Green Days in Central New York
During a 28-hour visit to Jets camp in Cortland this week, I encountered the ESPN camp tour bus, Joe Namath, a Super Bowl-style radio row that included both New York sports talk stations and others from Miami, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles, a larger-than-normal bevy of national and local print journalists and, of course, the ubiquitous cameras of HBO's "Hard Knocks" series.
(HBO helped set up the radio stations as a way of promoting the series. Sid Rosenberg was there for south Florida's WQAM, wearing a Jets T-shirt.)
What with the star of the ESPN bus being Bellmore Kennedy High's own Adam Schefter, I brazenly asked for a tour, and he gave me one.
Wow. I used to have an apartment in Astoria that wasn't as large or nice.
Bruce Speight, the Jets' media relations chief, said the media crush has not been what it was two summers ago for Brett Favre's arrival, but that camp was not a several-hours drive from the metropolitan area.
Compared to last summer in Cortland, the level of scrutiny has skyrocketed.
"Based on our performance last year it's probably the most anticipated Jets season in some time," Speight said.
What has it been like for the staff that works with journalists?
"I like to call it a good kind of busy," Speight said. "You definitely want to be the team that everyone is watching. Situations like this not only bring out the best in your team but you want it to bring out the best in your department and you want to reflect well on your organization.
"You relish the challenge of trying to accommodate the many requests."