New York Jets Jerseys You Likely Rocked as a Kid

John Shea@real_johnsheaContributor IIIJuly 4, 2013

New York Jets Jerseys You Likely Rocked as a Kid

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    Not every New York Jets fan likes to talk jerseys.

    There's a never-ending list of could-be topics that a so-called "journalist" should conquer ahead of water-cooler talk, but the previous two seasons have been utterly frustrating for Jets fans.

    The die-hard brigade that backs the Green and White each season doesn't need to hear it. They know what their team is up against in 2013.

    This offseason has been highlighted by roster overhaul, franchise-altering trades and quarterback hoopla.

    The feel-good sensation of winning is seemingly always in grasp for all sports fans, but nothing is ever guaranteed.

    It's possible that Jets fans know this better than any other fanbase in America, next to the Cleveland Indians, perhaps.

    Winning is paramount as a fan, but idols are crucial as a child. That's a distinctive reason in why die-hard sports fans cherish their childhood heroes.

    The following slideshow details five Jets jerseys that fans likely rocked as kids:

Wayne Chrebet No. 80

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    Wayne Chrebet is arguably the best undrafted free agent signing in the iconic history of the NFL. He was never the biggest guy on the field and was always overshadowed because of his size.

    Chrebet simply didn't have the build of a prototypical wide receiver out of college. That didn't stop the Jets from taking a chance on him after graduating from Hofstra University, though.

    No. 80 soon became a household number among Jets fans.

    Chrebet's astounding leaping ability enabled him to compete against defensive backs who most pro scouts likely couldn't fathom him having a chance against.

    He played in a Jets uniform for 11 seasons. He was an icon for Jets fans growing up in the '90s.

    Chrebet defied the odds throughout his career, showcasing dynamic, playmaking ability at just 5'10'' and 185 pounds.

    He started 104 games as a pro and reeled in 580 receptions for 7,365 and 41 touchdowns.

    No. 80 was a fan favorite for more than a decade.

Mark Gastineau, No. 99

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    Mark Gastineau was a dominate force in the trenches for the Jets throughout his monstrous career.

    He was one of the most feared pass-rushers in the NFL in the '80s, surging through the offensive front to brutalize opposing quarterbacks like it was nobody's business.

    No. 99 is the greatest pass-rusher in Jets history and ranks among the best of all time.

    The quarterback sack didn't become an official statistic until 1982, handicapping Gastineau's "actual" numbers. His official tally stands at 74 and accounts for all sacks from the '82 season onward, although the actual figure easily surpasses 100.

    Gastineau was a pivotal component on the famed "New York Sack Exchange," which also featured Jets legends like Joe Klecko. His best season was arguably 1984, when he pummeled the opposition en route to recording 22 official sacks.

    Gastineau earned significant accolades during his reign, including NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1982. In addition, he was a five-time All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection.

    The 265-pound beast played defensive end like a wrecking ball, barreling through should-be blockers to punish ball carriers in the backfield.

    His legacy stands among the best of Jets legends, and his jersey still reigns prominent in the stands at Jets homes games.

Don Maynard, No. 13

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    Don Maynard is arguably the greatest wide receiver in Jets franchise history.

    He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987, reveling moments of glory like being crowned a champion in Super Bowl III.

    No. 13 isn't a top shelf seller at the team's fan store, but he was fellow Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath's favorite downfield target during the Jets brief reign as a powerhouse in the newly-established NFL.

    Maynard recorded more than 1,000 yards receiving on five separate occasions in his illustrious career. He averaged roughly 100 yards receiving per game for consecutive seasons in '67 and '68.

    He accomplished all of this during a time period when just 14 regular season games were played. In addition, Maynard racked up 627 receptions and 88 touchdowns as a member of the Jets franchise.

    Maynard is an old-time great who once reigned as the best receiver in the AFL. He was an iconic fan favorite during his stellar career.

    The Jets retired No. 13 in honor of Maynard's legacy. He's one of the best players in franchise history and shouldn't ever be forgotten.

Joe Namath, No. 12

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    Joe Namath is, hands-down, the greatest quarterback in Jets history. He became an immediate icon the the early stages of the NFL, leading the Jets to a supposed-to-be unpredictable win over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

    The Jets were an 18-point underdog on that faithful night in January 1969, but that didn't deter Namath from guaranteeing victory for the Green and White.

    Namath is a Hall of Fame inductee, loudmouth and renowned womanizer. He's an unprecedented brand of character that can't be duplicated or replicated.

    No. 12 is the most famous jersey in the history of the New York Jets.

    "Broadway Joe" threw for 27,663 yards and 173 touchdowns in 12 seasons with the Jets. His erratic style of gameplay led to 220 interceptions during his reign in New York. He also completed just 50.1 percent of his pass attempts.

    Namath was an aggressor in the pocket, constantly forcing the ball into coverage downfield. He was a risque type of quarterback who never backed down.

    His attitude and attacking style of gameplay earned him a championship.

    No. 12 is an icon in Jets history, and his number is retired because of it.

Curtis Martin, No. 28

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    Curtis Martin is among the most durable running backs to ever take the field in the NFL. He was seemingly unstoppable during eight seasons as a Jet and should remain a fan favorite into the distant future.

    Martin began his prolific career as a member of the Patriots but became iconic while trumping should-be tacklers as a Jet.

    No. 28 is arguably the best player the team's fanbase has ever seen.

    Martin was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012. His life story is unparalleled in the greater landscape of those were are considered "great." Martin faced improbable odds en route to eclipsing football majesty.

    He rushed for at least 1,094 yards in 10 seasons as a pro. He collectively rushed for 10,302 yards and 58 touchdowns in eight seasons with the Jets.

    He was a beast between the tackles, averaging 4.0 yards per carry on 3,518 total attempts in his NFL career.

    He also racked up 2,439 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 367 receptions. He was dynamic, dependable and enduring.

    Martin is a five-time All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection. He's a two-time AFC rushing champ (1995, 2004) and the fourth leading rusher of all time.

    No. 28 is retired in the rafters, but Jets fans still wear the number proudly because it symbolizes greatness.