UNION SQUARE, Manhattan (PIX11) — The loud gasp heard all across the tri-state region came from football fans in reaction to The Sack Heard ‘Round The World — when superstar quarterback and future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers went down, four plays into Monday night’s game, leaving him with a season-ending injury.
On Tuesday, Jets fans shared their reactions to Rodgers going down and their predictions of the season ahead without him.
“A few minutes into the game, like many fans, I was just brokenhearted to the point that I walked away from the game,” said Priscilla Ellington, a long-time fan who’d watched on TV.
Her reaction was similar, in more ways than one, to that of many fans that PIX11 News encountered on Tuesday. She’d been disappointed at first.
“Just buckled up, had a few beers, and could not be more excited about the turnout,” she said.
She was referring to the 22 to 16 overtime win the Jets managed to pull off in overtime against the Buffalo Bills.
“I have to say, without our prize possession, Mr. Rodgers, I don’t know how far we’ll go,” said Ellington.
She was among a variety of people whom PIX11 News encountered at Paragon Sports, which has the largest collection of Jets gear in New York City.
Like Ellington, Paragon Sports divisional manager Jeff Carroll is a Jets fan who was let down in a big way but has, in a small way, at least some optimism, looking ahead.
“There’s hope, you know?” he said. “There’s less hope than it was yesterday, but there’s hope.”
Another of the sports store’s customers was wearing his Jets ball cap and opined about a team without Rodgers at the helm.
“I just think they’re gonna do a good job without him, though,” said Joey Scalabrino. “I just think they’re gonna do a great job.”
It would really help if they do, according to Patrick O’Brien, the owner of Tracks Bar. It’s a sports bar across the street from Penn Station, where many of the team’s New York and New Jersey fan base often convene on game days.
“We get Jet fans coming from all directions,” said O’Brien, who’s had Jets season tickets for 31 years. “So I am a Jets fan,” he said.
He, too, cited the quality of the team’s play on Monday night in looking ahead to the rest of the season.
“We still have a good chance to make the playoffs,” he said, “and that’ll keep the fans interested.”