This article is unlike any other article I have written in the past and will probably never write another like it in the future. Not long ago the site started a segment called “Featured Fan of the Week” which gives a deeper look at Jets fans who support NYJetsoverthePond.com. My story is somewhat different than any other stories I have received for reasons that will be mentioned later. I wanted to give my viewers a chance to see how the Jets are not only my passion but also the glue that has helped me through my entire life. I also wanted to mention the people who helped me along the way especially Jake Steinberg and Mark Teece. Everyone has that one thing in their life that they cling to in tough times, for me it has always been the Green and White.
My incredible Jets journey began in 1993 when I was five years old. My father won tickets to the Jets & Giants preseason game from his job and I was psyched to go. My Dad was a Giants fan so sadly I was wearing a Dave Brown jersey. If you are asking yourself who that it is don’t feel bad because back then even I did not know. As the game began I had a strange feeling come over me. The Jets were taking the game over and as time went by my Giants jersey was off and I was in full Jets mode. After the game I told my Dad that from that day forward I would be a Jets fan for the rest of my life. Five year olds say crazy things but this one has never changed as you can tell if you are reading this article.
From that point on I went from watching cartoons full time to idolizing players such as Boomer Esiason and Mo Lewis. My Dave Brown jersey was never worn again to the dismay of father, but being a Jets fan just felt right. When I turned seven my parents divorced and to cope with the separation I filled my time with keeping stats on the Jets and their players. It was as if I were a statistician, a hobby I keep until this day. It became somewhat of a full time job and was the main consumer of my time. I will admit I may have been in a state of denial but ever since that event the Jets have helped indirectly with almost every hard time I have been through.
Throughout my years in school I was the go to guy when it came to sports questions. I spent hours and hours writing privately for myself simply because I loved doing it. This again is a hobby I keep until this day as you could tell. My dream was always to work for the Jets in some respect but I thought it would be impossible and I lacked the confidence to publish anything I wrote. You would never see me without my Jets jerseys or other apparel and it filled my closet from top to bottom. I still have all my old Jets things because nothing so great can ever be considered trash in my mind.
I am not the kind of person who believes in the supernatural but on the night of December 7th, 2006 something happened that I just cannot explain. On my way home I was stopped at a red light behind a truck. My car was at a complete stop and out nowhere my Jets bear who I called my copilot fell to the ground. As I leaned down to pick it up I was struck 70 mph by another truck. When the truck hit me I was driven underneath the truck in front of me. Surprisingly the front of the car got almost received as much damage as the back which can not been seen in the picture. My car was demolished with only my seat and the passenger seat intact. If I had not reached down at that moment I would have been cut to shreds by the shattered windows all around me. The only glass not broken was the passenger side which is where the bear fell. As if that was not weird enough, after the crash I noticed that an angel that was connected to my sun visor had been dislodged and landed right next to the bear. When I went to get the belongings out of my car everything was there besides the bear and the angel. I was not mad they were gone because in a sense I am sure they served their purpose. There is a chance that something Jets related may have saved my life that night and my passion for the team grew stronger than ever.
I spent every chance I got from that time on watching games, taking notes and making sure the Jets were part of my everyday life. I went to games in the pouring rain, the extreme heat, snow, and even wind chill in the negatives. I did not care what the situation was I needed to be there to see the thing I loved as much as life. With all these events the confidence in my writing was growing stronger but I still decided not to publish. When I graduated college I was completely lost and had no idea what to do with my major. At the same time my Dad became very sick so yet again I turn to the Jets to take my mind off things. I joined Twitter and saw many great writers which opened my eyes to the opportunities that may be out there for me. For a while all I did was read but I knew that would not be enough to satisfy my hunger for the team.
One man above all others led me to publish. The strangest thing is this man was not a friend or relative but instead a complete stranger. Anyone who is a Jets fan on Twitter has heard of Jake Steinberg and if you haven’t you are missing out on great things that no one else reports. His writing and reporting took a hold of me that has never diminished. You can see how much of a genuine person he is and you can tell what you see is what you get. Jake helps anyone who asks and never lets his success with the Jets go to his head. I knew that this individual had accomplished everything I envisioned and strived for my entire life. Memories of my first Jets game went through my head and the same feeling I felt that day came back to me when I read Steinberg’s work. My goal was to be mentioned in the same breath as Jake and it still is. Now that I see how much hard work goes into sports writing and keeping up with the team I respect him that much more. Many people look up to celebrities and other prominent figures, for me I look up to Jake Steinberg. He gave me the confidence I was missing and gave me the opportunity to say things I would have never said. Many things written in this article are things I have never told anyone for example. He is a person that I can thank over and over again but it will never really show how much he has changed my life. It was not a near death experience or even what could be one of my father's last wishes to finally make me publish, it was Jake Steinberg.
My father who is now terminally ill and I had an important conversation where he said something that always stays with me. He said “do what you love and you will never work a day in your life, you know the Jets are your future let’s just cut to the chase.” Later that day I was contacted by Mark Teece the founder of NYJetsoverthepond and the rest is history. Yet again the Jets had a hold of my life in some way. You may call it coincidence but I like to call it destiny. This team will be a big part of me for the rest of my life and I hope one day I can make my Dad’s statement a reality.