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Boo! Jets want new stadium to frighten opponents

Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York

Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets calls out in the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts. (Jan. 24, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

Rex Ryan wants to throw a monkey wrench the size of a mastodon's leg into opposing teams' hopes whenever they play the Jets in their sparkling new $1.6-billion stadium.

"Where most teams get a three-point advantage playing at home," Ryan told Newsday, "I want to make that at least a touchdown advantage. Our new stadium, man, I can tell you this: It is a tough place to play."

He added, "We want it to be the top. Our goal is to have the worst place to play - No. 1, the type of team we have and the type of fans and environment that we can create."

By actually having a stadium they can call their own, even though it's still technically shared by the franchise whose name was written all over the old stadium, the Jets are enthralled with the potential of a greater sense of home-field advantage.

In the three games in which New Meadowlands Stadium was decked in green colors and equipped with the special bells and whistles that make it genuinely feel like the Jets' home, they've outscored opponents 66-44 and have a plus-eight turnover margin.

They handed the Patriots their lone loss of the season and took down Brett Favre and the Vikings before a national television audience. Their lone blemish was that season-opening one-point loss to the Ravens.

"That's something we want to take pride in," said running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who appears to feed off the Jets' home crowd as much as anyone does. "When we play in our stadium, we want to make it as difficult as possible for people to play there. Playing at home should almost be a sure win for us because of our crowd.

"That crowd is unbelievable and we should take our game to another level."

The stadium's construction appears to help crank out the decibels. The way the bowl is shaped allows the sound to engulf the field. Plus, behind both team's benches, there are open areas where fans can stand and watch the game at field level, letting the opposition have it in ways that just weren't possible at Giants Stadium.

"They are right on top of you, even though it's huge," Ryan said. "You feel their presence and, man, I'm just telling you it's special. It gets me going. I will come out and look and I'm like, 'Whoa, baby! Look how many Jets fans are here!' I love it. I mean, it's awesome. What a great football field. You come to New York, it's like, you don't want to be a visitor coming into our stadium."

The Jets want their digs to mirror Qwest Field, that rocking, deafening place in the Pacific Northwest that makes you feel as though you're standing in the middle of a JFK runway while a fleet of Boeing 777s motor by for takeoff.

"We hope that it can be like Seattle's," linebacker Bart Scott said. "Seattle is a tough place to play, a tough environment. It's a commitment from the fans. The fans determine that and we determine it a little bit because we have to play good football so our fans can be excited. But ultimately, it's up to them.

"We need them to be jacked up and be with us, whether we're winning or losing. No matter what, they need to be unflappable."

In other words, just be what Ryan defines as a true Jets fan.

"They are loud, they are aggressive, they are kind of mean-spirited to the other team," Ryan said. "They are good people but they are mean-spirited, and that's what it takes. You want to get a home-field advantage, those are the characteristics of the fans that I want to have, and just loyal as heck to your football team.

"They demand a lot of things from your team, and that's good. They want to win as bad as we do, and part of that is, 'Hey, do your part. Fill our stadium up. Let's go and let's stay after that team.'

" . . . This is a beautiful stadium, but it's only beautiful for us. It's horrendous for visitors.

"Fans want to come in with different jerseys in our stadium? Whoa. Don't come in our stadium with other stuff. You need to have Jets stuff on, and you'd better be cheering for the Jets, because we are going to beat you in the field and I'm not responsible for what happens [after that]."


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