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Tampa Fan Club is Green, Growing


Thousands of Jets fans from across the country tune in each week to watch their favorite team. Despite their geographic distance from the Jets' home turf, these fans are just as committed as those who show up each week at the Meadowlands.

In fact, many fans across the country have formed fan clubs and established meeting places so they can cheer on the Green & White with like-minded peers.

Fan clubs have sprouted up from western Pennsylvania to Los Angeles and numerous stops in between, but perhaps one of the most active and committed groups hails from Tampa, Fla., where the Tampa Bay Jets Fan Club boasts hundreds of members and a dedicated Web site with message boards, photos and a blog.

Though the club was founded several years ago, last year's on-field success reinvigorated the club members' commitment to cheer on their team together at Peabody's Billiards. By the time the Jets took on the Patriots in the playoffs, the core group of fans had grown to more than 60 people who congregated to watch the game. Despite the loss, the club members are looking forward to what they hope will be an even better 2007.

"We are looking forward to the upcoming season," said Jim Sexton, one of the most active members of the club who is often told he resembles center Nick Mangold.

"Some of us, like me, became interested in the Jets because we have friends from New York who moved down to Florida," he said. "Others in our group grew up as Jets fans and relocated to the Tampa area."

Perhaps Steve, the webmaster and founder, summed it up best: "While I really miss going to all the Jets home games and tailgating with a large group of friends, it's really great being here in Tampa around other Jets fans while we root for our team. If you're a Jet fan, you're family!"

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