TOJ Bag – April 4th 2013

The TOJ staff answers your weekly questions on the New York Jets, NFL and things slightly related to both

Welcome to this week’s TOJ Bag, where our staff answers your questions on the New York Jets, NFL, and things somewhat related to both. We are going to run this every Thursday so make sure to send questions in to – Today we are talking awful Jets in-stadium experiences, the DirectTV genie, binge eating during football games, television and of course REVIS – On to the questions! 

Hey guys, is it just me or does the in-stadium experience brutally suck and continue to get progressively worse? – Johnny, Long Island

Joe Caporoso – You are dead on my friend. It is awful and last year was the worst I’ve ever experienced in 20+ years of attending Jets games. You want B and C list celebrities leading awkward J-E-T-S chants in front of a 40% filled crowd? Go to a Jets game. You want bizarre player introductions, including games where they call out the starting special teams? Go to a Jets game. You want to be surrounded by Houston Texans fans in the upper level, even though there shouldn’t be more than 20 Houston Texan fans in the tri-state area? Go to a Jets game.

Maybe I’m just bitter after last year, a particularly bad season that saw many people (understandably) giving away their tickets. Yet, the in-stadium presentation has always been weak and seems to be getting weaker. What is frustrating is that we’ve recently seen how strong the Jets crowd could bring it. 2009 when they beat the Patriots in the home opener was the loudest I’ve ever heard the stadium (the building was literally shaking), the 2010 opener versus Baltimore was another example of a terrific in-stadium experience. Check out the video below starting at 4 minutes from 2009 against New England and remember how good a Jets crowd could be…and then be thankful I ended my brief YouTube career because I do not belong in front of a camera.

Mike Donnelly – No doubt about it. I think the main problem is that the stadium just sucks. They spent over a billion dollars to build a depressing building that offers nothing to the fans to enhance the experience. There’s just too much grayness all over the place. Everything is gray and cold, it is like a giant prison and when the Jets are playing like they did in 2012 it feels even more so like one. But hey, if you get your jollies by being led in a J-E-T-S chant by Ralph Macchio, then MetLife is the place for you!

Chris Gross – You mean you don’t enjoy the $10 beers and exact same song list for player introductions, 3 yard gains, and 3rd downs? I don’t think the stadium experience at Met Life is horrible, but it is very generic. You get tailgating and football. For most of us, that is enough. But for fans more concerned about the in-game experience, it is very bland. There is little, if any, interactive activities and when you combine that with a product like the Jets have put out the past two seasons, it leaves a sour taste in your mouth.

I generally find comfort in stuffing my face with food to ease the pain of recent Jets games…Best snack to eat while watching a Jets game? – Zachary, Manahawkin 

Joe Caporoso – Let’s start with the main courses and work our way back to snacks because I am in fact a compulsive, anxiety driven eater during Jets games. The more incompletions Mark Sanchez throws, the more bags of chips I consume as some type of self-flagellation for putting myself through rooting for the Jets, plus I could always wipe my filthy Dorito dust covered hands on my white #6 jersey….TAKE THAT SANCHIZE!

I generally keep it simple, either wings, pizza or a buffalo chicken hero (complimented by lettuce, tomato, honey mustard, pepperjack cheese) in the first quarter, followed by those Jalapeno pretzel bites, lime flavored Tostitos and Cool Ranch Doritos (NEVER NACHO CHEESE) throughout the rest of the game. I limit myself to a beer (Magic Hat #9 if I’m feeling BOUGIE or Budweiser if I’m feeling ‘MERICAN) per quarter to avoid turning into a raging alcoholic as an outlet for Jets frustration and because I have to provide insightful, objective commentary to all you followers on Twitter. MY CIVIC DUTY!

After the game, my laptop is a filthy mess of crumbs and stains on the screen somehow, part of the keyboard never works because there is remnant salsa under there somewhere and my jersey is a mess of various food stains. I then usually flip over to SNY to catch Rex Ryan’s press conference (WELL WE DID PRACTICE WELL!) but have to keep switching it off because I can’t stomach Adam Schein and Ray Lucas analysis. Then I type up a game recap and pass out in a Sodium-Induced Coma.

Mike Donnelly – I typically don’t eat very much during the games to be honest, but I load up beforehand. I generally watch the games in one of two places (unless I’m at the game): out at a local bar in Hoboken, or at home. If I’m at the bar, we get there pretty early and have a few plates of buffalo wings but it’s mainly all about the drinking so that my senses are dulled by the time the game starts. The bigger the game, the more drinking that gets done, obviously. That’s why I shouldn’t be allowed to tweet during games. I never remember what the hell I said anyway.

Some acceptable food items, though, are anything with buffalo sauce, chicken sandwiches or wraps, mozzarella sticks, pizza, and chicken fingers. You dont want to be the a-hole sitting down at the bar ordering a bowl of spaghetti or something. If you can’t eat it with your hands, you shouldn’t be ordering it while you watch the game. When I’m at home, pizza is of course a favorite and I’ll eat just about any flavor of chips. This past year whenever I’d watch at home, for some reason I became a big fan of eating meatballs during it, which you may thing goes against my “if you can’t eat it with your hands” rule, but it really doesn’t. I stick my hands right in there. I’m a slob.

Chris Gross – It really depends on where I’m watching the game. If it is a home game, it usually means I am tailgating, so burgers, dogs, and wings are a necessity. I also fancy tortilla chips with queso, guacamole, and anything spicy. For the road games, I usually try to stick to my normal diet, but occasionally will get anxious or depressed and end up stuffing my face with anything I can get my hands on – I think I ate an entire block of provolone and a loaf of bread during the overtime game with the Patriots last season.

If you were Mark Sanchez…you’ve had Meadow Soprano, Kate Upton, Eva Longoria…who are you pursuing next? – Tebow’s Cousin, Bronxville

Mike Donnelly – When you’ve gone through a Murderer’s Row of celebrities and models like the Sanchize has pretty much his entire life, there comes a time where you just totally lose touch with reality, and I imagine that’s where Mark is at now. Where do you go from Kate Upton? Regular models or actresses can’t possibly do it for him at this point. I imagine now he goes out looking for just regular girls at bars or clubs for sport, just because it’s different. I’d also venture to guess that he pushes the limits in the bedroom because the regular stuff just doesn’t cut it for him anymore. He’s seen and done it all, so he must browse through Urban Dictionary to find new things to do and keep him interested. It’s the only way.

Joe Caporoso – If I was a man in Sanchez’s position, I’d be focusing on the next wave of female talent…take a page out of Derek Jeter’s book. By the time you saw that DirectTV commercial with the genie girl you loved, Jeter had already sent her on her way with a gift basket. Rehab be damned, Jeter is always ahead of the curve. Sanchez should have been sending DMs to Katherine Webb as Brent Musburger was analyzing her on National TV. Yet, considering his career trajectory it wouldn’t be surprising to see Sanchez settling down with Amanda Bynes some time in the near future.

DirecTV Genie

Chris Gross – It is tough to improve upon the women you mentioned. Because of that, I would have to get creative and target someone based on a niche. He has gone the route of actresses and models, so perhaps a female athlete? Maybe he gets adventurous and pursues omeone like Gina Carano?

Love the analysis and insight fellas, but was curious on your opinion of this critical off-season time killing question…3 best shows on TV right now? 3 best TV shows of all time? – Peter, Ridgewood

Joe Caporoso – The 3 best shows on TV right now aren’t debatable in my esteemed, random opinion – Game of Thrones, Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Those three are all-time greats and belong in the discussion with any TV show produced in the past 25-30 years as best ever.

3 best of all time? Not to be that preachy white guy who insists The Wire on you, but The Wire is probably number one. The Sopranos isn’t far behind and even though I know the quality falls off at times…LOST remains an all-time favorite for me.

Chris Gross – 3 best on right now, for me, would have to be The League, Family Guy, and A Football Life on NFL Network. It is tough for me to narrow this down because there is an odd range of genres that I enjoy. I was a huge fan of The Bible series that just concluded on The History Channel, and am a sucker for documentaries, particularly Frozen Planet, and look forward to the upcoming Discovery Channel series, North America.

3 best of all time? That is very tough but if I had a gun to my head, I would have to go with Seinfeld, Entourage, and The Sopranos. They all get the nod over classics I could watch for days such as Saved By The Bell and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Mike Donnelly – I’ve been seriously slacking on my TV shows lately. I really need to get caught up on shows like whatever that zombie show is that everyone loves, Game of Thrones, and a few others. The only ones I really make a point to watch right now are Modern Family, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad. I also like Shameless. Best all-time shows, I’m gonna have to agree with Joe in saying The Wire and The Sopranos, and I definitely loved Lost, but Mad Men might top my list.

With QB-needy NFL teams playing hot potato with rotten tomatoes over the last week, just how awful are the quarterbacks in the upcoming draft? – Oleg

Joe Caporoso – Awful is probably an overstatement but what you have is a bunch of 2nd round quality prospects (Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, EJ Manuel) likely to get selected in the first round and a bunch of 3rd and 4th round prospects (Ryan Nassib, Tyler Wilson, Mike Glennon) likely to get selected in the 2nd round. Teams will overdraft quarterbacks out of desperation. We don’t know where the Jets early picks will actually end up landing due to the potential of a Darrelle Revis trade or a trade down, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable touching any quarterback until the 25-50 range this year and I’d honestly be surprised if the Jets took a quarterback before round 3. 

The reported interest in Geno Smith and Ryan Nassib are likely smokescreens and posturing. Buffalo is quarterback needy like the Jets and selects two spots behind them in round two, where they could target Nassib. The Jets could also want Buffalo in a panic that they could consider leap frogging them in round one for Smith, in hopes of forcing Buffalo to move up for him.

Chris Gross – I think the moves by teams selecting in the top ten to acquire quarterbacks with serious question marks speaks volumes to how these teams feel about the quarterbacks in this class. We have already seen the Chiefs, Raiders, and Cardinals surrender draft picks for Alex Smith, Matt Flynn, and Carson Palmer, while the Bills and Jets have signed Kevin Kolb and David Garrard, respectively. While this will not prohibit them from taking a quarterback this year, teams are clearly trying to hedge their bets and have a competent signal caller under center this year due to the uncertainty surrounding the position in the draft class.

Mike Donnelly – I’ll keep this one short. Yes, the quarterbacks stink and I don’t want the Jets to take any of them. I’m really hoping the Bills daft Ryan Nassib so I can watch the NY media get a collective hard-on over the Syracuse connection of Doug Marrone and Nassib combining forces to DOMINATE the NFL.

It seems to be a foregone conclusion that Revis will get traded, but with all the reasonable to low 1-3 year contracts that these Corners have been getting in Free Agency this year and the great rapport Idzik seems to have with Agents (based on Holmes and Cromartie’s renegotiations). Could the Jets get him to resign at a respectable contract, somewhere around maybe 7 years-$80 million, because it seems that the money really isn’t out there based on this years salaries? – Raynard Josephs, PTE Show

Joe Caporoso – Never say never. While it is overwhelmingly likely Revis will be traded, you never know if Tampa Bay will back out and no team will step up to meet his financial demands. Maybe at that point, Revis settles for less than expected because Idzik is able to have a better working relationship with agents and he has some kind of desire to stay in New York for his whole career.  Not likely but not impossible.

Chris Gross – We certainly cannot rule anything out. Idzik’s operation is still a mystery to us all and the patience he is displaying with this entire situation could suggest a number of things. It is difficult to see Revis accepting a deal like this, particularly with his history. On a similar note, I would be wary of a deal like this because let’s say he agrees and the CB market becomes inflated next year. Will he hold out if he feels like he isn’t making enough? Some type of language would need to be worked in to prevent that from happening.

Conversely, it seems apparent that teams are now needing to carry a higher number of cornerbacks on their rosters due to the pass happy league that the NFL has become. As a result, teams will look to spread that money out at the position to acquire 4-5 good to solid players, rather than one elite one and 3-4 marginal to below average guys. The key for Revis will be what the market values him at. It is still unclear at this point, so it is extremely difficult to project potential contract figures.

Mike Donnelly – At this point I’d say anything is possible when it comes to TEAM REVIS. It would make sense that they’d be willing to lower their demands a little based on the cornerback market as a whole, but it’s probably unlikely. His agents are the worst, and I can’t imagine them backing off their demands at all, but who knows. I certainly hope that’s the case and they find a way to keep him because call me crazy, but I think when you have the best cornerback in the NFL in a pass-happy league, you should probably go ahead and keep that guy.

Hey guys, do you prefer a girl who knows her football on Sundays and watches the game along with you or do you like a girl separated from your Jets-insanity? – Michelle, Hackensack

Mike Donnelly – Well that really depends on how much the girl knows. And more importantly than how much she knows about football or the Jets is that she knows and fully understands how much each game — and each play — affects me. When Mark Sanchez throws an interception and I rattle off 37 curse words in a four second span, I don’t want to be told “Oh it’s just a game”, or “At least the Giants won, so one New York team did well”. The girls who go out to the bar on a Sunday afternoon with their little Victor Cruz or Mark Sanchez jerseys so they can dance to the stupid DJ’s music during commercials are not the girls I want to be watching games with. However, if the girl knows the difference between a 3-4 and a 4-3 and knows what “22” personnel means, she can watch the game with me any day. Otherwise, it’s best if you just leave me alone for a few hours every Sunday.

Joe Caporoso – I currently date a girl with no football knowledge to speak of and despite our occasional attempts to watch games together, it is generally better if I have those 3 hours to stuff my face, send angry Tweets and then carry on with my life after. She used to push harder to watch games with me but after seeing me go catatonic after the Jets choked away a game in New England this past season, she is more content to let me watch without here. I’m a mature 26 year old as you can tell.

Chris Gross – Girl who knows her football. I want someone to share the suffering with me. Plus, imagine if the Jets ever did win a Super Bowl? We’ll leave the speculation to you to keep this article appropriate.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the EVP of Content at Whistle Sports