Ah, summer. Football took a different way to get to August this year, but it's here now with everything that accompanies it. The sounds of pads popping, the smell of the grass fields, the feel of the afternoon sun while watching a training camp practice ...
And the sight of your season tickets being delivered to your mailbox.
The excitement of the coming season is only enhanced by knowing you've got tickets for at least 10 games to be played at New Meadowlands Stadium (and the hopes for two more in the playoffs). The New York Jets are mailing packages to their season ticket holders now, and those packages will be arriving in the coming days.
This year's kit includes your tickets, your season parking passes, and a letter from Jets owner Woody Johnson. And this year there will be another important component to the kit: a green and white Jets baseball cap.
But this isn't just any old Jets cap. These exclusive hats have a logo on the side declaring the wearer a Jets Season Ticket Holder. And on the back of the hat is the number of the section you call home in the Jets' shiny new two-year-old stadium in the Meadowlands.
One complimentary hat is being included in these mailings, and there is an option to purchase additional hats. These caps are the Jets' way of saying thank you for being a Jets Season Ticket Holder.
You can wear your new chapeau anywhere you'd like, but one appropriate place would be to New Meadowlands Stadium for any or all of those 10 games. Two games come in the preseason, against the Bengals (Aug. 21) and Eagles (Sept. 1).
Then the 2011 regular season gets under way. The Jets open on Sunday night, Sept. 11, against the Cowboys and come back the next week with a Sunday afternoon game against the Jaguars (Sept. 18).
In October they tackle the Dolphins on Monday Night Football (Oct. 17) and San Diego (Oct. 23). November brings the Patriots for a Sunday night affair (Nov. 13) and the Bills for a day game (Nov. 27). December beckons with the Chiefs coming in on Dec. 11 and the Giants playing the roles of visitors to the Jets' holiday hosts on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 24.
Then in keeping with their mantra for the season, "Bring It Home," the plans for head coach Rex Ryan's top-caliber outfit are to win the AFC East title, earn a bye week, and play at home in the AFC Divisional Round and then, for the third straight year, in the AFC Championship Game. The goal is to get one last road game, on Feb. 5, 2012, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis — in Super Bowl XLVI.
It's an ambitious home schedule. It's a very exciting one. And it kicks off this month.