Throughout the offseason, NewYorkJets.com reporters Eric Allen, Ethan Greenberg, Randy Lange and Olivia Landis will each give their predictions to a series of questions regarding this year's Jets.
Today's question: What is your favorite Jets memory?
EA: The 2020 season will be my 20th with the Green & White. It still feels like yesterday when I was interviewing for a PR position when the recently hired Herman Edwards recognized me from the previous year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and asked, "What you doing here, babe? The boat ready to set sail. Are you going to be on board?" I jumped on and have seen the majestic waves and the turbulent storms for two decades. The best part of the Jets has been the people and that lifelong friends I've met on both the football and business sides. Maybe in my book I'll expand on the moments, the unbelievable relationships, the funny tales and the stuff that made you want to run through walls either in delight or madness, but I don't know if anything tops Dec. 29, 2002 and Jan. 4, 2003. For a few days at the old Meadowlands, the Jets were unbeatable, the noise was piercing and the earth never stopped shaking. After starting 2-5 and Herm declaring You Play to Win the Game, the Jets would go on to win the AFC East with a 9-7 mark. When it was announced to the crowd the Patriots had defeated the Dolphins and opened the door for the Green & White, the faithful erupted and an avalanche ensued. Brett Favre and the Packers and Peyton Manning and the Colts were buried and collectively a team and its fan base connected for a glorious week.
EG: This is twofold answer for me. Growing up in New York City, I went to and watched Jets games with my grandmother and my father every Sunday. It was a staple of my childhood, so there are a lot of games to choose from. Ones that immediately come to mind are the Jets' trouncing of the Arizona Cardinals in 2008 as Brett Favre threw for six touchdowns passes and the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 against the Cowboys. But I'll never forget the season finale against the Bengals in 2009. I was sitting in section 221 in the bitter cold, freezing my tail off with my dad while watching the Jets clinch a playoff berth with a 37-0 win. As an employee, the 2018 season opener in Detroit stands out. Sam Darnold's first ever pass in the NFL went the other way for a touchdown and Ford Field erupted as Quandre Diggs crossed the goal line. However, Jets Nation was leading "J-E-T-S" chants by the end of the game following a 31-point third quarter that included scores on offense, defense and special teams en route to a 48-17 victory. The plane ride home was extra sweet following a lopsided victory in enemy territory.
RL: It would be safe to pick a specific game here from the Jets archives, but my favorite Green & White memory over the years is two words: Curtis Martin. I covered the incomparable running back as a beat writer from 1998, when Curtis arrived, through the end of his playing career in 2005. I even dedicated one chapter plus the cover of my 2005 book, Stadium Stories: New York Jets, to No. 28. Then as a Jets employee, I had the honor of helping in a small way in the successful drive to get Martin selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012. A particularly fond memory was when photog Al Pereira and I went up to his Indianapolis hotel room the next day and had a NewYorkJets.com interview and photo shoot with Martin shortly before he joined his Class of '12 mates on the RCA Dome turf for their first introductions to the world as HOFers. Thanks for the memories, Curtis.
OL: I think for a lot of people, this answer may be packaged into a specific game or player, but for me it is much different than that. Growing up in Colorado my whole life, when I first moved to the East Coast to start my job as a team reporter, it was a bit of a shock for me. The culture, people, environment and hustle of New Jersey and New York took a slight minute to get acclimated to. But once I did, I loved everything about my experience and the people. I can recall two separate occasions that stick out in my mind. The first was my first day on the job in 2017, which just so happened to also be the first day of training camp. I was thrown into the mix immediately and became exposed to what my first year in the NFL would entail. A second memory was the 2018 NFL Draft in Dallas — the year QB Sam Darnold was drafted. The energy, anticipation and excitement around both the organization and fan base was exhilarating and remains one of my fondest memories.