The State of Sports!

Get New Bio Updates
on Facebook!

All you need to know about New Jersey sports history.

Baseball Basketball Boxing & Wrestling Football Hockey Golf Soccer Tennis Track & Field

Auto Racing Horse Racing Olympic Sports Women's Sports Miscellaneous Sports

New York Jets (1984 – Present)

The Jets began playing in New Jersey in 1984, becoming co-tenants of Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands Sports Complex. Prior to their move across the river, the Jets had played in Queens at Shea Stadium for 20 years, and prior to that (as the Titans) they called the Polo Grounds in Manhattan home. The team would have preferred to remain at Shea, but the city would not acquiesce to the desire of owner Leon Hess to expand the stadium’s capacity and to cut Hess in on the parking revenue. In the aftermath of the final game in Queens, the scoreboard read “N.J. Jets”—however at no time was the team actually called the New Jersey Jets, even informally. Although the Giants had been playing in Giants Stadium since 1976, it was the Jets that appeared in the first playoff game there, a 26–14 loss to the Patriots in December of 1985 after an 11–5 regular season.

The Jets continued to field competitive teams throughout the 1980s, led by All-Pro defensive linemen Mark Gastineau and Joe Klecko, and Pro Bowl defensive back Erik McMillan. The offensive boasted four Pro Bowl stars—quarterback Ken O’Brien, running back Freeman McNeil, and receivers Al Toon and Mickey Shuler.

The 1990s were less kind to the Jets, as they posted just two winning seasons, in 1997 and 1998, under coach Bill Parcells. The 1998 club, quarterbacked by 35-year-old Vinny Testaverde, made it all the way to the AFC Championship game. Their low point had come just two seasons earlier, in 1996, when they went 1–15. The team’s stars during the decade included running back Curtis Martin, quarterback Boomer Esiason, receivers Rob Moore and Keyshawn Johnson, linebacker Mo Lewis and defensive back Aaron Glenn.

Between 2000 and 2010, the Jets posted eight winning seasons, reached the playoffs six times, and made it to back-to-back AFC title games in 2009 and 2010. At the start of the decade, Martin and quarterback Chad Pennington powered an offense that included Wayne Chrebet, Santana Moss and Laveraneus Coles. In 2009, Rex Ryan succeeded Eric Mangini as head coach and installed rookie Mark Sanchez at quarterback. Working with veteran runners and a powerhouse offensive line, Sanchez notched clutch playoff wins in 2009 and 2010, but could not earn that long-awaited return trip to the Super Bowl. Much of the credit for the Jets’ success belonged to the defense, which was anchored by Shaun Ellis and Darrelle Revis.

In recent years, the defense has remained strong while the offense has regressed. Sanchez was unable to reproduce the success of his first two seasons and in 2013, lost his job to rookie Geno Smith after suffering a preseason injury. Meanwhile, Jets fans finally got their wish to play in a stadium not named after another team. In 2010, MetLife Stadium—owned jointly by the Jets and Giants—opened next door to the old stadium, in the Meadowlands complex. At a cost of more than $1.5 billion, it was the most expensive sports arena ever constructed in the United States.The NFL held Super Bowl XLVIII in MetLife Stadium in 2014. It marked the first time the Super Bowl had been played outdoors in a cold-weather venue.

The Rex Ryan era ended after a 4–12 campaign in 2014. Defensive specialist Todd Bowles, who grew up in Elizabeth, took the coaching reins and produced a 10–6 season in 2015. However, three straight losing seasons led to his ouster. His replacement, Adam Gase, begins his tenure with an exciting young quarterback, Sam Darnold, some Pro Bowl caliber talent on defense, and high draft picks heading into 2019.

Jets in the Pro Bowl (since 1984)

John Abraham DE 2001–2002 & 2004

Jamal Adams S 2018

Richie Anderson RB 2000

Antonio Cromartie DB 2012–2013

Shaun Ellis DE 2003 & 2009

Boomer Esiason QB 1993

Alan Faneca OL 2008–2009

Brett Favre QB 2008

D’Brickashaw Ferguson T 2009–2011

Mark Gastineau DE 1984–1985

Aaron Glenn DB 1997–1998

Chris Ivory RB 2015

Kris Jenkins DT 2008

Keyshawn Johnson WR 1998–1999

Thomas Jones RB 2008

Joe Klecko DT 1984–1985

LaRon Landry DB 2012

Ty Law DB 2005

Mo Lewis LB 1998–2000

Nick Mangold C 2008–2011 & 2013–15

Brandon Marshall WR 2015

Curtis Martin RB 1998, 2001 & 2004

Kevin Mawae C 1999–2004

Erik McMillan DB 1988–1989

Freeman McNeil RB 1984–1985

Lance Mehl LB 1985

Justin Miller DB 2006

Brandon Moore G 2011

Rob Moore WR 1994

Jason Myers K 2018

Ken O’Brien QB 1985 & 1991

Darrelle Revis DB 2008–2011& 2015

Sheldon Richardson DT 2014

Andre Roberts KR 2018

Mickey Shuler TE 1996 & 1998

Vinny Testaverde QB 1998

Al Toon WR 1986–1988

Tom Tupa P 1999

Jonathan Vilma LB 2005

Leon Washington RB 2008

Muhammad Wilkerson DE 2015

Leonard Williams DE 2016


First-Team All-Pros (Since 1984)

John Abraham 2001

Mark Gastineau 1984–1985

Joe Klecko 1985

Mo Lewis 1998

Nick Mangold 2009–2010

Curtis Martin 2004

Kevin Mawae 1999 & 2001

Darrelle Revis 2009–2011

Andre Roberts 2018

Al Toon 1986

Tom Tupa 1999

Leon Washington 2008


Player Profiles

Pro Teams

College Teams

NJ Football History

Great Moments

It Happened in Jersey



• Who We Are
• Email Us
• Don't Know Spit?



They still play sports outside NJ. Check out 300 more athlete bios at

All images on this site are from the collection of the authors. They are used for