The New York Jets are a professional American football team headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, representing the New York metropolitan area. They are currently members of the Eastern Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL).
In a unique arrangement, the Jets share New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey with the New York Giants.
The team's training facility and corporate headquarters, which opened in 2008, are located in Florham Park. In addition, the team holds training camp on the campus of the State University of New York at Cortland (SUNY Cortland) in Cortland, New York. The team previously headquartered and trained at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on Long Island for a span of forty years.
The team began play in 1960 as the Titans of New York, a charter franchise of the American Football League (AFL). They adopted their current name in 1963 and joined the NFL in the AFL-NFL merger of 1970. The Jets hold the distinction of being the first AFL team to defeat an NFL club in an AFL-NFL World Championship Game, when they defeated the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.
When the AFL and NFL merged in 1970, the team fell into a state of mediocrity along with their star quarterback Joe Namath who only had three successful post-merger seasons after injuries hampered much of his career.
The Jets would continue to spiral downward before enjoying a string of success in the 1980s which, included an appearance in the 1982 AFC Championship game. The early 1990s would see the Jets struggling. After firing coach Bruce Coslet, owner Leon Hess would hire Rich Kotite who sent the team into a complete tailspin leading the team to the NFL's worst record for two straight years.
Ultimately, this would lead to the hiring of former Patriots head coach Bill Parcells in 1997 who led the team back to relevance and would coach the Jets back to the AFC Championship in 1998 .In 1999, owner Leon Hess passed away while the team, led by Parcells, was plagued by injuries that produced a .500 record.
Parcells later departed and named Bill Belichick his successor who ultimately left the team in favor of the New England Patriots.
In spite of this period of instability, the franchise would obtain a new owner in Woody Johnson.
Additionally, though the 2000s the Jets would visit the playoffs five times under the direction of three different coaches. The Jets current head coach, Rex Ryan, was hired in January 2009 and a new home field, New Meadowlands Stadium, opened in April 2010.
A flag crew was officially established in 2006 under the name of the Jets Flag Crew. In 2007, the Jets officially created a cheerleading squad named the Jets Flight Crew. In 2008, the Jets would partner with Marc Ecko, founder of Ecko, to design the Flight Crew uniforms.Since the Flight Crew's inception in 2007, auditions have been held annually in order to attain more members.
A first ever Jets Junior Flight Crew will be held for the 2010 season. The Junior Flight Crew is a program that offers children the opportunity to train with the Flight Crew while improving their "talent and abilities in a non-competitive environment."
Ewbank, Maynard, and Namath are recognized based upon their achievements with the Jets, although Ewbank previously coached the Baltimore Colts to NFL championships in 1958 and 1959. Riggins is recognized primarily for his seasons with the Washington Redskins , as is Monk ,who won three Super Bowl championships with Washington.
Lott is in the Hall of Fame primarily for his exploits as a member of the San Francisco 49ers. Although, even if the number has never been officially retired, no Jets player has worn the #90 since Dennis Byrd, who was critically injured in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs in 1992.
On July 20, 2010, the New York Jets announced the creation of a Ring of Honor in order to celebrate Jets greats in the team's new stadium. Each season players will be nominated by an internal committee and then inducted into the Ring. There is no minimum or maximum amount of players that need to be selected each year.