We’ve been fans of the New York Jets since the beginning. That’s not an exaggeration, either. My dad wandered over to their offices on Madison Avenue in New York and picked up our season tickets before they played their first game at Shea. The only way anyone could have been following the team longer was to have attended Titan games at the Polo grounds. We remember going to Shea with my grandfather, who’s been gone for 35 years now. We remember “bumping into” Ed Sullivan there (literally), who was a fan, and the excitement of the Superbowl win is an actual memory of a real experience rather than something we read about. This year marks the 45th season we’ve been going to games.

After several years at Shea, we discovered that if we left the house 15 minutes earlier, and brought food, we could sit outside the stadium and watch everyone else come in from our folding chairs in the parking lot. We cheered with everyone else in the lot when the temperature display on the billboard near the parking lot dropped another degree and headed inside to endure the wind off of Flushing bay so we could watch our team with friends we only knew from the games. The woman I married met my parents for the first time when I brought her to a game at Shea.

We followed the team to the Meadowlands, where they were a tenant of the Giants, and almost the entire section moved with us. Lenny, who sat behind us at Shea, still sits behind us now. We thought it would be nice if we could actually have our own stadium, but we didn’t think about it a lot.

We learned a few years ago that a new stadium was going to be built next door to Giant Stadium, which would be owned by both teams. The current stadium is still fine, but this one will have luxury boxes, which really don’t apply to us. This year we learned the details. To purchase seats in a similar location at the new stadium requires the purchase of a Personal Seat License for fifteen thousand dollars a seat, which then allows us to buy the same seats going forward for about the same price as we do now. The only allowance being made for 45 seasons of attendance is that seniority will be applied before lotteries are held to allow us to choose licenses for seats at the new stadium. And, since the team records only go back to 1974 or so, we’ll need to compete with with everyone else who has attended for 35 to 45 years, or so. We are also being allowed to compete for seats that are two sections further from the field and don’t require a license or a new mortgage. Either way, there’s no provision we’ve heard of that would sit us near Lenny or all the other Sunday friends we know by face if not name.

I spoke to Lenny last night (after so many years, we do have the number), and he said that this has definitely changed things. He used to live and breathe all things “Jet”. After the way the team has handled this, it isn’t the same. We found out the loyalty only extended one way.

Leave a Reply