Things You Should Know About the New York Jets

The Jets started life in 1959 as the Titans of New York, a founding member of the American Football League. They called the team the Titans of New York because Harry Wismer said “Titans are bigger and stronger than Giants.” The NFL responded by saying the only thing the Titans had bigger than the Giants was their aversion to winning.

Play began in the fall of 1960 at the Polo Grounds. 1960 was an interesting year. Simon Gallup of the Cure was born that year. The Titans of New York were not very good those first few years, and their woes were later detailed in several songs by The Cure including “Boys Don’t Cry,” “The Drowning Man,” and “The Funeral Party.”

Another watershed event in 1960 was John F Kennedy declaring his candidacy for President. At a pick- up football game at a family picnic on Martha’s Vineyard, he told reporters, “My mother is our quarterback. We are not the best team ever assembled, but we could still beat the Titans of New York.”

Things were tight in 1960-1961. The team lost over $1 million. Players checks often bounced. They had a promotion with Acme Market — anyone who bought $10 worth of food got a free ticket. People bought food just to throw it at the players.

Elvis Presley’s 1961 hit “I Feel So Bad” was written for Titans of New York fans. It goes like this:

I’m feeling bad, oh so sad
Like a Titans fan any day and everday
I’m feeling bad, oh so sad
Like a Titans fan I want to run away

The name changed to the Jets in 1963 when the team moved from the Polo Grounds to Shea Stadium. It was picked to signify the exuberance and vitality of the modern age of jet travel. New coach Weeb Ewbank kept with the jet travel theme when he named several plays the “Lost Luggage Fake and Throw,” the “All Flights Delayed Hand-Off,” and the “I Won’t Be Home For Christmas due to Blizzards Long Bomb.”


About Joe Ditzel

Joe Ditzel is a keynote speaker, humor writer, and really bad golfer. You can reach him via email at [email protected] as well as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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