Turn On The Jets is happy to welcome Dave Balcombe and Nikki Charlesworth to the website as weekly contributors to offer a perspective on the team from the United Kingdom. Make sure to follow Dave and his site, along with Nikki and her site.
2015 is slated to be a huge year for the New York Jets and more so than ever as a UK fan. The arrival of the Green and White at Wembley Stadium in October will hopefully bring a raft of new fans; ones eager to see the line up put together by Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles running out on our hallowed turf. Whether you believe it or not, there already exists, across the UK and wider Europe, a passionate and well informed Jets fan base keen to have their voices heard. As two fans matching that description, this column will portray an insight into the views of the UK fan base on both wider Jets and international specific content.
In the 1980s and 90s there was limited coverage of the NFL outside of the US, making it a niche interest here in the UK , dominated by 49ers, Steelers and Cowboys fans. Thankfully, in the last ten years, coverage on (albeit mainly subscription) mainstream TV channels and the emergence of social media have aided the numbers of Jets fans in the UK and Europe. The introduction of the international series, although understandably not universally welcomed in the US, provides a real life NFL experience for British fans. The Wembley games are unique, in that they provide a platform for fans of all teams to wear their colours and support their team beyond just the two who are playing. Although New York has always been a popular tourist destination for UK visitors to the US, the Giants, with their more recent successes have dominated the market here. So this year provides the UK an opportunity to really push the Jets as a known fan base and the franchise here as a whole.
In the wake of one of the best free agency and drafts hauls in recent memory, there is already a lot to feel positive about. The Jets roster looks built to compete. Each position now has challengers looking to rise up the depth chart, battle for results and reparate for last year’s disappointments.
As Gang Green look to progress through mini camps, OTAs, and training camp, there is bound to be a lot of interest surrounding the 2015 Jets, not least from the point of view of us, the UK fans. We’ll be using this space to share our views from over the pond about our common passion: the New York Jets.