On the cusp of the NFL Draft, most fans and pundits have their eye on the Jets' QB slot. With mock draft madness in full swing, it's a bit too early to speculate on how the Jets’ updated roster might affect Robert Saleh's plans for Gang Green in the coming season.
As one of the league's hardiest underdogs, Jets fans are never short on ways to back their team. Do they have a division title in the past two decades? No. Do they have our own cheerleading squad with the best moniker in the League, a Hall of Fame for super fans, and one of the best stadiums in the league? Absolutely.
After eleven years of missing out on the playoffs, there’s one facet of being a Jets fan that gives them an edge: backing the underdog with oddsmakers. At the moment, NFL betting odds on the AFC East list the Jets as the +2000 underdog. Though most fans aren't hoping for a miracle Super Bowl run, backing the Gang Green for a division push isn't totally out of the question.
And even if it is, Jets fans are prepared to pack into MetLife and make some noise. With the recent announcement that MetLife will be open to 15% capacity in the coming 2021-22 season, it's time for Gang Green nation to transform those 12,375 fans permitted indoors into the NFL's strongest 12th man.
Here’s the game plan for taking MetLife in 2021 and upping last year's 2-14 campaign.
Channel Your Inner Jetman & Fireman Ed
Stories abound regarding the resilience of Jets fans. When asked, "Why are you a Jets fan?", there's usually a laundry list of spirited replies. Many blame their parents for passing on the Gang Green fever. Others rebelled against their parents who backed the Giants by picking up the rival’s flag.
No matter how fans ended up being part of Gang Green, there’s one clear trend: they’re loyal. Arguably to a fault. Even the famed Fireman Ed, who invented the J-E-T-S, Jets cheer had to take multiple retirements from being a super fan—and yet he always came back to rally the crowd.
Last year, the Jets' second resident superfan, Jetman, was inducted into the franchise's Fan Hall of Fame, which means he's likely to be front and center at 2021 home fixtures. What's the game plan this year? Jets fans need to channel their inner Fireman Ed and Jetman (or invent a new superfan persona), get on their feet, and chant loud enough to make up for the 85% of seats that will remain empty.
Turn Tailgating Into a Sport
Though it’s not certain whether or not MetLife Stadium will allow tailgating as per its updated capacity, Jets fans are sure to show up anyway. For those who’ve been living under a rock, there’s even a full-on tailgating fan group known as TailgateJoe.
TailgateJoe and similar groups host themed tailgating parties that cover more than the NFL. For example, they've even a hosted WrestleMania-themed pregame soiree. The group has kept the Gang Green spirit strong despite the widespread cancellations throughout 2020.
Keep QB Hopes Alive
Depending on who you ask, the Jets either have a laudable quarterback curse or a long string of bad luck. The past decade has seen a revolving door of difficulties, ranging from Mark Sanchez to Sam Darnold. With the NFL Draft only days away, the Jets have narrowed down a list of potential QBs to target.
So far, pundits have their eye on Justin Fields of Ohio State, Zach Wilson of BYU, Davis Mills of Stanford, and Peyton Ramsey of Northwestern to potentially sign a contract. With head coach Saleh looking to bring younger talent to the roster, there’s one mission for Gang Green super fans: support whichever QB signs on. He could be the one to turn the franchise around.