Episode 382 – Manish Unleashed (Pt 4): Narratives & Clicks

Scott Mason talks to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News for part 4 of a multi part series discussing the life and times of the Jets’ most controversial beat reporter!

Episode 382 of “Play Like A Jet” is here! Subscribe on iTunes or check out the audio below. Scott Mason talks to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News for part 4 of a multi part series discussing the life and times of the Jets’ most controversial beat reporter!

Manish talks about the perception that he drives narratives including stories he wrote about Darrelle Revis and Mitchell Trubisky, how he tries to balance a story when most of his information comes from one side, what he does to try to keep his reporting at a high standard instead of becoming pure clickbait in a clickbait world, and more! 

Note: This was the 4th and final part of a multi-part series we are calling “Manish Unleashed” with the previous 3 parts available in the Play Like A Jet archives.  

Play Like A Jet is part of the Turn On The Jets Digital Podcast network…… 

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Episode 375 – Manish Unleashed (Pt 3): Feuds, Agendas, & Marrone

Scott Mason talks to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News for part 3 of a multi part series discussing the life and times of the Jets’ most controversial beat reporter!

Episode 375 of “Play Like A Jet” is here! Subscribe on iTunes or check out the audio below. Scott Mason talks to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News for part 3 of a multi part series discussing the life and times of the Jets’ most controversial beat reporter!

Manish talks about his perceived “feuds” with other writers on the beat, the perception that he pushes agendas, and we go in-depth on everything surrounding the infamous Doug Marrone story!

Note: This was part 3 of a multi-part series we are calling “Manish Unleashed” with the 4th and final part to be released next week.  

Play Like A Jet is part of the Turn On The Jets Digital Podcast network…… 

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Episode 368 – Manish Unleashed (Pt 2): The Journey & The Persona

Scott Mason talks to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News for part 2 of a multi part series discussing the life and times of the Jets’ most controversial beat reporter!

Episode 368 of “Play Like A Jet” is here! Subscribe on iTunes or check out the audio below. Scott Mason talks to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News for part 2 of a multi part series discussing the life and times of the Jets’ most controversial beat reporter!

Manish talks about his his journey from young sports fan to Daily News beat reporter & columnist including what he really wanted to do for a living and which prominent NY sports writer was offered his current job before he was, what it has been like covering the team the past decade, how his public persona developed and whether or not there is a bit of a pro wrestling element to it, how he walks the fine line of being both a beat reporter and columnist, and we begin delving into his biggest controversies by discussing the infamous tweet he sent out last offseason about former New York Jet, Muhammad Wilkerson!

Note: This was part 2 of a multi-part series we are calling “Manish Unleashed” with part 3 to be released next week.  In future episodes of this series, Manish will talk about a variety of subjects including his penchant for controversy, perceived feuds, and he will answer criticism of some of his most infamous moments on the Jets beat!  

Play Like A Jet is part of the Turn On The Jets Digital Podcast network…… 

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Episode 361 – Manish Unleashed Pt 1: What Happened At Florham Park?

Scott Mason talks to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News for part 1 of a multi part series discussing the life and times of the Jets’ most controversial beat reporter!

Episode 361 of “Play Like A Jet” is here! Subscribe on iTunes or check out the audio below. Scott Mason talks to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News for part 1 of a multi part series discussing the life and times of the Jets’ most controversial beat reporter!

Manish talks about the famous “200% wrong” declaration involving the reports that Mike Maccagnan’s job was in jeopardy, what he thinks caused him to end up being on the wrong end of that issue, his thoughts on the perception that he was in Mike Maccagnan’s back pocket and how his recent Twitter outbursts may have helped to further feed that perception, the real story of how everything actually went down between Mike Maccagnan, Adam Gase, and Christopher Johnson including an interesting tidbit about Woody Johnson, and more!

Note: This was part 1 of a multi-part series we are calling “Manish Unleashed” with part 2 to be released next week.  In future episodes of this series, Manish will talk about a variety of subjects including what drew him to reporting in the first place, the road that led him to the New York Daily News, his penchant for controversy, and he will answer criticism of some of his most infamous moments on the Jets beat!  

Play Like A Jet is part of the Turn On The Jets Digital Podcast network…… 

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The Jet Take 100: The State of the New York Jets ft. Manish Mehta

New TJT! 100th episode special featuring Manish Mehta, who gives the behind the scenes on the current state of the New York Jets.

In our 100th *published* episode Ben Blessington and Kyle Fahey are joined by Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News who tells all on the future of Todd Bowles, Mike Maccagnan, Sam Darnold and more! Was this regime set-up for failure? Was Maccagnan too impressionable? Who are potential head coaches the New York Jets could target? Will the Jets go for the east coast version of Goff/Gurley and pursue Le’veon Bell? All of this and more, thank you!

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Author: Ben Blessington

Host of @TheJetTake, rabid New York Jets fan, Kyle Fahey's babysitter.

Episode 24 – The Return of Manish Mehta!

Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News returns to talk with Connor Rogers about the latest NY Jets news and rumors!

Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News returns to talk with Connor Rogers about the latest NY Jets news and rumors!

Make sure to subscribe to Stick To The Jets here on iTunes!

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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.

TOJ New York Jets Beat Writer Power Rankings – August 1st

The Turn On The Jets beat writer power rankings are back, who have been the top mainstream writers covering the New York Jets?

Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the beat writers who cover the New York Jets is back. Myself, Chris Gross and Mike Donnelly have ranked our top five after a week of training camp. Let us hear your opinion on Twitter, in the comment section or on the TOJ Facebook Page…and for the beat writers, we know you are reading and we do award five additional points to anybody seen in this shirt

1. Jenny Vrentas – Surprise, surprise! Jenny Vrentas remains in the top spot here at the TOJ Beat Writer Power Rankings as we get started with Training Camp and things really heat up. Even during the down period of the past few weeks, she remained active putting out her Summer Q&A feature where she asked players on the team a few questions. It wasn’t much, but it was nice to still have some fresh Jets material to peek through. During the past week, she stepped up her game, and in addition to her great work day-by-day at camp relaying all the info to her Twitter followers (all the beat writers do a great job with this), she put out a few great reads – one about Revis and his holdout, one about Curtis Martin discussing concussions, and of course some things on Tebow. In addition, she was the second beat writer (Manish was first) to appear on the Flight 5 Live Internet Show, and fan interaction always earns bonus points in our eyes. All in all, Jenny showed why she deserves to stay in the top spot and that it’s going to be tough to knock her off. – Mike Donnelly

2. Brian CostelloOur man Brian Costello of the New York Post has put in an excellent amount of work since our initial rankings, and finds himself second to only Vrentas this week. Coz really killed it with material leading into camp, including a phenomenal piece on Rex Ryan, which was a bit overlooked due to how great the Vrentas piece was. However, Costello provided a very unique look into a similar issue, the overall physical transformation of Ryan. Coz also wrote a fantastic, in-depth camp preview, among several other quality articles that were published during the weeks heading into camp. Among his writing, Coz had an excellent guest spot on ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd about two weeks ago, discussing the status of the Jets, the QB situation, and a brief pre-season outlook. It will certainly be tough to dethrone Vrentas this season, however at the rate he is going, I would not be surprised to see Costello be the one to do so. – Chris Gross

3. Rich Cimini – Regardless of the general opinion that Cimini is too negative towards the team, he has simply been writing his ass off the past few weeks. Beyond keeping his ESPN blog updated constantly and interacting with fans on Twitter, he has written a few very good feature pieces. Most notably, this one which was well researched and a much needed positive outlook on Mark Sanchez’s future in the middle of the endless line of undeserved criticism for him. This article discussing Darrelle Revis following the lead of Curtis Martin was a unique angle and another enjoyable read. Yes, the critical one liners can be annoying at times but it is impossible to ignore the quality of work he has been producing. – Joe Caporoso

4. Manish Mehta – Manish’s drop in the rankings has more to do with the excellent work of Mr. Coz and Rich Cimini the past few weeks than it does with The Daily News’ beat man. Manish mostly disappeared after mini-camp, and we felt he got off to a slow start once Training Camp really got going before really kicking some ass and getting into the swing of things the past few days. Hopefully he didn’t spend his vacation time getting big-timed by Gary Myers and being forced to read his long, boring dissertations on why the Jets are the worst at everything in a creepy Daily News back room somewhere. If Manish shows up in the next few days wearing stonewashed jeans and blocks me on twitter (as Gary did) then we’ll know he was brainwashed by Mr. Myers and then we’ll have to worry. Also worth mentioning, Manish has greatly curtailed his Sulia usage, and that earns major bonus points. I expect him to shoot up the rankings as soon as next week. – Mike Donnelly

5. Jane McManus Although she remains at the 5th spot, McManus has actually done some very good work over the past few weeks, just not quite enough to get the edge over one of the other four yet. She has been consistent with content on the ESPNNewYork Jets Blog, and has been tweeting Jets updates and news much more frequently than she had been in the weeks prior to training camp. She, like many other beat writers, put out a piece earlier in the week about Mark Sanchez using Eli Manning’s first three seasons as a pro to give himself a curve for how he should expect his fourth NFL season to go. Clearly, we agree with this notion here, as we reviewed a similar issue back in March. McManus has been doing solid work, but just needs a little more consitency to jump ahead in the rankings. – Chris Gross

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TOJ New York Jets Beat Writer Power Rankings – June 27th

Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the New York Jets Beat Writers…this week we go by the fan’s vote

Welcome back to our weekly ranking of the New York Jets beat writers. For this week’s edition, we went to the fans for the rankings. What did we find? Myself, Chris Gross and Mike Donnelly seem to have a good pulse of the general opinion, as their rankings didn’t differ much from ours on a weekly basis. Thank you to everybody who voted and thank you to Manish Mehta of The Daily News who gave us the idea for next week’s column, when we will be discussing our all-time favorite Jets beat writers. 

1. Jenny Vrentas, The Star Ledger – Jenny refuses to get knocked out of the top spot, regardless of who is being polled. Her summer interview series is a popular read and she remains highly interactive on Twitter and without Sulia use…which we love. We are all looking forward to another season of her coverage.

2. Manish Mehta, The Daily NewsEasily the most polarizing writer among fans. You either love him or you hate him. To his credit, Manish has been a great sport about these rankings and offered us the previously mentioned great idea for next week. It speaks to his writing skills and work ethic that he is so high on these rankings because we (and the fans) can’t stand Sulia or anonymous sources.

3. Rich Cimini, ESPN New YorkThe “Take 5” is an interesting weekly read and we liked his breakdown of how the Jets spent their money this off-season. Many fans criticize him for having a condescending or negative tone but everybody respects the amount of content he produces and I don’t know many Jets fans who don’t read nearly everything he writes.

4. Jane McManus, ESPN New York – Good interview with Connie Carberg from today. Nearly everybody respects Jane’s writing ability and she remains highly interactive on Twitter. She obviously doesn’t put out the same amount of content as others on this list but still racked in a good amount of votes.

5. Brian Costello, New York Post The voters disappointed us here because “Coz” has been on his game the past few weeks. We are loving his countdown of the Top 25 Jets and how much he is interacting with fans on Twitter. Clearly the fans need a few more weeks to get him higher in their standings, even though TOJ has him higher in ours.

Remember to check back next Wednesday, when we will be going over our favorite Jets beat writers of all-time. Is there any you want to see mentioned? Leave a comment or here or send us a Tweet 

TOJ New York Jets Beat Writer Power Rankings – June 20th

Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the New York Jets beat writers

Welcome back to Turn On The Jets weekly ranking of the beat writers who cover the the team. The votes are tallied amongst myself, Mike Donnelly and Chris Gross with explanations written by the three of us below. For next week’s edition, we are going to be asking for your votes on Twitter, Facebook and here on the site, so make sure to follow us. On to the rankings…

1. Jenny Vrentas, The Star Ledger – Vrentas continued to dominate the rankings once again this past week. She ran several nice articles including Q&A segments with Quinton Coples and Dustin Keller, as well as solid piece on the retirement of LaDanian Tomlinson. However, where Vrentas truly shined this week was in her Sunday article on the passing aspect of the Jets new offensive scheme under the recently hired Tony Sparano. Not only was this piece extremely original, as it was certainly the first to give an in-depth examination of exactly what this part of the offense will look like this season, but it was extraordinarily insightful as well.

Vrentas explained how this offense is designed in every facet from route adjustments to the vocabulary. She explained how this system, unlike the previous one orchestrated by Brian Schottenheimer, gives the players much more freedom and flexibility to take advantage of looks given to them by opposing defenses. Vrentas revealed that this freedom comes with a bit more responsibility, as receivers and quarterbacks are required to know the blocking protection, as it affects the passing routes in terms of both timing and design. Jenny also emphasized on the preparation required by players and coaches alike to adjust to this new system, most notably Mark Sanchez going as far as making flash cards to learn the ins and outs of the offense.

This was somewhat of a ground breaking article by Vrentas. With so much emphasis on the Jets return to Ground and Pound this season, there was not been much focus on how the passing game will look, until now. Vrentas continues to put out relevant, original material. She remains the best at what she does, and until someone passes her in terms of content, creativity, and relevancy, she will remain on her first place pedestal here. – Chris Gross 

2. Manish Mehta, The Daily News – I know what it looks like: I accepted Manish’s bribe last week at Jets Mini-Camp to move him up a spot, but trust me, that is not the case (although I happily would if any of the other beat righters are interested. Just saying..). We moved Manish up this week for a few other reasons. But before I get to that let me just say that before old fart Gary Myers sauntered on over with his bad 1987 clothing ensemble and even worse jokes last Thursday to disrupt my Jets chat with Mr. Mehta in a failed attempt to big-time him (Chronicled here on Deadspin.com, and also by me last week), he did address two of the main things that people have been complaining about when it comes to his Twitter page: Sulia and Tebow love.

In regard to Tebow, he simply said, “He’s popular, what can I do? Gotta write about him.” Fair point, even if many of us think it goes a little too far. When I brought up Sulia, it looked like he wanted to just tell me to F-off, but he restrained himself and simply said “Come on man, what do you want from me?” I want you to stop tweeting links to crappy Sulia. That’s what we wall want. In fact, from now on when I want to curse on the internet, I may just simply say Sulia instead. Sulia you, people who tweet links to that site! But alas, I think Sulia is here to stay sadly, and that’s probably the main thing keeping Manish from the top spot.

But even Sulia wasn’t enough to keep the determined Manish down this week, as he did lots of great stuff. Notably, he spent a solid 20 minutes or so on the inaugural radio show of the Flight Five Live on Friday and it was an excellent spot where he addressed many Jets topics, showing how knowledgable and great at his job he can be. (Speaking of being great at the job, check out that picture of him putting in work on the field!) He even promoted the show on his Twitter account, which was also darn decent of him. Beyond that, he wasn’t kidding when he told me he was working on a big article on the defense. Less than 24 hours later, a very nice piece on the Jets defense was put out  in which we learned about Mike Pettine’s plans for the defense and using the “Best 11”. We also picked up this nugget on Manish’s Twitter page: Pettine telling him that they may not play any 3-4 base defense at all vs. division opponents. So yes, it was a big week from Manish Mehta this week, and if he ups his bribe offer before the next rankings, the #1 spot is his–err, I mean, if he keeps up the great work! You got this, Manish! – Mike Donnelly

3. Brian Costello, New York Post – While we don’t want to beat our own chest here at TOJ, there has been a noticeable and enjoyable improvement in Costello’s work since we are started these rankings. His Jets Blog is becoming more of a must read and he did a good job transcribing Ron Jaworski’s quotes on Mark Sanchez this past week. Costello also broke the news that the Jets would not be bringing Braylon Edwards back this season. Finally, his Twitter game has been on point. He does a good job of asking fans what they are looking for at practice and pulling observations about how certain players are being used around the formation on offense and defense. Of course, he receives a major bonus for a lack of Sulia links as well. Keep up the great work Coz! – Joe Caporoso 

4. Rich Cimini, ESPN New York – It has been quite the rough week for Cimini after opening up with two consecutive weeks at the number two spot. Although his “Take 5” on the areas of concern for the Jets was on point, his Sunday notes along with his piece on the retirement of LaDanian Tomlinson have caused the ESPN New York columnist to drop two spots this week. Cimini’s first point of his Sunday notes addressed the issue of Dustin Keller’s contract situation. Rich offered the idea that the Jets would be smart to wait on giving Keller an extension until they see how he plays in the new offensive scheme under Tony Sparano, which places a greater emphasis on the blocking ability of the Tight End. This is an excellent point considering the fact that Keller has never been a strong blocker, leaving a fair amount of question marks about how he will fare in this new system. The problem with this assessment by Cimini is that he was nearly a week late to the party on this issue. Rich’s article was published on Sunday, June 17th. Five days earlier, I addressed the issue right here on TOJ with the exact line of thinking used by Cimini in his notes. Is the former Daily News beat writer a frequent visitor of Turn On The Jets? Who knows? Either way, Cimini analyzed this issue after it had already been deemed old news.

Other than sleeping on the Keller situation for five days, Cimini also made an interesting argument in his piece on Tomlinson’s retirement. First, Rich criticized LT for his post-season comments on the Jets locker room turmoil. He claimed Tomlinson made his negative statements about the organization on Showtime’s “Inside The NFL” as a publicity stunt to pave his way into the world of broadcasting. However, when, at any point during his career, did Tomlinson display any sign of self-promoting, especially with a controversial issue like this? LT was simply asked a question, and answered it honestly. It was the mainstream media that blew the entire situation out of proportion, not Tomlinson, who has been a class act since entering the league in 2001.

Furthermore, in the same piece on LT, Cimini made a claim that Tomlinson’s 2010 season was so impressive that it made Jets fans forget about Thomas Jones. However, when reviewing Jones’ final two seasons with the Jets in comparison to LT’s only two seasons, it is clear that Jones not only had a greater impact on New York’s rushing attack, but posted career numbers in nearly every statistical category as well.

Prior to leaving the Jets after the 2009 season, Jones rushed for a career high 1,402 yards along with, another career high, 14 touchdowns. In 2008, he rushed for 1,312 yards with, a then career high, 13 touchdowns. Tomlinson, on the other hand, rushed for only 1,194 yards and 7 touchdowns is his two seasons with Gang Green, combined. While LT will certainly be remembered as one of the greatest backs of all time, his success in New York was not nearly as high as that of Thomas Jones. So, while Jets Nation is certainly appreciative of what LT brought to the team during his brief stint, Thomas Jones remains, by and large, the best running back to carry the load for New York since the retirement of Curtis Martin. No one has forgotten about TJ. – Chris Gross

5. Jane McManus, ESPN New York – Another very solid week from Jane McManus, and she’s really knocking on the door to move up in these rankings. She kicked off the week with a genuinely hilarious tweet (seen below) after Brian Costello was claiming the top spot was going to be his. I’m pretty sure she was joking, but maybe Jenny Vrentas should hire a bodyguard just in case. Jane may know something the rest of us don’t. Ms. McManus also provided lots of solid info on her Twitter page, with quotes, player info, and she shows a great ability to only give us the important things Rex Ryan says instead of just tweeting every word that comes out of his mouth like some others do. Sometimes, less is more, and Jane does a great job with that. Additionally, she put out a great article on Laron Landry and how he’s recovering from his injuries and what we can expect from him this year. In non-Jets related topics, she did a great job with her take on Twitter of the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky mess, and she handled it well. (Jane: 1, Penn State students: 0). As I said, it was a very good week from Jane McManus, and she very well could be on the way up. – Mike Donnelly

6. Kimberly Martin, Newsday – We aren’t burying Kimberly in the #6 spot for the third straight week as a sign of disrespect to her but more as a sign of respect towards the others who have been on the beat longer. For our rankings we are still waiting for that one article or Tweet that is really going to jump off the page to move her up in the standings. We have heard from followers of this article and other beat writers that there other individuals who deserve inclusion in this list. Because of that, we are encouraging you to submit any other writer (must write for a mainstream publication/be credentialed) that you think belongs here. Please note that “must be credentialed” isn’t meant to elevate them above the rest of us who aren’t, it is just that we place them in a separate category and much of what we use in these rankings is how they handle interaction with the players on a day to day basis and what they pull from attending practices. – Joe Caporoso

Next week we will be giving your rankings. Submit your votes here, on the Turn On The Jets Facebook Page or respond to Mike, Chris or my Twitter Account. We will publish the results next Wednesday. Also let us know if there are any other writers you’d like to see included in these rankings