Jets fans celebrate a trip to the AFC championships in Indianapolis with a rally Thursday. (Photo: RJ Mickelson/ amNewYork)
Diehard Jets fans would give anything — anything —for a championship.
“I would give up my firstborn,” said Tommy Pantano, 49, of Brooklyn, who attended a rally Thursday in a green and white wig and face paint. Pantano was just a tot when Joe Namath led the Jets to their last and only Super Bowl title in 1969.
A triumph by the Jets over the Indianapolis Colts — the very team they beat for their only title — in this Sunday’s AFC championship would send Gang Green to the Super Bowl in Miami on Feb. 7. Some have been waiting a lifetime for this opportunity, and they’re willing to make sacrifices to finally know victory.
“I’d give up my TV shows, and I’m a TV addict, so that’s hard,” said Murray Hill resident Gessica Landau. The 24-year-old wears Jets pajamas during games, a ritual shared by many others who believe it helped their team barrel through the playoffs.
Thousands packed into Times Square for a pep rally on Thursday, hooting, clapping and chanting “Jets, Jets, Jets.” Fans high-fived, snapped pictures and waved white towels that read, “Win and we’re in!” Mayor Michael Bloomberg renamed Manhattan “Revis Island” after star cornerback Darelle Revis and announced a friendly bet with his Indianapolis counterpart, who’ll send some shrimp cocktail to New York if the Jets win.
Jawid Toppa, 41, of Floral Park, said he’d give his left arm to ensure that happens. “I’m a righty, so just the left one,” he said.
“I’d give up my boyfriend,” said Grace Park, 20, of Flushing, shooting her mate, 21-year-old Robespierre Dornagon, an apologetic look at the Jets store earlier this week.
Some Jets faithful were even willing to look foolish for a victory. “I’d shave my head, but leave an NY in my head. Then I’d paint my head white and leave the NY green,” said Mark Davis, 29, of the Upper East Side. “My girlfriend would probably be pretty upset with me, but you got to do what you got to do.”
Francesca Touma, 24, of the East Village, said: “I would totally be Mark Sanchez’s personal water girl/hot dog lady.” Sanchez, the Jets’ 23-year-old hottie quarterback, was criticized earlier this season for scarfing a hot dog on the sidelines during a game.
“I’ve already given so much – my fiancé is mad at me, I’ve spent upwards of $1,000 – but I’d give just nearly about everything, my fiancé excluded,” said Ryan Striano, 27, formerly of Washington Heights. “Well, I’ve already given up her happiness in a way.”
Striano has had tickets to the Jets playoff games in Cincinnati, San Diego and now Indianapolis. He plans to catch a 5 a.m. flight from Indiana after the game on Monday morning, in order to make a meeting at work. He’d do it all again if the Jets head to Miami for the Super Bowl.
“I’ve been a Jets fan for as long as I could speak,” Striano said. “I’m going to do everything humanly possible to get to Miami.”
Not surprisingly, Jets players before Sunday's game also were eager to trade something for a Super Bowl ring. “I’d give up my off-season rest time,” guard Robert Turner said.