By Chris Lopresti
First and foremost, I’d like to welcome everyone back to football! It’s been almost six months since the Ravens held off the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII and I’m sure for most of you, the withdrawal was just too much to take.
A lot has changed since then, especially for the Jets and for yours truly. For those of you who might be unaware, I have taken over for Peter Schwartz as WFAN’s Jets beat reporter. Peter did a great job covering the team for us since 2010 (including three Super Bowl trips) but has moved on to bigger and better things as a full-time update anchor for CBS Sports Radio. I want to thank him for showing me the ropes over the past few years and preparing me for this new adventure that I’m very excited about.
In reality, the passing of the torch actually took place at the beginning of 2013. That means I’ve been in attendance for every Jets event since their disappointing 6-10 season ended with a 28-9 drubbing by the Buffalo Bills. I was there for the awkward Woody Johnson press conference after Mike Tannenbaum was canned, the introduction of new general manager John Idzik, three days of NFL Draft coverage, OTAs and finally, the team’s mandatory three-day minicamp back in June.
I apologize that this is the first time you’re hearing from me on this particular forum, but I look forward to spirited discussion and debate going forward as we prepare for one of the more pivotal seasons in recent Jets history.
Let me make something clear: I’m not here to submit blog posts and then vanish until it’s time for the next one. I want your reaction. I want your feedback. And in return, I’ll do my best to interact with each of you. If you’re on Twitter, don’t hesitate to tweet at me (@CLoprestiWFAN). I’m constantly checking my feed and rarely fail to respond to anyone who reaches out. Those of you who are already followers can back me up on that.
I also encourage you to engage in discussion amongst yourselves. Having filled in for Peter over the last two seasons, I’m well aware of the passion and eternal loyalty exhibited by so many Jets fans. Let’s use those awesome traits in a responsible and respectful manner as we co-exist in the Blogosphere. I certainly understand that there will be debate and disagreement but please try your best to avoid expletive-laced tirades and attacks against each other. There’s too much hate in the world today, so let’s keep it fun and light!
Lastly, some background information so you know who you’re dealing with. After that, I promise we’ll move on and never look back.
I’m 27 years old and started my WFAN career as a lowly intern back in the summer of 2007. Since then, I’ve slowly worked my way up the programming department ladder. In addition to my duties as Jets beat reporter, I’m also an update anchor for WFAN and CBS Sports Radio. Over the last five years, I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside some great people and personalities. Thanks to a fluctuating part-time schedule, you can hear me during any of the four regular time slots, which isn’t so bad because I get to experience all of the different talk shows and hosts.
Born in Queens, I moved to Northern Virginia at age 4 and then returned to the Tri-State area at 11. From 1997 until about two months ago, I was a resident of Marlboro, N.J. I attended Marlboro High School from 2000-04 and then graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, CT) in May 2008 with a B.A. in Communications.
Outside of radio work, I’ve returned to MHS as an assistant varsity baseball coach and when time allows, I’m also an instructor at CK’s Baseball4U in Morganville, N.J.
I met my wife Kelly as a 6th grader in 1997. We became friends, briefly dated in high school, remained friends throughout college, and then got together for good shortly after graduation. She’s my best friend and I was lucky enough to marry her last month. We now reside in Raritan. (Without any pets or kids … for now.)
Both of my parents and most of my extended family originate from the five boroughs. I grew up a die-hard fan of the Yankees, Giants (don’t execute me yet) and Rangers. I’ll admit that working in the sports media field has dulled my fandom to some extent, but that fire will never burn out. If it does, I’ll be looking for a new job — because it’s that passion that got me here in the first place.
Rest assured, I have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING against the New York Jets.
Somewhere along the way, this assumption was created that the Giants and Jets are arch-rivals. I agree that some fans of Big Blue like to rub it in from time to time. But that’s the exception, not the rule.
I’m not one of those people, and I have always rooted for the Jets to do well because, first and foremost, I’m a New Yorker. Same goes for the Mets, Knicks and Nets (notice I didn’t mention the Islanders and Devils, but that’s a whole different story). My point being, you can trust me to provide objective commentary and opinion when it comes to your beloved Jets. I haven’t lived and died with them the way you have, but I’m sympathetic to your emotions and want to see the franchise, someday, reward you with the sort of sustained success that will make you proud.
Anyway, I’ve clearly rambled on for far too long. Once again, welcome back. I’m very much looking forward to all of the potential that the future holds. As stated above, don’t hesitate to contact me with questions, comments or concerns. For now, Twitter is the easiest way to reach me (@CLoprestiWFAN).
Without further ado, it’s time to attend Check-In Day at SUNY Cortland. The Jets are getting settled in their dorm rooms and preparing for practice No. 1 of 2013 training camp. I’ll have a full preview including the many questions and challenges facing Gang Green before they hit the field tomorrow morning.
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