CORTLAND, N.Y. — It would be difficult for the Jets to top the headlines that were made in yesterday’s practice — a team-wide brouhaha that spilled over the sidelines and into your timelines — but an appearance from team owner Woody Johnson will have to do.
Johnson, arriving to Cortland for the first time since camp opened, has been campaigning on the road for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Despite not being present with the team, he kept a ‘big-brother’-like eye over his team.
“I would get reports. Anything that happened, I’m notified of — before practice, after practice, training room, diet, Cortland. Everything that’s going on I hear about it,” Johnson said.
Seemingly so. He candidly spoke his thoughts on how the defense was “a little ahead” of the offense early on, enjoyed the “tone” of the team and the meshing between them and Tony Sparano. When the conversation turned to some hot-button team issues he channeled his days with the Romney.
The way he coyly tip-toed around issues regarding season tickets, Tim Tebow, and in-team bickering made it appear Johnson took some debate skills from the former Massachusetts Governor.
Don’t believe me? Here’s an excerpt from his transcripts released by the New York Jets media relations staff.
On deciding to lower season ticket prices & Tebow’s impact on ticket sales…
We just felt we wanted a higher percentage of season ticket holders in the upper bowl seats. We would sell them on an individual game day, but having a season ticket holder we felt was valuable, just from a fan communal standpoint, so we did that and the fans are enthusiastic and we have a lot more season ticket holders as a result.
I don’t know if any single player does that. I think as we get close to the season, we’ve been selling very, very well all the way through since we announced the discount in particular. I don’t think it’s one player or another player. It’s basically the excitement about the season and the timing of how close we are to the opening of the season.
Of course Tebow has an impact on ticket sales! Ideally you’d have fans buy season tickets for the team, but you can’t ignore the fact that certain players are more “marketable” than others. Isn’t that the reason Mark Sanchez and LaDanian Tomlinson’s faces were plastered outside MetLife Stadium on game days?
On what he thinks of all the attention on the team this year…
I think the enormity of the coverage probably surprised me a little bit, but nothing more than that really. I think it’s all part of letting the fan in on what’s going on with the New York Jets as opposed to when I (initially) talked to you guys about it (being transparent) few years ago. We can talk about it on three-by-five cards, or we can try to let our fans in, through you (the media), on what’s going on – the good and bad.
See how we, the media, tried to bait Johnson into taking a shot at us? Think a guy with the savvy of Johnson would take an open invitation to jab someone to their face? No way! Instead he reminds everyone of his master plan, to let the fan get closer to the team — via, who else but, the media.
On President Obama’s comments about the quarterbacks…
Well I’m glad. At least he’s a New York Jets fan, first and foremost. That’s important, the President of the United States being a Jets fan, that’s good. The fact that he’s a Jets fan, he cares, and he’s passionate about the New York Jets, obviously, I think it’s a positive.
On if he would talk to Mitt Romney about crafting a response…
(Laughing) No, but Romney has been to some games.
If you thought he’d bite on that question, well, I give up…
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