Blog: Taste of the Jets
Following as impressive and complete a victory the team has had all year on Sunday beating the New Orleans Saints, the New York Jets partnered with some of New York City’s best restaurants and with Saks Fifth Avenue and MasterCard on Monday night for an event entitled “Taste of the Jets.” The fundraising benefit brought some of Gang Green’s most notable players to the posh ballroom space of 82 Mercer, alongside some of Manhattan’s most talented culinary minds giving guests the chance to eat a bit, schmooze with New York Jets, and celebrate the team’s improbable win just a day prior.
As the hundreds of attendees filed into the second floor space, they were given an all-white New York Jets football and the priceless opportunity to seek out their favorite players for autographs throughout the evening. Meanwhile, the 6pm start time allowed the media a few moments to surround the four available players- Nick Mangold, Geno Smith, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Willie Colon- before the festivities would officially get underway. The team’s radio voice Bob Wischusen welcomed owner Woody Johnson among other guests to “Taste of the Jets,” before a makeshift runway would be rolled out for the players to participate in an abbreviated fashion show for the VIP guests. Decked out in some of the upcoming season’s finest menswear courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue, notable guests included running back Bilal Powell, placekicker Nick Folk, receiver Stephen Hill, tight end Jeff Cumberland, linebacker Calvin Pace, cornerback Kyle Wilson and tackle Austin Howard among others. Each player was warmly introduced with some taking to the lime light more comfortably than others, and strutting their massive frames on the catwalk.
In the background, the sights and smells were indescribably overpowering as the likes of New York City restaurants Delicatessen, 40/40 Club, Arlington Club, Dos Caminos, Wildwood BBQ, Nobu, Lavo, and Delmonico’s were among the twenty food purveyors on hand, doling out everything from wings and sliders to guacamole and octopus, serving the hungry masses. The highlight of the evening perhaps was the availability of exclusive auction experiences unlike any selection in recent memory. VIP opportunities to New York Knicks and Mets games, watching the Jets play from the radio broadcast booth and being an assistant team captain during a Jets coin toss highlighted the twenty items up for prizes during the ‘Taste’ event.
Ultimately, the team’s event would benefit the New York Jets Foundation – an organization that works with local food banks to end hunger in New York and its surrounding areas – to the tune of $150,000. It should be noted that despite more than a dozen players in attendance, each was genuinely humbled to be a part of the event, posing for pictures, signing autographs and sampling some of New York City’s finest food. And in showing off some of next season’s suited-up fashion styles, the Jets as usual, showed that they are winners with class.
- Jane Van Arsdale