Hurricane Sandy Relief – Tailgate 4 Tri-State

Learn how to donate to the Hurricane Sandy Relief fund at your next Jets or Giants Tailgate

David Levy is a local filmmaker and New York Jets fan, who we have previously worked with at Pro Football NYC and Football Reporters Present – We are happy to help him publicize this event to raise funds for Hurricane Sandy relief. 

Last Monday was the worst hurricane or “superstorm” to be seen by the east coast. New Jersey’s shore line devastated.  Fires rage in New York City boros and burn homes to the ground. Manhattan darkened. Possessions lost, homes destroyed, and lives changed forever. A recovery and clean up seems eternal. Gas lines may be getting shorter but so are people’s patience. Power has yet to be restored in many locations while families suffering their worst heart break have yet to receive help of any kind.

My family has roots in Belmar, NJ.  One of the shore towns hit hard by Sandy. My grandparents ran Levy’s Bakery on F Street for many years. My Aunt Norma and Uncle Herbie lived down there until the mid 90’s.

I practically grew up in Belmar. I can remember not just being on the beach and enjoying the ocean, but the holidays with family, spending hours upon hours at Rooftop Golf and Arcade, Zelbe’s, Siderhoff’s hot dogs, Klein’s, Djai’s, Bar A, and so much more of my life happened in Belmar.

Sandy removed the entire boardwalk and dropped it off three blocks from the beach.  A town devastated along with many communities that seek assistance in rebuilding the Jersey shore. Like many Jersey natives my heart sank lower and lower watching the destruction. Not just here in New Jersey, but Staten IslandLong Island, and every area in new York ravaged by Sandy.

I felt the need to do something. I am not sure what exactly, but I wanted to do something for those that had their lives disrupted and still looking for the pieces to get it back together. So many individuals, companies, Government groups, and so many more are doing what they can to raise funds and material items for those displaced by Hurricane Sandy.   did not want to carbon copy anyone and wanted an effort to be fun and unique while supporting a great cause.

I thought about the Jets fans I had met while filming my documentary about the Jets and their fans. Here you have thousands upon thousands already in one location and many would be willing to support a great cause.

But why just limit it to the Jets?

Giants fans are very passionate and dedicated.  They bleed red and blue as much as a Jets fan bleeds green. So extending an opportunity to donate to a cause that affected us all seemed only natural.

But the catalyst. The concept to bring it all together to make it a worthy event where fans could give their time and donate to Hurricane Sandy relief. Then it hit me.

Tailgating!

Every Jets and Giants fan likes to party and celebrate before any game. Getting friends and family together to throw back some cold ones, grill up our meaty feast, and yell at those fans who wear the jerseys of the opposing team. Ahh, yes….tailgating!

On behalf of Football Reporters Online, I am organizing Tailgate 4 The Tri-State. We are looking for any and all New York Jets and Giants tailgaters to support T4T as all proceeds will go to the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy relief effort.

Myself and others not just lost power, but many lost food, belongings, and homes as well.  As New York area fans, we want to provide support for those who need to start over.  That is why we are organizing this relief effort to cover both the Jets and Giants tailgating.

Tailgate 4 The Tri-State will take place Sunday, November 25th at the Giants/Green Bay Packers game & Sunday, December 2nd at the Jets/Arizona Cardinals game.

It is very easy to participate.  Just do what one normally does before any home game, tailgate!!  Have fun!  Invite friends and family to make it a t rue game worth remembering. That is 90% of what we would like to accomplish. There are three options to do your part for Tailgate 4 The TriState:

1 – Many tailgating groups charge a fee to be able to partake in their tailgate.  We ask if these tailgate groups could donate a portion of those fees towards the Tailgate 4 The Tri-State effort

2 – A group could also make one lump sum donation from everyone in that tailgate as well

3 – The CELEBRITY APPRENTICE donation.  This is for very few willing to make the kind of donation that speaks volumes.

Many will laugh at Number 3, but you never know how generous someone will be.

The Giants & Jets have already given $500,000 each for Hurricane Sandy relief.  We as Jets and Giants fans have a chance to show our support and make our contribution. We have an opportunity to be heard loud and clear.

As of now the Jets tailgate on December 2nd will get loud as Fireman Ed Anzalone is on board with T4T.  Fireman Ed will be offering his time at where we designate the central tailgate to be.

We will designate a flagship tailgating location at both games once we hear back from those wanting to participate.

We just started reaching out to fans, other companies, and former players to get involved with T4T, so updates will be coming.  They can be found on our Facebook page.

When I contacted the Jets on Monday, I added this in my letter:

I am sure you know time is of the utmost importance on this (organizing this project).  I hope the Jets organization would want to support their fans efforts in coordinating a program to raise funds for Sandy relief.  Please contact me with any questions or when a decision is reached.  Thank you for taking the time to consider this for your next home game.

After hearing back from the Jets, they regretfully can not get behind and endorse a cause that is being held on the MetLife Stadium property due to other contractual obligations.

They will be announcing their own efforts where fans can help raise funds during the New England Patriots game on Thanksgiving.  So for our effort during tailgating, we will not have the Jets support. The Jets can only support fans efforts away from MetLife Stadium.

For those Jets or Giants tailgaters looking to have their tailgate participate in Tailgate 4 The Tri-State can email us at Tailgate4TriState@gmail.com or visit our Facebook page where there is additional contact information.

Before You Criticize The New York Jets, Think About The Source

The New York Daily News and Manish Mehta should be facing criticism and scrutiny…not the New York Jets

If you have never watched the television show The Wire, I recommend it highly. In the fifth season, they focus on the degradation of the print news media by focusing on a journalist called Scott Templeton. In a bid to drive attention to his articles, Templeton exaggerates quotes and uses fake sourcing, while frequently hiding behind the guise of “anonymous” sources. The New York media has their very own Scott Templeton covering the Jets. His name is Manish Mehta and his employing paper is, The Daily News. 

Today the football world is up in arms about the “cowardly” Jets for trashing backup quarterback Tim Tebow. How dare they not put a name on it? There is one quoted player in the article, guard Matt Slauson, who confirmed today the quotes were taken “so many months ago, he can’t even remember it”…something confirmed by Rex Ryan.

Now, let’s do a thought exercise…

You are a beat writer for the New York Jets for a print newspaper. You work in a dying medium and industry. A quarterback controversy sells newspapers. You are dying for a quarterback controversy…practically begging for it…even charting every single pass thrown by both quarterbacks in training camp. You do this despite it being abundantly clear that there is no quarterback controversy. There never has been. This reality is now setting in because despite Mark Sanchez being awful this year, he still hasn’t been pulled for Tim Tebow yet. What if it never happens? What if Tebow leaves New York before ever starting a single game? Now you are desperate, desperate enough to dust off some old quotes from your anonymous sources for a front page story. These quotes weren’t necessarily taken recently or taken in any context related to anything that is occurring right now, but what the hell right?

Look at the quotes in this article about “Tebow” and add some hypothetical context to them –

“He’s terrible” – Defensive Starter – This literally could have been said by any Jets starter since Tebow burst on to the scene in the NFL at any point, in any context. It could have been said before Jets/Broncos last year. It could have been said by Aaron Maybin after he was cut (he has been announced as a starter at Jets games before). It could have been said by anybody at anytime. 

“Hell, no!” another starter said. “You got to keep defenses honest. You just can’t line up in the Wildcat all the time. That won’t work.” – This could very well be a quote taken from Calvin Pace talking about the Wildcat back in 2009. It could have been taken from any player over the summer when asked if they want to run a traditional offense or a Wildcat and then they responded with this answer. It could have been taken from Darrelle Revis last year before the Jets/Broncos game

“We can’t win running that shit” – One player 

“Nobody wants him to be the starter” – One member of the team

“We don’t look at him as a quarterback. He’s The Wildcat Guy” – Another starter

How many times after the Tebow trade and throughout the summer have we heard members of the New York Jets say something like this? Maybe one or two million times, I lost track. Like here. Or Here. Or Here. Think about how easy these quotes could flow from any Jets player asked in the past 6 months about Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow, and then they could be construed into what is above –

“Yes, we support Mark, we all want him to be our starter” = “Nobody wants Tebow to be a starter”

“Tebow is an athlete, he is going to help us in The Wildcat. Mark is our quarterback” = “We don’t look at him as a quarterback. He’s The Wildcat Guy” 

You can make these deductions when the quotes seem a little too perfect. It is easy to make them sound that way when you cherry pick from everything members of the team have said the past year or so.

If I was Rex Ryan? I’d deny The Daily News access to Florham Park. Lock them out. Let’s see if ESPN or the New York Post breaks any of these same stories. If they do, the Jets are the problem. If they don’t, you know who the problem really was.

Before you trash the entire Jets locker room and Rex Ryan. Re-read the article you are criticizing them over and think if it is really the most sound piece of sports journalism you have ever seen.

New York Jets – Tannenbaum Must Go!

Mike Donnelly on why the New York Jets must fire GM Mike Tannenbaum

With the Jets once again getting all the headlines for more bad reasons today, it looks like the 2012 season is ready to be flushed down the toilet like the turd that it is. With players speaking up publicly about their frustration with the team’s biggest offseason publicity stunt–uhh, I mean quarterback transaction,Tim Tebow, it sure seems like last season’s fractured locker room has officially returned. Rather than harp again on Tebow and Sanchez or Sanchez and Tebow, let’s take a look at how we really got here. Let’s take a look at the man who led us on this path. Let’s take a look at Mike Tannenbaum.

I tried to warn Mike back in August that this roster he put together simply wasn’t good enough. I used to really like Mr. T and was a staunch supporter, so it upset me the way things were starting to look. I questioned his series of head-scratching moves over the course of the past year plus. I offered him solutions and begged for some sort of explanation as to what the hell was happening to our beloved New York Jets, but unfortunately we never got any answers of any kind. It’s become painfully clear that the reason the Jets as an organization were never able to answer any of our questions and concerns about what was going on was because they didn’t actually have any answers. They knew just as little about this team as we did. There was no plan. There was rhyme or reason to any of these moves. The team was just slapped together with one quick-fix after another, and now those rubber bands and paper clips holding the franchise together are starting to break apart. So how did this happen?

1- Awful Player Evaluation – It doesn’t take a football expert to know that the foundation of a team is built through the NFL draft. You get to add several young and inexpensive players to your roster each year. You re-tool for the next few years, fill holes, and that’s supposed to be your rock. You develop these players, hope to hit on way more than you miss on, and then you complement this foundation with free agent signings, trades, and waiver pickups. It takes 3-4 years to fully evaluate draft classes, but players you draft are supposed to be the heart of your team. Well let’s take a look at Mr. T’s drafts from the 2008-2010 seasons, which should be a major part of our team.

  • 2008Vernon Gholston, the #6 overall pick, is out of the league. Dustin Keller was traded up for at #30, which was a complete reach and a poor trade, despite Keller turning into a solid if unspectacular tight end. Dwight Lowery was a solid player before being given away for a blocking sled to the Jaguars in 2011. Marcus Henry and Erik Ainge are out of football.
  • 2009– In perhaps the biggest move of Tannenbaum’s career, he pulled off a blockbuster trade for Mark Sanchez at #5 overall. I supported the trade-up for a potential franchise QB at the time, and quite frankly, I still do, even if it hasn’t quite panned out. The real indefensible thing with this selection was how from Day 1, the organization seemingly went out of their way to NOT develop him properly. The Jets also traded up to the first pick of Round 3 in order to draft running back Shonn Greene, who is a decent back in a platoon, but hardly a featured player. In round 6, Matt Slauson was added, which was a rare good late round pick.
  • 2010– All you really need to know is that Kyle Wilson was drafted in the first round. The same Kyle WIlson who revolutionized the cornerback position these past few years by showing you can make millions of dollars by never once turning around to track a pass in the air, giving hope to all young terrible cornerbacks out there. Following that up in round 2 was the immortal Vlad Ducasse, who despite being tried at 3 different offensive line positions, still found a way to be equally awful at them all. Rounding out this historically bad draft class was Joe McKnight in round 4 (a running back they don’t allow to play running back), and John Conner, the 1-dimensional fullback whose one dimension happened to be poor run blocking. Imagine if the Jets drafted just ONE useful player in this class. Could that have put them over the top to beat the Steelers in the playoffs? I guess we’ll never know…

With so little talent coming in over the past few years, it starts to make sense as why the team is in such dire straits, especially when you factor in all the reliable players Mike Tannenbaum let go of. Why did he let so many good players go? Because he thought he had some really excellent replacements ready to step in. Which brings me to…

2- Overrating of Own Players / Arrogance – The arrogance shown by this front office the past few years is absolutely startling. In 2010 this was one of the most talented rosters in the NFL, and the success matched it. Since then, the team has arrogantly overrated their own players to such a degree that they allowed reliable players who fit in extremely well to leave, only to replace them with guys Mike Tannenbaum brought in, almost as if to show how much smarter they are than everyone else. You want to see how you go from back-to-back AFC title games and seemingly being on the brink of greatness to… whatever the hell this is now we see every Sunday? Take a look:

At QB, we went from a promising young QB who appeared to be on the rise, to turning him into a shell-shocked, scrambled mess.

At RB, we went from Hall of Famer Ladainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene in a very effective platoon, to Greene being the bellcow with a whopping 3.7 yards a carry. Backing him up are failed draft choices Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell. Despite spending FOUR draft choices between rounds 3 and 5 between 2009 and 2011 on the backfield, we may still end up seeing a starting backfield of Kahlil Bell and Lex Hilliard soon.

At FB, we went from the excellent Tony Richardson to John Conner to Lex Hilliard. Wow.

At WR, we went from “The Flight Boys” trio of Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, and Jerricho Cotchery to seeing Jason Hill and Clyde Gates play big roles. Sanchez was developing some really nice chemistry with these players and they all contributed to the playoff success. Just as importantly, they all seemed to really like each other and were great teammates. Naturally, Tannenbaum unceremoniously dumped Edwards and Cotchery in favor of Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason (who are both out of the league), and then this year replaced them with Jeremy Kerley, Chaz Schilens, and Stephen Hill. Kerley has shown promise and Hill is just a rookie, but this has been an extreme downgrade in every aspect. Why not just let Sanchez grow with The Flight Boys?

At Offensive Line, we went from arguably the best Right Tackle in the NFL in Damien Woody to Wayne Hunter to Austin Howard. Woody was willing to return for one more season in 2011, but the team overrated Hunter to such a degree, that they felt Woody was expendable. This was quite possibly the most laughable decision of them all. And while Austin Howard is better than Hunter, I’d still prefer to see Big Wood walk off the ESPN set and throw on a Jets jersey, despite not playing for nearly two years. Beyond the right tackle disaster, no interior linemen were developed or groomed to back up or eventually replace Brandon Moore or Slauson. That’s how you end up with things like Colin Baxter blocking Haloti Ngata last year. Ugh.

At Outside Linebacker, we went from “tail end of their usefulness” – Calvin Pace, Jason Taylor, and Bryan Thomas, to “absolutely useless and washed up” Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas. Backing them up are Useless Garrett McIntyre and Ricky Sapp. Zero reinforcements were added. Why were no reinforcements added? Because…

3- Complete Lack of a Plan – As far as I can tell, there is just absolutely no plan at all with this entire organization. There obviously was none when it came to developing Mark Sanchez, because they’ve done literally everything wrong with him. I’m pretty sure that if Mike Tannenbaum had a big chart in his office with his grand plan, it would read something like this:

  1. Get Headlines
  2. Draft Terrible Players
  3. Blame Everyone Else to Woody
  4. Get More Headlines
  5. ?????
  6. Super Bowl

Rather than building a team the right way and developing their players, Mike Tannenbaum always appears to be on the lookout for the “next great thing”, and thinks there’s always something better. Well, as we’ve seen, the grass is not always greener on the other side. Rather than letting Eric Mangini build and go forward with Chad Pennington like he wanted to, Mike made the big splash to get Brett Favre for a 2nd round pick. Rather than letting Mark Sanchez grow up with Edwards and Cotchery, he dumped them both in a year where a lockout prevented the offense with new receivers from being able to gel. It’s also worth mentioning his arrogance led to signing Plaxico Burress fresh out of jail without so much as watching him work out. It’s probably a good thing they didn’t work out Burress or Mason before signing them though, because I don’t even know where the hell they’d be able to find a sun dial to time them running.

The list of reasons why Mike Tannenbaum has no plan is seemingly endless. They want to have a ground and pound team, so he loaded up with bad running backs, bad offensive linemen, and didn’t bother to get a single run-blocking tight end. They drafted a top 5 pick QB and then changed his WR’s every year and didn’t get a reliable pass-catching running back after LaDainian Tomlinson retired, even though that was a major part of Sanchez’s game. They wanted to be a defensive powerhouse, yet he didn’t draft or sign a single OLB during Rex Ryan’s tenure other than Aaron Maybin, who was recently cut. Safety was never addressed after dumping Kerry Rhodes, and Dwight Lowery was just given away. They wanted a backup to push Mark Sanchez, so they got Drew Stanton, then immediately changed course and traded for Tim Tebow. They said Tebow could play 15-20 snaps per game and he’d help the short yardage game, and then he isn’t used at all. It’s just one thing after another, after another with this team.

So, it’s come to this with the New York Jets and Mike Tannenbaum. It’s not just the fans and media anymore saying that this is a flawed roster and flawed organization. Now according to the Daily News, we even have Jets players saying the Jets players aren’t good enough. We have Jets officials saying the Jets players aren’t good enough. It’s been obvious for a while now that that has been the case and we’ve all been right. The reason the players aren’t good enough is because the General Manager isn’t good enough. The time has come. Mike must go.

New York Jets Week 11 – Early Thoughts On Jets/Rams

Early thoughts on the New York Jets week 11 match-up against the St. Louis Rams

A collection of early thoughts on the New York Jets week 11 match-up against the St. Louis Rams – 

1. The New York Jets face another physical NFC West opponent on the road and are rightly again underdogs. Personally, I’d be comfortable with this line at 4 points for the Rams considering how both teams looked last week. As a Jets fan looking for silver lining, you can only hope the Rams suffer an emotional let down after playing five full quarters against the San Francisco 49ers and ending in a tie last week.

2. St. Louis is physical on defense but middle of the pack in the major categories (15th in total defense, 13th against the pass and 18th against the run). However they are tied for 6th in the NFL in sacks with 26. Robert Quinn leads the way with 8.5 and Chris Long has 5. They will be handful for the Jets mediocre offensive line and passing game. At this point the Jets will have a tough time moving the football on anybody but I think you will see a run heavy approach on offense. If Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight don’t play that leaves recently signed Kahlil Bell to shoulder the load with the ever plodding Shonn Greene.

3. When the Jets do throw the ball, it will again be on Jeremy Kerley to do damage in the slot and on Dustin Keller to get his act together after a brutal showing last week. If Kerley plays less than 80% of the snaps again, Tony Sparano needs to be physically removed from the sideline. He is the only receiver on the roster currently capable of getting open.

4. Defensively the Jets have played much better in recent weeks. They should be able to slow down a less than potent St. Louis Rams offense. Danny Amendola is their biggest weapon in the passing game. It will be interesting to see if Rex Ryan shadows him with Antonio Cromartie, who he usually saves for bigger receivers who play on the outside. If he matches him up with Chris Givens (the Rams second best option in the passing game), he will need to bracket Amendola in the slot. Kyle Wilson and Ellis Lankster are hot garbage in man coverage and can’t be trusted on an island with a playmaker like Amendola.

5. The Rams running game lacks explosiveness when Steven Jackson is running the ball, as he is putting up very Shonn Greene-esque numbers so far. However, Daryl Richardson packs a punch off the bench and could give the Jets problems.

6. Rex Ryan would be wise to blitz Sam Bradford behind the Rams suspect line early and often. Bradford has been playing better as of late but Ryan’s defenses have a way of rattling younger quarterbacks and forcing turnovers. The Jets have no chance in this game unless they create or directly set up points with turnovers. Don’t play passive against this offensive line, go get Bradford.

7. As a Jets fan I fully expect this game to end with Kellen Clemens completing a game winning tackle eligible pass to Wayne Hunter while Brian Schottenheimer and Matthew Mulligan whoop it up on the sideline.

New York Jets – Thoughts On Kahlil Bell and Aaron Maybin

A few quick thoughts on the New York Jets decision to sign Kahlil Bell and release Aaron Maybin

A few quick thoughts on the New York Jets decision to sign running back Kahlil Bell and release outside linebacker Aaron Maybin, only because it is a rarity when GM Mike Tannenbaum makes two smart decisions in one day –

1. If given the proper opportunity, Kahlil Bell is going to be a strong addition to this roster. He is an immediate upgrade over Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight. He arguably could even be an upgrade over Shonn Greene. (Go look at Greene’s stats outside of the outlier Colts game this year and then come back to me). Why am I so excited about Bell? Predominantly from his body of work over the final five games last season when he saw extensive playing time for the Chicago Bears. Here are his game logs from those weeks –

  • Vs. Kansas City – 4 carries, 34 yards
  • At Denver – 9 carries, 40 yards, 5 receptions, 24 yards
  • Vs. Seattle – 15 carries, 65 yards, 5 receptions, 43 yards
  • At Green Bay – 23 carries, 121 yards, 4 receptions, 38 yards
  • At Minnesota – 17 carries, 54 yards, 5 receptions, 28 yards

I actually saw the Denver, Seattle and Green Bay game in their entirety and was thoroughly impressed with Bell. He was one of the backs I was hoping the team would bring in this past August after the Bears let him go. Unfortunately Mike Tannenbaum decided to wait until week 11. Bell is an excellent receiver out of the backfield, has good quickness and is much more explosive than Greene. I am not exaggerating when I am saying that he should be immediately receiving 7-10 carries starting this week and then work towards a playing time split with Greene. In the long term, he could be this team’s number two back when they find a legitimate number one back.

2. Credit Mike Tannenbaum for not waiting until the end of the year for cutting his losses with Aaron Maybin who was an enormous disappointment this season. Many (including myself) believed that with a full year in Rex Ryan’s defense, he would develop another pass rush move and remain a big weapon on defense. In eight games, he didn’t record a single sack and only came up with one tackle. Simply put, Maybin is a one trick pony who failed to develop any other skills. There was no point of keeping him around if he couldn’t get to the quarterback. It is smarter to give reps over the final seven games to Marcus Dowtin and Ricky Sapp to see what they can do.

However, the Jets media relations/community outreach had another disastrous handling of a situation today. They actually sent Maybin to a charity event for the team and then called him while he was there to inform him he was cut. Not a classy move at all. They did something similar with John Conner a few weeks back. Who is making the decisions in these departments?