Happy Golden Anniversary, Green & White.
Today is, in fact, the Jets’ 50th anniversary, if you consider their birth to be March 28, 1963, when the sale of what was left of the New York Titans franchise to the five-man ownership syndicate of David A. “Sonny” Werblin, Townsend Martin, Leon Hess, Donald Lillis and Philip Iselin was reportedly completed.
Werblin became the new club’s president and CEO. He presided over the renaming of the original AFL franchise as the Jets and the naming of Weeb Ewbank as the new head coach, both listed as occurring on April 15, 1963 (so there’s another two golden anniversaries waiting to happen). And Sonny was the pointman, with the AFL draft late in 1964, in ushering in the Joe Namath era, which of course led to Jan. 12, 1969. Say no more, say no more.
Since that day, of course, the Jets have not returned to the NFL’s championship game. Many would argue about the number of highlights and great players and coaches in the first 50 seasons of Jets football. Certainly the record shows that in that half-century the Jets have had 27 seasons of .500-or-better ball, 18 winning seasons, 13 postseason appearances and 11 playoff wins.
However, I have always been of the opinion that cheering hard for any team, pro, college or high school, is a lot like being a member of an extended family. You may not always like all the members of your family or the events and outcomes that occur from the actions or inactions of some of those characters.
But when under attack from the outside, it’s time to circle the wagons and let folks know you’re now and always a member of the Green & White family. It’s the only family (or at least one of the only families) you’ve got. You’ve lived your life with them. And the current incarnation of the family has seen that things need to improve and they’re hard at work on improving them. It’s time to celebrate the good.
So in advance of the season ahead, when the Jets organization will celebrate the first 50 years of Jets football, let us know at any time of your favorite all-time Jets and your top Green & White memories. Naturally you can refer to your less-favorite reminiscences as well. But at this moment we’re focusing on the good times of the last 50 years and the good times of the next 50 years.
Now where’s that gold-plated party horn?
Tags: Donald Lillis, Joe Namath, Leon Hess, New York Jets, New York Titans, Philip Iselin, Sonny Werblin, Townsend Martin
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