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MARTY: Painting a Picture, Then and Now

Posted by jetsstaff on January 21, 2010 – 11:06 am

This week we’re bringing you a trio of voices from the Jets’ championship past, three players who played in the three AFL/AFC title games in franchise history. Today, Marty Lyons, a member of the New York Sack Exchange who’s now the team’s radio analyst, reflects on the 1982 Jets, who won road playoff games at Cincinnati and Los Angeles (vs. the Raiders) before coming to a halt at Miami, just short of Super Bowl XVII.

Nineteen eighty-two was a strike year. The season was shortened, we made it into the playoffs and of course we had to go on the road. We played the Bengals and won, we played the Raiders and won, and then we went down to Miami. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a good outing down there. A lot of it had to do with turnovers. We had five turnovers and lost, 14-0.

Everybody called it the Mud Bowl, said that Don Shula left the tarp off the field. To me, they played on the same field we did. The biggest difference in the game was the mud took away some of our offensive speed. We were a running team with Freeman McNeil and everyone else we had in the backfield. But the bottom line is when you have five interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, it is very difficult to overcome that.

What I remember is the empty feeling at the end of the game, sitting on the turf and then in the locker room. You work your whole life to get to "the game," and in the NFL that’s the Super Bowl. We came within 60 minutes. Everybody said, "Don’t worry, we’ll get ‘em next year." Then the team was dismantled, I retired after the ’90 season and the opportunity never came. These opportunities are few and far between for some players.

Now these Jets have a chance to get to the Super Bowl. Without a doubt, the Indianapolis Colts are going to be a great challenge for them. They’ll be playing against Peyton Manning, the best quarterback to ever play that position in the NFL, a four-time MVP. He knows the game, and it’s going to come at them at a very quick pace. I think there’s more pressure on the Colts than on the Jets in this game, but if there’s anybody who can handle this pressure, it’s Peyton.

He ‘s one of those quarterbacks who can quickly change the game. Last Saturday at the end of the second quarter against Baltimore was a perfect example. Most teams with no timeouts would’ve probably kicked a field goal. Coach Jim Caldwell had the confidence in Peyton to say "I’m going to give you one more play to get it in the end zone." And he does. That changed the whole momentum of the game right there before halftime.

When the Jets win on Sunday — and I’m expecting them to win — they’re going to have to earn it. It’s going to be hard. They’re going to have to control the line of scrimmage, run the ball, go to some play action, and they have to be ready for Peyton.

But this Jets team is a good blend for the young players. Look at what Rex Ryan did, putting out that itinerary: "We’re going to play at Cincinnati in the first round and win, we’re going to go on the road in the second round and win." I think he wanted his players to visualize. A lot of players have never experienced this before. If you paint them the picture, it’s easy for them to understand the story. If you tell them the story and there’s no pictures, sometimes it’s harder.

I think Rex did it with a great deal of respect for the organization and his players. And I’m happy to be a small part of it as a member of the Jets’ radio team.

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Posted in Marty Lyons | 15 Comments »

15 Responses to “MARTY: Painting a Picture, Then and Now”

  1. By jeffrey skinner on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Marty, you are more than a small part of this team, you are a life-time member of the Sack Exchange and the Jet Family

  2. By scjoe on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Good to hear from Marty, I think the 80s was a great time to be a Jet fan, so close, so much, but not much to show for it. Hats off to Lyons, Klecko, Gastineau, Walker, Toon, McNeil, Hector, Mehl, Bruce Harper,Buttle, Blinka, Marvin Powell,etc. and yes, even O’Brien who always seemed to get a bad rap. Thanks for the memories.

  3. By Anonymous on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    I second that scjoe! The 80’s Jets were great, my all-time favorite player is Gastineau. The Sack Exchange was great for sure. J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets!

  4. By Ira on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Marty, First of all you are a class act and did a great job at halftime during the Bengals game. I couldn’t agree with you more about the chance these Jets have this week. Just look at marino he never got back after his rookie year. You have to seize the moment and win now and they will. And i agree the Jets will win this game by winning the battle on both sides of the lines. GO JETS!!!!!

  5. By Dave Reiner on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    This week is going soooo sloooowwww. I can’t wait until sunday. Imagine how long it’s going to be waiting the 2 additional weeks for the Super Bowl?? I wonder if Rexy is gonna get misty when they hand him the Lombardi trophy. ;o)

  6. By 36 year fan on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    This year is for all the lost rings. All the years. All The Jets Familly. For everyone that fought for it. For so long

  7. By 36 year fan on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    And never forget who made this bowl super . It was The Jets.

  8. By Anonymous on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply


  9. By dougmc on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    I was a waiter at Buttle’s restaurant in East Meadow in the early 80’s and met and hung out with a lot of those guys. It was an awesome time until that game in Miami and things got worse till now.We used to hang out in all those Hempstead/East Meadow bars and clubs w/ Jets and ex-Jets as well as Islanders and it was great,but I would give all those nights back to go to Florida this year and win!!!

  10. By Tom Spicer on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply


  11. By Brian Cherry on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Peyton is one of the best. I will be rooting for the NY Jets and hope they get a couple of breaks early. They will still need to hold on at the end as this is a quality team they are playing. I am impressed with the team first feelings they all have been showing when they talk to the media. I just wish they had Big Jenkins to jam em up the middle. Lets Go Jets…

  12. By scott Perry on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    I moved from L.I. as a kid in 1975 and even though I live in Denver with ORANGE blood in my veins I still have my original 1968 World Champion Jets pennant. I am in a weird situation because I consider the Saints my 2nd favorite just a head of the Jets. I hope I can see them play in two weeks!

  13. By Chris DiLeone on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    Fanatic Jet fan my whole life….season ticket holder for 25 years (in on the PSL’ s to boot…..NO MATTER WHAT MY WIFE SAID)…..’82 AFC Championship game was the worst sports defeat I have ever suffered……in the ’98 AFC Championship game I wasn’t to sure going into it against Elway (toughest QB I ever saw)..TOMORROW IS OUR TIME!!!..peyton is soft….good lick on him early will do it…GO JETS

  14. By Jon Phoxx on Jan 8, 2011 | Reply

    Marty and the boys brought a lot of hope and joy to us long-term Jet supporters.

    I would love to see Mark Gastineau sack and dance Just-One-More-Time over a sacked Peyton Manning! Beautiful Baby

  15. By Helen Curtis on Jan 22, 2011 | Reply

    It is great to see that you are still a BIG part of the Jet organization because you represent them very well on/off the field. Having known you and your family the short time our kids went to school together you could tell how proud you were to be a JET PlAYER — so best of luck this weekend. The JETS deserve this win and so does my husband/son because they have been fans for years and years and years and they want you guys to WIN….pst. hard to believe our kids are heading to college next year : ( ….. LOL…GOOD LUCK..

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