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STEVE-O: Small Town, Big Intentions

Posted by jetsstaff on August 9, 2009 – 8:53 am

When you arrive in Cortland you get the immediate sense of home. It’s a small town where people always say hi and pick up your wallet when you drop it on Main Street.

They’re primarily Bills fans because of their proximity to Buffalo but since the Jets announced they were coming … the town has turned green. Signs are up everywhere, people are talking about the Jets in camp and genuinely proud the Jets made that move.

Nearly all the Jets personnel and media I chat with are really impressed with the facilities and can’t believe this is a D-3 school.

This town really rolled out the red carpet for the Jets. You should see Doug’s Fish Fry — the owner is a longtime Jets season ticket holder and proudly displays it with a sign in front of the restaurant displaying his seat number in section 137. We ate there one night and a Little League team showed up after one of their games. That’s what makes that town special. Family-owned restaurants like Doug’s and Hairy Tony’s and Dark Horse have a connection with the community.

That’s why the Jets were brought to a town with the population of 18,000 some 3½ hours from the city: to get away and focus on football. I know it’s not the most convenient place to watch training camp, like Hofstra, but it’s about the team coming together. This team has a new coach with a clear new attitude. The swagger and the camaraderie we’re seeing in camp is helped by the fact that they’re cooped up together away from any distractions.

Make no mistake, this team believes in itself and we’ve really seen some guys come out of their shell. How about D’Brickashaw Ferguson proclaiming on newyorkjets.com that he’ll go to the Pro Bowl and already talking Super Bowl? Outstanding. When Brick walked off the field after Thursday’s Green & White Scrimmage, he was hamming it up for the fans and getting them pumped up. Great to see that from a guy who’s just put his head down and worked hard the past three years.

I know it’s not fun when the location makes it harder for fans to come up from Long Island to see their Jets, but if it makes the team better, I’m sure fans will take it. The intention is to help this team bond quickly and buy into the new system.

Those first four games are not easy. Many experts see the Texans as an up-and-coming team. The Patriots are back at full strength. The Titans are always tough and now on a mission. And the Saints are another team with a lot of weapons and one former Jet (Jonathan Vilma) dying to make a statement.

The Jets have to come out strong and learn quick. It’s been five years since they had a winning record over the first 4 games of the season. Four straight mediocre at best starts to the season really digs a hole. And changing location and putting these guys in an environment to connect, it only solidifies the team.

Yes, Cortland may be a bit of a trek for fans, but it’s worth it for you … and hopefully worth it for the Jets.

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Posted in Steve Overmyer | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “STEVE-O: Small Town, Big Intentions”

  1. By treg on Aug 9, 2009 | Reply

    I dont mind move to cortland if it makes my jetsies a better football team.in rex we trust.

  2. By Peter on Aug 9, 2009 | Reply

    Come back to Hofstra…your true fan base is in Long Island!!

  3. By Mike on Aug 9, 2009 | Reply

    Steve, thanks for the Cortland love. I am one of those Buffalo fans but am becoming a convert. My hat is off to the Jets players and coaches. They are the most gracious and appreciative team I have ever seen. I can’t tell you how many times I have been snubbed by the Bills. These young men are establishing a personal connection with many in this community. I hope they return for many years.

  4. By commentman on Aug 9, 2009 | Reply

    I know we have alot of jet fans but its always great to have more, this also means there will be more people going to the games, and as Rex said this will make it much easier for the jets to win home games

  5. By Damone on Aug 9, 2009 | Reply

    That is true,the Jets true fan base in on Long Island!!With that said,all the real fans will stick with the team no matter what.All i want is that Super Bowl!!I believe Woody should have a little more events on Long Island though!

  6. By Damone on Aug 9, 2009 | Reply

    This is ridiculous!!Why is Shawn Ellis just NOW being suspended by the Nfl?!Someone doesn’t want this team to succeed!

  7. By Ray on Aug 9, 2009 | Reply

    SteveO it is mostly Bills and Giant fans in central NY because they have been largely ignored by the Jets. Being a lifelong Jets fan who grew up in central NY I’m thrilled that they went there. And if they choose to make it a yearly thing for a while they will cultivate some new young Jets fans that would have gone to the Bills or Giants. It’s about time they become a team for ALL of New York!!

  8. By sue on Aug 9, 2009 | Reply

    We traveled 3 hours to training camp and it was worth the trip! Only gripe: the VIPs hoarded all of the autograph time after practice and left the crowd behind the fence frustrated. There should be an allotted time for the general public to be able to get autographs, for that is the highlight of their experience!

  9. By Mike on Aug 9, 2009 | Reply

    Oh, there is no doubt that there are many more young fans in CNY. There isn’t a kid in Cortland who isn’t running around with an autographed hat or shirt. Those are lasting experiences and my hat is off to the Jets for putting smiles on so many kids’ faces.

  10. By Laxin50 on Aug 10, 2009 | Reply

    The Jets have turned their back on Long Island.Many fans have given up their tickets.I won’t waste my time going to any more games.

  11. By Ray on Aug 10, 2009 | Reply

    Laxin50 who are you kidding? The fans are giving up their tickets because they are holding training camp in Cortland?? They may be giving them up because of PSL’s or ticket prices at the new stadium. But if they give up on them for training camp they are band waggoners any way. Enjoy your trip up to Albany to see the Giants!

  12. By Navy Jets Fan on Aug 12, 2009 | Reply

    I agree with you Ray, I am in the Navy for 15 years now and have held true to my team. The key is to make them a better team and and bond as a team! I support them in any endeavor they may take to get to the show and recruit more LOYAL fans! GREEN AND WHITE!!!

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