And we’re back! After taking a brief hiatus from an idea we cooked up a few years back, we’re ready to again rank your New York Jets beat writers. Our staff voted and this is what we came up with (if you don’t see somebody you recognize ranked, they either didn’t make the top 8 or they are too new to the scene to be fairly judged).
1. Dennis Waszak Jr (AP)
2. Chris Lopresti (WFAN)
Lopresti is relatively new to the Jets beat and made a positive impression throughout the entire 2013-2014 season. He is highly interactive with fans on Twitter, offers refreshingly candid and realistic takes on his radio and podcast appearances, and does an excellent job of avoiding the standard amounts of “beat snark.” Generally, he is an informative follow and comes off as somebody who truly enjoys his job, which is hard to say about many on the team’s beat. (Joe Caporoso)3. Kristian Dyer (Metro)
Kristian “The Fire” Dyer, while working for what some would consider the “minor leagues” of the New York Jets beat, has been able to deliver really good and consistent insight into the New York Jets while being respectful to fans questions and rants. Dyer’s lack of facial hair makes him look like the baby of the pack, but don’t let that fool you: The Fire will burn you should you take him lightly. He’s even shown a good sense of humor; for example, when Mike Freeman tweeted “her face is hideous”, Dyer retweeted him but wrote “but her personality is wonderful.”
Dyer would be higher had he not rocked a “Tebow Time” t-shirt in New York Mets colors, and his tie collection leaves a lot to be desired, but his article on the Jets “Ponzi Scheme” due to their decision to stand pat while other teams around them got better after the 2011 season was a masterful stroke of writing. Dyer is very good at his job, speaks to Jets followers on Twitter, speaks to blogs like ours, and makes the rest of the Jets beat bearable. (Dalbin Osorio)
4. Rich Cimini (ESPN NY)Jets fans everywhere know the name Rich Cimini. He’s been covering the Jets since Joe Namath’s famous guarantee at Super Bowl III…or maybe it just seems like it’s been that long. For the most part, Rich is disliked by Jets fans for his tendency to take a dump on the Jets whenever he has the opportunity to do so, and for the general disdain he shows for his job. It’s like he’s being bothered when he has to go and actually cover the team and report things, which is a shame because when Rich is on his game he is as good as it gets. He’s a terrific writer, understands football better than most others on the beat, and before Idzik came aboard, he even broke a few stories here and there.
Unfortunately, Rich too often uses his position as the ESPN Jets beat writer as a platform to audition as a lounge comedian at some crappy hotel or something instead of sticking to Jets football. His articles are peppered with stupid jokes and tons of snark, and his Twitter is pretty much off the snark charts. That being said, he’s still definitely worth following on Twitter. He doesn’t interact much with fans (would you, if you got that many tweets telling you to have sex with yourself?) but you do get to see his works of art such as this:
Or, of course ,you can see him accidentally tweet things about how other beat writers’ practice reports were “shit” before getting put on Time Out by ESPN, which is always fun. Never change, Rich. (Mike Donnelly)
5. Kimberly Martin (Newsday)
K-Mart is slowly becoming one of our favorite reads on the beat. She is a solid writer, avoids stirring up unnecessary controversy and is a quality follow on Twitter. Similar to Lopresti, she seems to enjoy her job and unlike many on this list would probably be a fun person to grab a beer with and talk sports. (Joe Caporoso)
6. Brian Costello (NY Post)
I’m too lazy to actually go back and check, but the last time we did these rankings, Coz was near the top of the list. He was informative, managed to avoid all of the “circus” hoopla, was a very solid writer, and interacted plenty on Twitter with the fan base. Well, he still interacts plenty on Twitter, but the other aspects of his game have gone directly into the toilet. It’s like Coz was the last on the Jets beat to learn that snark, crappy jokes, and made-up controversy are requirements for the job and he finally came around on it. He’s like a version of the 2012 Manish minus all of the Tebow stuff at this point.
All that being said, Coz is still a good writer and I always click his links when he puts them out on Twitter. He goes into overkill with how bad he thinks the Jets offense is most of the time and I’m not sure he has in depth knowledge of the X’s and O’s, but he’s an enjoyable follow on Twitter and I have faith he can get back to being the top notch beat man he was in years past. Plus he’s always willing to interact on Twitter and chat with fans, which is a major plus. (Mike Donnelly)
7. Manish Mehta (NY Daily News)
I’ve always been a Manish fan and got plenty of flack for it during the 2012 season when he went to the “dark side”. We all know what happened during that time, when Manish went full Tebow (and you never go full Tebow!) and seemed to conveniently have some kind of new controversy to report every single day. It sure seemed like he was making a push for a national reporting job and decided that Tebow + Controversy = Manish $$$$. In fact, during our last round of beat reporter rankings, I went so far as to call him Scott Templeton, the fictional reporter from the HBO drama The Wire, who flat out made up stories to advance his career. Well, some fans may disagree with me here, but Manish was pretty darn good this year.
You read that right. Manish dumped all of the drama aspects of his reporting (other than the time he went back and forth and back…and forth on if Rex should be fired in the preseason with the whole Sanchez injury debacle) and stuck to football. It wasn’t quite like the 2010-2011 version of Manish was back (or he’d be #1 in a landslide), but he was very good. It was like he started to escape the evil clutches of the N.Y. Daily News and the brainwashing that Gary Myers gave him and become his old self again. He’s always been perhaps the best writer on the beat and has solid info to provide. I, for one, will miss him when he does indeed get that national job, and so will you. Because all set to take over the Daily News throne is Manish’s lapdog, Seth Walder, and none of us are ready for that. (Mike Donnelly)
8. Jane McManus (ESPN NY)
While it’s mainly McManus’ Twitter feed that finds her relegated to our eighth and final spot, we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the fact that, “her practice report…was shit” (hat tip to our No. 4 entry Rich Cimini, for that Twitter gem). If it’s Jets news you’re looking for, there are far better follows on Twitter as Jane’s timeline is regularly cluttered with Super Bowl weather references, tennis updates and roller derby tales. And on that rare occasion where you might come across some Jets-related information, it’s hardly ever must-see content.
In fairness, McManus isn’t really given as many opportunities to actually report on the team as some others on this list, as she’s apparently been asked by ESPNNewYork.com to focus primarily on filling its “SB meteorologist role”–which clearly hasn’t helped her case here. And when she is assigned to the Jets, she focuses primarily on writing mundane feature stories and injury reports. So while her workload may not be the same as someone who has been solely assigned to the Jets’ beat, her content, too, just comes up a little short when compared to other writers in the area. (Frank Giasone)
Two up-and-coming gentlemen on the Jets beat are Darryl Slater and Dom Cosentino. Slater writes for the Star Ledger with emotion and eloquence. He has a good understanding of the game and conveys it in a readable manner. Cosentino is a former writer for Deadspin that is now on the Jets beat for NJ.com. His football prose, as expected, is tinged with a good deal of humor without detracting from his writing. We are particularly encouraged by what we have seen from Slater but both are too new for consideration in our rankings. (Cole Patterson)