Rhodes dug into a piece of cake and pondered his success. Not only was he humbled by the reaction of his fans but by the addition of his name to a plaque filled with Jets legends.
The Jets may have had a tough loss on Sunday, but by the time Rhodes left the parking lots, he was no longer looking back.