The newly hired head coach believes the Jets-Giants fanbase comparison is similar to that of Michigan State-Michigan.
Robert Saleh is already showing he’s not afraid to speak his mind and portray his true opinions. His latest take, recently provided on the “Huddle and Flow” podcast with NFL Media’s Steve Wyche and Jim Trotter, involved the fanbases of both the New York Jets and Giants.
Saleh feels the organization that now employs him possesses the more “invested” fanbase and compares the differences among the two sets of supporters to that of Michigan and Michigan State (the latter being where he went to graduate school).
“The [Jets] fanbase is so passionate,” he said. “So I went to Michigan State. Got my master’s from there. Have a strong connection to Michigan State. Go Green, right? And when you look at [the] Michigan State fanbase vs. [the] Michigan fanbase, it’s very similar to what you see in New York if you think about it.
“Michigan’s more…We always make fun of Michigan for kind of being more the uppity-ups, sit on your hands, where the Spartan fans are a little bit more rambunctious, a little bit more passionate, a little bit more — they’re louder. Like we always say a loaded stadium in East Lansing is a hell of a lot louder than the loaded stadium at the Big House.”
Of course, there’s more tradition and history in and around the Giants organization, given the franchise was established in 1925. The near-100 years of existence has encompassed four Super Bowl titles in five appearances and four NFL championships prior to the AFL-NFL merger.
The Jets, having been established in 1960, don’t possess as rich a history, having won just one Super Bowl title in their lone appearance. This, in turn, leads to a more eager fanbase; one that’s hungrier for success more than the other.
Location also likely has to do with the level of passion. The New York-New Jersey area is essentially the “impatience capital” of America.
“When we’ve played the Jets in the past vs. the Giants, no disrespect to them, they’re absolutely a phenomenal franchise. But the Jets fanbase has…is a lot more…feels more invested, I should say,” Saleh added. “They feel more invested in the way they are just so passionate about their team.”
Some would agree. Some would disagree. Regardless, the fans aren’t the ones who are going to turn the Jets franchise around in 2021.
The organization will rely on Saleh to do his part, and boy will it be a significant task. After a two-win season and no playoffs for the tenth consecutive year, the Jets fanbase, while passionate, is surely impatient.