His jersey can’t be bought in any sporting goods store. Crowds never cheered his game-winning plays. He’s never stepped foot on the field at Yankee Stadium or the court at the Garden or even MetLife Stadium. But there may not have been a bigger name in New York sports this past year then someone who was a virtual unknown this time in 2014.
Yet he created some of the biggest buzz not just in New York city but across the country and that is why Jason Koeppel is Metro New York’s ‘Sports Person of the Year.’
Koeppel, who lives in New Jersey and is an entrepreneur who owns a printing company, cast a giant shadow over this sportscape in the tri-state area this past year. It was Koeppel who started the #FireJohnIdzik movement to oustthe then New York Jets general manager, creating a website that raised money for several billboards in the tri-state and spawned a plane that flew over practice, again, demanding Idzik’s ouster. The movement created a national firestorm and Koeppel became the highly-quoted figurehead.
At the Jets last home game of the year, he gave out thousands of rally towels, all bearing a similar message: Idzik must be fired. Of course, Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan were out the door a week later. Koeppel’s movement, while never cited as the reason why, surely pressured Jets ownership to make a change.
But that wasn’t all for Koeppel, who also started a similar movement for the sale of the New York Knicks as well as BringBackEd.com, dedicated to the proposition that ‘Fireman Ed’ needs to return as leader of the ‘J-E-T-S’ chant (which he did for Week 1). There was also the infamous ‘Cheaters Look Up’ banner that flew over a New England Patriots game, again a Koeppel brain child.
The man clearly has an eye for the sensational and he used this momentum to start NYJetsFans.com, a site to promote the team in light of recent negativity.
And he raised enough money to fly up Louie Gonzalez, a Florida-based Jets fan who was once declared legally dead and suffers from the rare disease hydrocephalus, to see his team play for the first time ever at MetLife Stadium.
All good enough reasons to name Koeppelsports person of the year.