These videos may have originally appeared around the time that the West Side Stadium was still an issue, but there's still resonance here for those of us who remember seeing the Jets at Shea Stadium, the now ex-ballpark seeing its last gradual disintegration in Flushing Meadow-Corona.
First, former middle linebacker Greg Buttle talks about the feeling of intimacy that Shea unwittingly afforded to fans of football, particularly at the first and second levels. He talks about it as "a big-market stadium with a small market mentality." The franchise and the stadium as one, so to speak (even if the stadium didn't actually belong to the Jets).
Then Wesley Walker - one of my all-time favorites - speaks similarly about Shea. But he also says that though the players did not want to leave Shea, "we weren't allowed to really talk about it." Finally, there's a great shot of one of his touchdowns against the Dolphins at the 1978 opener at Shea, which I saw with my Dad and brother. It was the Sunday before the start of school. I drew a picture of that touchdown when I was asked to draw "what I did on my summer vacation," which drove my Mom crazy on back-to-school night.
Finally, more present problems: who's going to coach our team? I for one am glad Bill Romanowski is not interested in coaching us the way he is with the Broncos. Still, how many people do we need to interview? Caroline Kennedy? Don Maynard? The defensive coordinator of every team? Anthony Fucilli's conversation with ESPN's Larry Hardesty evokes our frustration. I appreciate Hardesty's bemusement at the Browns hiring Mangini when they could have hired Jim Fassel.
And further, returning to Wesley Walker again, this is an article that made me ashamed to be a football fan. He says that if he had known the pain football would bring him in his 50's, he would never have played.