Thursday, February 13, 2014
Introducing the Jets' Mount Rushmore
By Rich Cimini
Piggybacking on LeBron James, who sparked a Mount Rushmore debate this week for the NBA, I decided to conduct an informal Twitter survey to determine the New York Jets' Mount Rushmore -- the four most iconic figures in franchise history.
A total of 126 votes were cast. The non-serious votes weren't counted; otherwise, Rich Kotite and Vernon Gholston would appear on our tally sheet. Without further delay ... the Jets' version of Mount Rushmore:
Joe Namath -- 120 votes
Curtis Martin -- 114
Joe Klecko -- 90
Don Maynard -- 46
In my opinion, the fans got it right. I would've voted for the same four players. To me, Namath, Martin and Maynard are no-brainers -- they're Hall of Famers. Namath is Namath (what more can you say?) and Martin was the Jets' version of Derek Jeter from 1998 to 2004. I'm surprised Maynard didn't receive more votes because he was a dominant receiver in the Namath era. In fact, he averaged more than 20 yards per reception in 1967 and 1968, pretty impressive in an era where the cornerbacks were allowed to mug the receivers. He was an all-time great. Klecko, who made the Pro Bowl at three different defensive-line positions in the 1980s, makes it because he owns the unofficial title of Best Jet Not in the Hall of Fame. It's a shame he doesn't garner more consideration.
Aside from Klecko, Wayne Chrebet is the most beloved non-Hall of Famer in team history. He's a Jersey guy, the ultimate underdog story. Sadly, his career was cut short by concussions. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Chrebet is inducted into the team's Ring of Honor in the fall. He finished fifth with 33 votes, ahead of Mark Gastineau (23) and Darrelle Revis (10), who undoubtedly would've received a lot more love if it weren't for his messy divorce.
Others receiving votes: Weeb Ewbank 9, Wesley Walker 7, Freeman McNeil 5, Al Toon 4, Rex Ryan 4, Matt Snell 3, Nick Mangold 3, Winston Hill 2, Chad Pennington 2 and Dennis Byrd 2. Nine others received one vote apiece.