This story was written and contributed to The Jefferson Chronicle by Ms. Maria Clarizio and the Sports and Entertainment Journalism students at Jefferson Township High School.
On a sunny, windless November day in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Jefferson Township High School students sprinted across the white yard lines of the green MetLife Stadium turf, rolled around in the end zone, and spiked water bottles over the goal post. Four days later they would watch Gang Green play on the same field and celebrate an unexpected, but hard-earned win over the Kansas City Chiefs. How was this dream achieved? The New York Jets organization made it possible.
Students in the new Sports and Entertainment Journalism course at Jefferson Township High School attended a Jets Business Day at MetLife Stadium on Wednesday, November 29. Students were treated to a tour by Jets representatives and learned about the various off-the-field career opportunities available in the NFL.
Peter Fifoot, a senior at JTHS with intentions of becoming a sports broadcaster, said, ”I gained a deeper understanding of the business and workings of the New York Jets organization. It gave me insight on jobs in sports journalism and broadcasting.”
Students took a walking tour of the suite level, press box, The Porsche Green Room, and locker rooms.
Dave Szott, a retired player with the Chiefs and Jets, discussed his role as the head of player development. Szott was lucky enough to play in the NFL for 14 years, however, with the average NFL football career lasting only 3.2 years, players are in need of guidance regarding their long-term goals. Szott is almost like the team’s guidance counselor/financial advisor.
Students also listened to presentations from representatives in marketing, merchandising, sales, and promotions to name a few. “It was very interesting to learn how many parts there are to a franchise,” Matt Gonzales said. As the finale to the business day, students were allowed to run around on the pro football field.
A bonus of attending the November 29th field trip was a ticket to the December 3rd Jets game. Students and family members met in the parking lot for a tailgate gathering before heading inside to cheer the Jets on to victory.
As of the overall experience, Tyler Delp summed it up by stating, “It was way above average.”