New York Jets Continue Their Gypsy Tradition During Preseason

Cecil HarrisCorrespondent IJuly 29, 2009

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - MAY 02:  Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets talks with head coach Rex Ryan during minicamp on May 2, 2009 at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

It seems fitting that the New York Jets—the only NFL team that plays home games in a stadium named for a different NFL team—would decide to hold preseason practices at three different sites.


Come Friday, the Jets open camp at their newest home, the State University of New York at Cortland.


All over the metropolitan New York area, autograph seekers and football fans with camera phones are asking, “Where’s Cortland?”


Good question. Cortland is a town in Westchester County with a population on non-football days of 18,740—about the same number of people on a few city blocks along Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn.


The Mark Sanchez/Rex Ryan Era begins in a town 1,130 feet above sea level, which means Cortland has the highest elevation in New York State.


No wonder the Jets chose this place!


During the gut-busting, two-a-day-practice phase, the Jets hit the field at 8:15 am and 4 pm.


So look for the Jets in Cortland from July 31 through August 22 except for one notable change in venue.


On August 12, the Jets hold a 6 pm family night practice at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY—the team’s home base from 1968 until last year.


The Jets say the entire roster will sign autographs for fans after the final Hofstra practice. Nice, but not good enough.


Let’s hope the Jets have many of their famed alumni will be on hand, including Joe Willie Namath and Wayne Chrebet, the plucky former wide receiver and Hofstra graduate. If every notable Jets player isn’t there, it won’t be a fitting sendoff.


The Jets could also invite famous other Hofstra alumni like New York Governor David Paterson, wonderfully eccentric actor Christopher Walken, and, if he can swing a one-night furlough, convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff.


On second thought, forget about Madoff. With him on the sideline, things could get really ugly.


Finally, the Jets return to Florham Park, NJ, with open practices scheduled at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on August 22, 26, and 27.


With the Jets putting down stakes this preseason in Central New York, Long Island, and New Jersey, there’s a chance Leon Washington and Thomas Jones could end their expected holdouts and then not know where to report.