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Jets Blog: Prepping For The Pack

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK SPORTS HEADLINES

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By Peter Schwartz
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Wednesday was kind of a quiet day in Florham Park as the Jets continued preparations for Sunday’s game against the Packers.

Cornerback Darrelle Revis fully participated in practice after proclaiming it to be 100 percent on Monday.

Linebacker Calvin Pace was given some reps off to rest his injured foot. He was officially listed as limited in practice but head coach Rex Ryan said he will be fine for Sunday.

STUFF THE BALLOT BOXES!!!!

You can’t fault the NFL for too many things, but I find it hard to believe that one can cast a vote for the Pro Bowl after just seven weeks of the season. But that’s the case as the NFL opened up Pro Bowl voting this week. The 2011 game will take place on January 30th in Hawaii and you can vote for the players of your choosing right now by logging onto www.nfl.com/probowl.

Now I’m not saying that Mark Sanchez and Ladainian Tomlinson won’t continue to play as well as they are for the rest of the season, but is it kosher to vote for them, or any player, after just six or seven games?

That might be up for debate, but why not wait at least a few more weeks before letting fans make a decision?

So Jets fans can now start clicking away to make sure their favorite players are in Hawaii.

Wait a second! Jets fans are hoping that members of Gang Green are not playing in the Pro Bowl. If the voted Jets are not playing, that means they will be playing in Dallas the following week….in the Super Bowl!!!!

COMMUNITY CORNER

On Tuesday, the Jets and the New York City Department of Education announced a sweepstakes to encourage parents to submit the school meals application that determines if they qualify for free and reduced-price lunch for their children.

Jets tight end Dustin Keller was on hand for the announcement along with Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott.

Parents will be automatically entered in the sweepstakes when they submit the application form. The winning family receives a trip for two sponsored by the Jets to the National Football League Pro Bowl in Hawaii in 2011. The SchoolFood program, with support from the sweepstakes, helps to ensure that eligible students receive lunch served in city public schools at a reduced price or for free.

And don’t forget that this Sunday, the Jets will host ALR Lupus Awareness Day at the Meadowlands during the game against the Packers.

This event is designed to increase awareness of lupus, a devastating autoimmune disease, promote the ALR’s mission to prevent, treat and cure lupus through medical research and, most importantly, raise funds for lupus research.

Prior to the game, AHJWO members, along with ALR staff and volunteers, will distribute purple lupus awareness bracelets and collect donations from fans entering the stadium gates.

THE JETS FAMILY SUFFERS A BIG LOSS

As many of you might already know, longtime New York baseball official scorer Bill Shannon passed away on Tuesday morning as a result of a house fire at his mother’s home in New Jersey. Bill was 69 years old and was a fixture at Yankees and Mets games for many years.

Baseball games will never be the same without his distinctive voice heard in the press box and sometimes squeaking through on radio and television broadcasts.

Bill was also a big part of the Jets family since the Titan years in the early 60’s. Bill served the franchise in a variety of capacities and for many years was the Jets’ press box announcer.

In 2003, the Jets hired me to replace Bill as the press box announcer but he stayed on with the gameday crew as a spotter. That first morning was very uncomfortable for me because I had known Bill for such a long time. But he was a great man and he sat there with me for quite some time to go over the lay of the land and to give me some pointers. He didn’t have to do that.

So for that, I concluded my pre-game announcements with his trademark line….

“and the official characterization of the weather is…..”

Another quick Jets related story about Bill Shannon. A few years ago, I was chatting with him at a game about the old Titans days. I mentioned to him that I was looking to add a Titans program to my Jets memorabilia collection. At the next game, Bill handed one to me that was in mint condition. He had some from his early days with the franchise.

He was a consummate professional, a great friend, and a wonderful ambassador to sports.

Bill Shannon will truly be missed.

The official characterization of Bill Shannon is that he was one terrific human being.

That’s it for now. Check back later in the week for a Jets/Packers preview.