New York sure has Jets fever.
Thousands of people lined the streets in Times Square on Thursday night, January 21, for a pep rally in support of the team before they head to Indianapolis to take on the Colts in the AFC Championship game on Sunday.
At the rally, the team’s all-time leading rusher Curtis Martin, injured running back Leon Washington and Jets No. 1 fan “Fireman Ed,” all addressed the fans who lined the streets.
“I’m hoping and I’m believing that destiny is on our side,” said Martin, who was on the team that lost the 1998 AFC Championship Game to Denver – the last time the franchise made it this far in the playoffs. “They have Peyton Manning, they have [Dwight] Freeney, they have all those people, but we have destiny on our side.”
The Jets are prohibitive underdogs entering this Sunday’s AFC Championship game, but the team has won the last two weeks against the Cincinnati Bengals and San Diego Chargers – both times playing on the road and as underdogs.
During the rally, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor David Paterson spoke to the crowd with Bloomberg making a special announcement in honor of the Jets.
“For the next four days, we’re not going to cal it Manhattan Island, it’s going to be named for No. 24, the Jets phenomenal cornerback, the NFL’s defensive player of the year as far as I’m concerned…come visit ‘Revis Island,’” Bloomberg said, as he unveiled a sign in honor of Darrelle Revis that will be displayed at the Times Square Information Center.
Fans came from all over the city, Westchester and Long Island to attend the rally and root on their favorite team as they headed out to Indianapolis.
“We have been underdogs the last two weeks, but we showed that doesn’t matter,” said longtime Jets fan, Chris Hart, 40, who carried a mock Superbowl trophy with him.
Sam Pugliese put his seven-year-old son Marco on his shoulders during the rally and both of them predicted a Jets victory.
“Jets 3, Colts 0,” said Marco.