Holtsville Jets fan rides to games in Gang Green style
Kurt Paschke owns 51 New York Jets jerseys. He hasn't shaved since the Jets began their winning streak against the Indianapolis Colts, the same team they'll face Sunday. He has Jets tattoos on his right leg and thigh.
What may really separate Paschke from other Jets fans - many of whom have turned their homes and cars into green-and-white shrines - is his ride to the games.
Paschke, 35, of Holtsville, tailgates in an old school bus that he converted three years ago into a Jets-mobile with "Gang Green" stamped on the front.
It has Jets headlights, Jets stickers, Jets mud flaps, Jets hubcaps, and a Jets license plate - and that's just the outside.
Inside, Paschke installed wood floors and seating with Jets embroidery. His mother made Jets curtains for the windows. He glued player cards of old Jets onto the window separators and built cabinets for a grill, chairs and other supplies for the ultimate tailgate. And he installed a flat-screen TV and surround sound to watch other games on Sundays. The bus cost him $3,000 on eBay. Don't ask about the upgrades - Paschke lost track a long time ago.
"There's always something being done to this bus," Paschke said. "It's an ongoing project."
Paschke became a Jets fan after his grandmother forced him to listen to an audio recording of Super Bowl III - the only championship win for the Jets - on a vinyl record. He thought of building his bus after years of seeing other tailgates.
"I finally decided to have one of my own," he said.
"And take it to the maximum," laughed his father, also named Kurt.
In Deer Park, Bill and Diane Scott have spent years collecting Jets memorabilia for their home. They sometimes drive to Philadelphia and New Jersey to buy hard-to-find gear. "Anything Jets we can find, we have," Bill Scott said.
That includes oven mitts, shower curtains and a Build-a-Bear that plays a recording - "Go Jets!" - when its hand is pressed. And he keeps a Jets ottoman in the living room, with Jets jerseys for game day.
"Thousands of dollars," he said when asked to estimate how much he's spent on Jets gear. "Thousands. Easily."
If the Jets beat the Indianapolis Colts Sunday and win the Super Bowl two weeks later, they'll have rewarded the faith - and spending - of fans like Scott and Paschke. But Paschke has an extra incentive to root for playoff victories, after a conversation he had with someone in the Jets' front office this year.
"If they win, we can put . . . [the school bus] in the Super Bowl parade," he said.