The NFL season is still more than a month off, but fans are buzzing everywhere as training camps begin across the league. In the spirit of competition and rivalry, New York Jets fans sent the New England Patriots and their fans off with a gift for the start of training camp — in the sky. A group of die-hard Jets fans took to the skies over Gillette Stadium today with a plane banner: CHEATERS LOOK UP.
The group responsible, NY Jets Fans, included their Twitter handle (@jetsfanmedia) at the end of their banner which flew over the first day of training camp Thursday. This stab at the reigning Super Bowl champions came just after the cheeky group bought $10,000 worth of billboard space, calling on the organization to fire general manager John Idzik. The “Fire John Idzik” banner flown last season was reportedly purchased by an entirely different fan. The Jets went 4-12 last season, giving Jets fans lots of time and a good reason to plan airborne advertising.
One of the fans behind today’s banner likened the Patriots to some of the most notorious cheaters in sports history. “We have seen this act before from disgraced former superstar athletes. People like Lance Armstrong and Ryan Braun who challenged the system after they got caught red handed. Ben Johnson, Marion Jones, A-Rod, Roger Clemens – the list of people who lied after they got caught cheating is sadly endless,” Jason Koeppel told Metro.us. “The time has come for Tom Brady, [coach] Bill Belichick and [owner] Robert Kraft to start dealing with reality. Sports fans are not stupid.”
Evan amid the never-ending Deflategate of last season, where 11 of the 12 balls were found to be under-inflated during the AFC Championship game versus the Indianapolis Colts, fans flooded into Gillette Stadium for the unofficial start of football season at Thursday’s open house where they were greeted with the surprise message.
As if the aerial trolling wasn’t enough for fans trying to weather the storm, quarterback Tom Brady’s appeal of a four-game suspension was denied earlier this week by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell; Brady fired back and is suing the league with the NFLPA.
With a banner of that size and a message of that magnitude, chances are that Tom Brady and gang had their eyes on the sky as the plane circled at least twice. Time will tell how the season pans out with every team making moves during the summer, but it looks like we might be watching Jets fans more than the actual team.