Does new jersey have a football team ? New Jersey is one of the few American states with more than one NFL team, despite the fact that no teams mention this state in their name.
Which are the most popular teams here and what do you need to know about them?
The New York Jets
The Jets started life in 1959, under the name of the Titans of New York, and were one of the founding members of the American Football League. They joined the NFL in 1970 and moved to Meadowlands in NJ in 1984. Their current home is the MetLife stadium, which they share with the Giants.
In terms of success, the Jets are one of only two teams to win the Super Bowl in their only attempt. Since their sole win in this game came in Super Bowl III, against the Baltimore Colts, they currently have one of the longest droughts in the NFL.
The Jets have about 1.8 million Facebook fans and 1.2 million followers on Twitter in 2021. They have an average attendance of 72,247 from 7 games in 2021, which puts them in 5th spot in the NFL, a couple of places behind local rivals the Giants.
The New York Giants
The Giants are one of the oldest teams in the NFL, as they joined way back in 1925. They are also high on the list of the most successful football teams, with 4 Super Bowl victories following on from 4 championship wins in the pre-Super Bowl era. Their last Super Bowl win came against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
Their biggest rivals are arguably the Philadelphia Eagles, which has been described as one of the best rivalries in football. They tend not to play the Jets often, which perhaps helps to explain the lack of a genuine sense of rivalry between these teams. Since they both play in the MetLife Stadium, games between the Jets and Giants are known as the MetLife Bowl.
In social media, the Giants have about 3.7 million fans on Facebook and 1.8 million followers on Twitter. Their average attendance at home is slightly higher than the Jets manage and they have traditionally been viewed as the most popular team in the New York and New Jersey areas.
The reason for this is possibly their longer and more successful history, when compared to the Jets. With such a strong history, it is easy to see the Giants as one of the most attractive NFL teams.
Other Notable Teams to Play in New Jersey
The New Jersey Generals played a few seasons of USFL games in the Giants Stadium back in the early 1980s, with Donald Trump owning them in the last couple of years. A proposed move to New York never came through and the team slipped out of existence in 1985.
The New Jersey Hitmen were another team that tried to win over local sports fans, but got off to a disastrous start with their opening game in the Eastern Division of the XFL.
Their average attendance of about 28,000 spectators made them one of the best-supported teams in the league. They have since re-emerged as the New York Guardians in the new XFL, playing out of New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium together with the NFL teams mentioned earlier.
All 3 of the teams playing out of New Jersey are well-supported, which confirms that this is a part of the country with a huge number of football fans in it.
The Giants have historically been the most popular team in NJ, but there are enough people here who love football to keep all 3 going strong.
Will New Jersey Ever Get Another NBA Team?
Andrew Bynum, J.R. Smith and Al Harrington are just some of the players who have jumped to the NBA straight out of high school. Their other common thread? They’re all from New Jersey. For a state that is only slightly bigger than Rhode Island, New Jersey has produced some of the best basketball players in the world.
Last year, New Jersey was the number one state in the country for high-school basketball, according to highschoolsports.net. Two years ago, the No. 1 and No. 2 high schools in the country (St. Anthony’s and St. Patrick’s) were both from New Jersey—not New York, California or Texas.
Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft, is just one of the NBA-caliber players who are alumni from St. Patrick’s High School, located in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Another one is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who just won an NCAA championship with the Kentucky Wildcats and is projected to be a top-three pick in this year’s NBA draft.
New Jersey is a basketball state. Yet, for all its basketball acumen, the New Jersey Nets have never been able to attract a large fanbase. There are copious amounts of reasons for this, but here are just two.
One is because of geography and two is because of culture.
New Jersey is sandwiched between two major cities: New York City and Philadelphia. It’s not unusual for people to live in New Jersey, but work and play in Manhattan and Philadelphia. As a result, the state of New Jersey is a cultural hybrid of these two cities. Yes, it has its own identity: taylor ham, Bon Jovi and the mafia. But, the byproduct is a mixture of the two metropolises.
To make things even more complicated, the New York Giants and the New York Jets actually play in Northern Jersey. Since New Jersey sports fans don’t have their own football team, they’re either Giants and Jets fans if they live in the north or Eagles fans if they live in the South. The same goes for baseball with the Yankees, Mets and Phillies.
However, basketball is different. New Jersey actually has its own team. But when you have a culture where everyone in New Jersey is either a New York or a Philly fan, it makes it hard to build your local fanbase and identity. Case in point, do NJ Nets fans now become Brooklyn Nets fans? And what happens if New Jersey gets another team? Where does your allegiance lie to them?
A poker dealer once said that the difference between Vegas’ success and Atlantic City’s lack of success was culture. He said that people go to Atlantic City to gamble, but people go to Vegas to have fun. And when people go somewhere to have fun, they don’t mind if they lose money. The mindset is totally different because the culture is different.
What New Jersey needs is a change of mindset from a change of culture. The governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, refused to attend the last Nets game in franchise history because he’s the kind of culture changer that New Jersey needs.
Christie went on to say that the Nets play “in one of the country’s most vibrant cities, and they want to leave here and go to Brooklyn? Good riddance, see you later.” While, the comment may come off a bit sophomoric, it’s precisely the type of swagger that New Jersey needs to find its own culture and identity.
Whether New Jersey gets another team or not is still to be determined. But, talks are already in the works, and by the right types of people. Shaquille O’Neal, a native of Newark, spoke about his own desire to bring a team back to New Jersey. In a recent Star Ledger article, he said:
While the verdict is still out for whether New Jersey can get another NBA team, Shaq is one of the few culture-changers that can resurrect the Jersey fanbase the way Greg Schiano has done for Rutgers football. It can happen. Culture can change. Just take one look at the Empire State Building during college football season and it’s scarlet red with envy that Rutgers football is in New Jersey and not in New York.
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