It was a rare moment in the life of Rex Ryan. The Jets head coach didn’t know what to say.
With MetLife purchasing the naming rights to New Meadowlands Stadium last week, the Jets got the first win in “The House That Snoopy Built” on Monday night, a 17-3 preseason win over the Giants.
Termed the “MetLife Bowl,” the insurance company presented the Jets a trophy with Snoopy in leatherhead gear, holding a football in a Heisman pose.
Ryan grinned awkwardly, trying to look poised as he held a trophy for a preseason win.
“This is awesome. I’ll tell you what. This thing looks good, I’m glad we got it,” Ryan said sheepishly before taking questions about his football team, now 2-1 in preseason.
The jokes flew, of course, from the media in the Twittersphere about how the win was worth its weight in Peanuts.
The Jets, despite a winning preseason record, aren’t putting much stock into the wins and losses until Week 1 kicks off.
“You take the record the way it is,” safety Jim Leonhard said. “You try to put strong quarters together.”
But the simple fact that seven of the last 12 Super Bowl winners have at least three preseason victories underscores that a winning mentality can be built before the games matter. While defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson was concerned whether the Jets “were showing progress,” a team looking to build on consecutive AFC title games must begin mastering their skills.
The process of fine-tuning happens when the stands are filled with polo shirts, so the Jets can begin winning when winter coats fill MetLife Stadium.
“Whenever you are playing for anything, you want to win, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing,” linebacker Bart Scott said. “We want to make sure we win when it counts because later in the season, during that time, it is going to have implications on your postseason dreams.”
Follow Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer for updates from Jets training camp and news all season long.