(Note: While I often snort at Hofstra’s attempts to fashion itself the Ivy League of Long Island, I must note that U.S. News and World Report just ranked Hofstra 139th on its list of best American colleges while George Mason is no. 143. YEAH!! SUCK IT MASON!!!! I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming)
Whatever the real reason is for the Jets’ departure, it’s too bad, because both sides could have had it both ways. Hofstra could have continued bolstering its reputation as a university and built a medical school while also continuing to enjoy the free publicity generated by its partnership with the Jets. And the Jets could have maintained their ties to New York and their tradition at Hofstra, which was the closest thing the nomadic franchise had to a real home base.
As this New York Times article from September 2001—note the dateline, it was the last normal Sunday ever—makes clear, the Jets were a source of—wait for it!—pride for Hofstra and Long Island alike. From realtors to deli owners and everywhere in between, the Jets provided a nice boost to the local economy. And as this Times article from earlier this year indicates, I wasn’t the only student who felt I’d hit the big time upon realizing I was sharing a campus with a professional football team.
That’s no longer the case, except for one night a year, and it’s a shame. We’ll probably never know for sure who is truly to blame for the Jets’ departure. But all I know is it took Johnson a little less than a year after the Jets’ exit to realize he wanted to go back to school—and Hofstra a little more than a year after the Jets' exit to execute football.