New York Jets: An Unsung Hero

John ProvenzanoContributor IAugust 6, 2009

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 24:  Wide receiver Wayne Chrebet #80 of the New York Jets sets in position as he waits for the snap during a game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on October 24, 2005 in Atlanta, Georgia.  The Falcons won 27-14.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Wayne Chrebet played on the New York Jets from 1995-2005, which was when I was growing up watching them.  Although I do not remember what he did for the team in his early years, I do remember this great player was so clutch—he was there when the Jets needed to convert a big play to stay in a game. 

He was nicknamed “Mr. 3rd Down” for a reason. 

Vinny Testaverde had a big threat in wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, but when it came to third down, Wayne Chrebet was always his man—and he always came through. 

Every 3rd-and-5 or so, slant down the middle of the field, Wayne catches it with defenders all around him, gets pummeled, bounces right back up to his feet and was ready for the next play.

Anybody who had watched the Jets during Wayne Chrebet's tenure with the team got to watch one of the nicest, toughest, most hard-working players to ever play the game.

Not 6'6" and 275 lbs? Not a Problem

He was not the biggest man in the game, but he was extremely strong and tough.  What I admired most about Wayne was his ability to take a hit and get right back up.  After suffering many concussions, it was not healthy for him to continue playing, so he had to hang it up. 

But for years he endured hit after hit, blow after blow, gaining yard after yard, and leaving the most respectable reputation he could for me and whoever watched him play out on the field. 

Wayne may not have the numbers to be considered for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he is a Hall of Famer in my book.  His work ethic has taught me to always work hard and strive toward my goals. 

The way he succeeded on the field pushed me to never give up on what I believe in.  Wayne's play on the field is much more than just football; it's life. 

It's symbolic for how life should be lived day in and day out.  People should never give anything less than their 100 percent effort towards everything, just like Wayne did. 

He was and still is an inspiration to me, and I feel he did not receive much recognition in the football world. 

He is my Jets unsung hero, and always will be.