Move over, Original Six. The Fresh Four have just arrived and they’re going to hang with you.
For a year now, the fieldhouse at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, N.J., has been home not only to the occasional indoor practices by the Jets but also to the banners honoring each member of the original six-man class of the Jets Ring of Honor beaming down on those practices and other activities below..
The 25′x20′ canvas banners depicting the faces of Weeb Ewbank, Joe Namath, Don Maynard, Winston Hill, Joe Klecko and Curtis Martin in shades of green and white were hung high on the almost-100-foot-high south wall of the fieldhouse shortly after the first Ring of Honor ceremony. That was held on Aug. 16, 2010, during the Jets-Giants preseason game to open the stadium originally known as New Meadowlands.
Year 2 in the new building brought the second ROH class of Larry Grantham, Gerry Philbin, Al Toon and Freeman McNeil into the fold. And not only have the four new guys on the block had their ceremony at MetLife Stadium on Monday night, Oct. 17, and have seen their names go up on the stadium facade. But now they have to return to New Jersey to see their faces on the wall.
Today was the day that the four new banners, designed by NCG in New York, were hoisted on the fieldhouse walls. Michael Lebet, director of building operations, and his building ops team joined forces with Airside to get the align the six holdover banners with the four new banners, plus two Ring of Honor banners and a 40-foot-high Lombardi Trophy banner in a two-row checkerboard alignment that runs parallel to the south sideline from end line of the turf field below to the other.
First an orange Teupen spider lift was brought into the fieldhouse. Once anchored, workers ascended to banner height, where they used half-inch twisted steel cabling and 3-inch D-rings to hold the new banners in place and wire ties to tighten them at the bottom.
“It’s great to pay homage to our past greats,” said Lebet. “And it’s fun to hang those banners — if you like heights.”
Now 10 classic Jets/Titans faces preside over the activities on the floor below. Joe Rey took the centerpiece photo and the closer view of the crane that soon will be appearing with this blog.
There’s room for plenty more canvases of the Jets’ old masters on the fieldhouse walls. By my count 10 more will fill out the south wall, plus four or five on each end wall and four or five amid the beams and poles on the north wall next to the rest of the training center. It’ll take a few years to fill these empty spaces, but they will be filled.
Let us know who you’d like to see honored next in the stadium Ring of Honor and on the fieldhouse walls. And once again let’s lift our glasses high to the Terrific Ten now towering above us here. May more memories be added to those they provided us, especially in the next 12 or 13 games that the Jets are planning for the remainder of the 2011 season.
Tags: Al Toon, Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, Curtis Martin, Don Maynard, fieldhouse, Freeman McNeil, Gerry Phlbin, Joe Klecko, Joe Namath, Larry Grantham, Michael Lebet, Ring of Honor, Weeb Ewbank, Winston Hill
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