Jets owner Woody Johnson sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell today, asking to have kickoff of the team’s Sept. 27 home game against the Titans moved from 4:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. to avoid conflict with the Jewish observance of Yom Kippur.
The Jets’ Web site reports that the team has been trying to work out a resolution with the league for the past two days:
- “I understand the challenges and complexities associated with creating the NFL schedule each year,” Johnson said in his letter. “However, I am extremely disappointed with the League’s decision to schedule us to play at home on consecutive Sundays that are in direct conflict with the Jewish High Holy Days. There has long been an understanding that neither the Jets nor the Giants fans should have to bear completely the brunt of this issue since we are in the largest Jewish market in the country.”
- The Jets owner explained that the club feels the best solution is to change the time of the Titans game. “This would give our Jewish fans the opportunity to arrive at home before sundown for Yom Kippur,” he said.
- “Those who suffer most are our fans,” Johnson concluded. “The NFL has been the leading proponent of improving the fans’ gameday experience. I feel making this change will further that goal.”
The New York Daily News reports that the league is looking into the matter:
- “The Jets are hearing from their fans,” said Howard Katz, the NFL’s senior VP of broadcasting, who oversees the creation of the schedule. “There was miscommunication between the Jets and the NFL office, for which I take full responsibility. All we can continue to do is look and see if there is a solution to this.”
The Jets asked the NFL not to schedule home games in the Weeks 2 and 3 because of the Jewish high holidays, but Katz told The Daily News that the league didn’t receive the message. The Giants, who share the stadium with the Jets, made the same request, which the NFL honored by putting the team on the road those two weeks (at Dallas on Sept. 20, at Tampa Bay on Sept. 27).