So plenty of people have asked me what to expect when the Jets open training camp. Well, I'm glad I can tell you. Open your mind and picture the following:
"Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages," says the man dressed head to toe in a green and white suit, who is standing on a ridiculously tall platform. He has a handlebar mustache and holds a megaphone in his hand. A twinkle in his eye, he continues. "Welcome to the New York Jets training camp for 2013! Want to know what you'll see as you attend the greatest show in media? Well, take a gaze, a gander, at what you see before you. Each of these tents holds one of the great wonders of the Jets!"
The man points with a very long, crooked finger to the first tent on his left. "When you enter this first structure, you will find a man who is admittedly less than he used to be. Is that because of a weight-loss, or power within the organization? You'll marvel at the fire-breathing Rex as any question directed to him about his future or talent as a head coach will be met with flames spewed forth from his mouth." The crowd oohs and aahs.
The man continues, building up momentum. "In this next tent, the direct opposite. A man who says nothing. Walk inside and see the Idzik, all in his full glory. No matter what you say to him, he won't respond with anything quotable. In fact, you'll leave the tent wondering if you've even been inside at all!"
The mouths of the people all drop in awe, but the man is unaware. In a hushed tone, he plows ahead, "This next tent is the scariest of them all. You will walk inside and it will be completely empty. It is of course, the home of the wide receivers. Look as far and as wide as you may, there's nary a speck of anything to be found. You will feel ghosts named Keyshawn and Wayne and Maynard all around you, but in reality, there will be nothing there."
Now it's time for the big finish. This, he does from the top of his lungs. "And in the big top, my good friends, is the main attraction. Full of Vines and Thin Skin, of talent untapped and talent undone, you will meet two warriors vying for the right to lead this great franchise into battle. On one side, a man who's backside has gotten more attention in the last year than any of his passes, and on the other is someone who's been the victim of a great fall in stock. Their competition will rage daily, hourly, minute-by-minute. Miss a second and you've missed a lot. Make sure you choose sides, as the team has advised the players not to. This," he punctuates, "is the New York Jets 2013 Training Camp!"
A huge round of applause follows, and at the end a small child asks "What's that tent over there in the back?" Here the man clears his throat and speaks rapidly and not into the megaphone, "It's where a certain Island used to be. Merchandise is 75 percent off and please don't mention the former occupant's name." Then he picks the megaphone back up and finishes brightly "Now, let's paint the town green and remember, as good as this summer will be, the summer of 2014 will be even better!"
The crowd rushes inside the gates with a frenzy.
So I ask you: a little too on the nose? Enjoy Cortland!
Jason Smith writes fantasy and other pith for nfl.com. He hosts NFL Fantasy Live during the regular season on the NFL Network, and you can download the weekly NFL Fantasy Live podcast with him alongside Michael Fabiano and Elliot Harrison. Talk to him on twitter @howaboutafresca. He only asks you never bring up when the Jets play poorly.