NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Rex Ryan and the Jets had surprised construction workers at the World Trade Center site chanting “J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets!” on Wednesday.
Several team members viewed the area for about a half-hour after attending the Jets’ annual kickoff luncheon at Cipriani’s Wall Street.
“Very humbling experience,” cornerback Antonio Cromartie tweeted. “Just walked out to see Ground Zero. A really heart felt experience. God Bless everyone.”
Ryan’s squad made their visit a little less than two weeks before the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Linebacker Aaron Maybin tweeted: “Visiting the World Trade Center site with the rest of the D. Powerful experience.”
The Jets looked out at part of the site from a viewing stand and spoke to several construction workers who are there rebuilding the area.
“It was a welcome surprise for the workers there, and a nice morale boost for them,” said Jamie Loftus, a spokeswoman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The Jets, whose luncheon raised more than $750,000 for the Alliance for Lupus Research and the New York Jets Foundation, open the regular season at home on Sept. 11 against Dallas in a nationally televised game.
“Man speechless,” offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse tweeted. “Was at the World Trade site, unbelievable.”
“When you think about the fact that 3,000 people got up that morning and all they wanted to do was go to work — they weren’t doing anything reckless, they weren’t taking any chances — they just wanted to go to work and they lost their lives,” Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said. “When you think about that, it’s hard not be moved.”
The Jets close their preseason schedule on Thursday night at MetLife Stadium against Philadelphia.
Notes: The Jets’ training facility in Florham Park, N.J., was transitioning back to full power Wednesday night after running on generator power since Hurricane Irene hit the area Sunday morning. Many players and coaches live in the surrounding neighborhoods and said they also lost power, but had avoided the water damage that many residents in places such as Morristown experienced. Areas critical to team operations have been working out of the training facility, while the majority of the Jets’ business support staff has been working at the stadium since Tuesday.
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