It’s been nearly ten days since Superstorm Sandy devastated the Tri-State area, killing more than 100 people and leaving more than 8 million homes and businesses without power. Many people in Staten Island, New Jersey and Long Island are still without power and now, like a horrifying scene out of a science fiction movie, another storm, Nor’eastern Athena (I guess we are naming these now?), is bringing heavy wet snow, blustery winds, freezing temps and sheets of ice to the already reeling region.
The NFL and NFLPA generously donated $1 million dollars to the American Red Cross for Sandy relief in the days following the storm, and many teams, their owners and even some players have followed suit.
Zygi Wolf, owner of the Minnesota Vikings (and a New Jersey native), donated $100,000 to the relief efforts, Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson donated $100,000 of his own money to assist families in the region and Indianapolis Colts Owner Jim Irsay pledged to match online donations up to $1 per fan at last Sunday’s Colts game against the Miami Dolphins (the donation was expected to exceed $65,000).
On Tuesday, the New York Giants, who were directly impacted by the storm, donated $500,000 to storm relief charities in addition to donating food and money for victims through an annual food drive at MetLife Stadium before Sunday’s game. Several Giants players volunteered time to distribute food in New Jersey while others worked at the New Jersey Food bank separating food items and making sandwiches for relief workers. Quarterback Eli Manning also lent a hand, assisting the American Red Cross in its efforts on Staten Island.
Today, the Miami Dolphins and their owner Stephen Ross donated $500,000 to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts (Ross is chairman of Related Companies, a real estate company in New York City). The team also announced that they will donate net proceeds from the sale of tickets for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans to the American Red Cross.
Many other franchises and individual athletes have done their part to help those in need, including the New York Yankees, New York Mets, and the Baltimore Orioles.
But what about the Jets?
To the best of my knowledge, as of Wednesday evening, only two members of the Jets organization have formally assisted with relief efforts — quarterback Mark Sanchez, who meet with first-responders in Toms River, NJ during his off day on Tuesday, and LB Marcus Dowtin, who posted this on his Facebook page earlier this evening asking fans to share stories about their tough time dealing with Sandy, pledging to pay it forward at a home game TBD later this season.
But the team? The team has done nothing.
Many Jets fans – myself included – have expressed our extraordinary disappointment with the organization’s failure to donate or organize any kind of relief to a fan base directly and devastatingly affected by Mother Nature, a fan base that has opened their pockets (Oh btw, the Jets have the most expensive average ticket price in the NFL) and given so much to this team over the years.
If the folks running the New York Jets Twitter account read their mentions – and I happen to know they do – then they’ve likely seen the outrage from the fans demanding they do something – anything – to help out their fans at a time when they are in desperate need of assistance from those more fortunate.
Many have argued that perhaps the Jets have done something in private. After all, many charitable donations are made without press releases. But come on, folks. This is the New York Jets. They don’t do anything without drawing attention to it, and you can bet that if they had made a donation or organized a team activity, we would ALL know about it.
With the election now over, one would think Woody Johnson’s attention would refocus on this team and it’s fan base, and I’ve heard rumblings that the team WILL do do something soon, but unfortunately, any time or money they do donate going forward will appear as if it’s only to save face. That said, the fact that the team MUST do something remains undisputed.
If you want to donate to Sandy relief, here are a couple of quick and easy ways you can help:
*Visit the Red Cross at redcross.org/hurricane-sandy or call 1- 800-RED CROSS (733-2767) or donate $10 by text-messaging the word ‘REDCROSS’ to 90999.
*Vist the Community Food Bank of New Jersey online at community.njfoodbank.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=506 or call 1-908-355-3663, Ext. 243. You can make a $10 donation by text-messaging the word ‘FEEDNJ’ to 80888.
*Visit the Mayor’sFund to Advance New Jersey at nyc.gov/html/fund/html/donate/donate.shtml or call 212-788-7794. You can make a $10 donation by text-messaging the word ‘NYCFUND’ to 50555.