Fans Send Off Jets To AFC Championship Game
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The Jets may be Super Bowl-bound to its fans, but the Gang Green still has to face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in the AFC Championship game before fans can really celebrate.
As the Jets prep for their Sunday showdown, fans came to show their support on Saturday morning at the Jets camp in Florham Park.
At last year’s frenzied send-off of the Jets’ AFC Championship against the Colts, fans formed a human tunnel of between 4-to 5,000 people. This year, it was even larger and crazier with 7,500 fans showing up. That was something that meant so much to Coach Rex Ryan and his players.
PHOTO GALLERY: Jets Fans Send Team Off To Pittsburgh
“We love the support you’re giving us. Absolutely incredible,” Ryan said.
Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum spoke as part of the raucous rally along with Gov. Chris Christie and Fireman Ed.
“Last year we came close. This year, we’re bringing the Lombardi trophy right back to New Jersey,” Christie said.
Fans came out in the freezing cold to see their Jets, and some even got close enough to high-five the players.
“It was awesome. It was great to see everybody. They looked really ready for the game so we’re looking forward to tomorrow to destroy Pittsburgh,” one fan told WCBS 880′s Ginny Kosola.
Among the fans in attendance was Ray Hoffman, who donned a green cape and calls himself “Captain Jet.”
“We’re ready to go. This is our year. They’re going after them, we’re going to have a good time. We’re going to go all the way this year,” he told 1010 WINS’ Kathleen Maloney.
“I want to die a happy man. That’s what I want to do…if they win this Superbowl, they’d fulfill my dreams,” he said.
It’s still a tough road ahead. The Jets won the only matchup against the Steelers this season as New York won 22-17 on Dec. 19 in Steel City.
As the anticipation builds, Jets fans are ready to give it everything so their beloved Gang Green will bring home the trophy.
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“I’d give my life. I’ve never seen it in my life. I was born after Namath. I want this bad for myself and all these fans. I want it bad,” said Jude Nedza, of Livingston.
Nick Macharia would also give a great deal for the Jets.
“For a Super Bowl win, I’d give you my car,” Macharia said.
Mike Hayden said work is out of the question for him in a Jets victory.
“I would call in to work and go to the parade. Call in sick and I’m the manager,” Hayden said.
“It’s the franchise in the NFL and has been for decades. They won more than anybody and the people handle it with class,” Benigno said.
Roberts said Steeler fans haven’t shown any violence or disdain for the Jets fans who are invading the city.
“So far they seem like nice pussycats and they’re not really vicious. That may change in the next couple of days. For the most part any fans that aren’t Patriot fans seem like good fans to me,” Robert said.
Some Jets fans beg to differ.
“We’ll tip our hat where credit is due. They’ve been very cordial and very nice. Too bad, like the other two cities, they’re going to be crying on Sunday,” Jets fan Darren Weinstein said.