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Former Jet Wayne Hunter glad to escape the “sharks” of NY

Wayne Hunter AP

The Wayne Hunter-for-Jason Smith swap was considered like-for-like, one team’s disappointment for another’s.

But for Hunter, it was about the chance at a fresh start, and from his comments about the situation in New York, it was a relief.

Hunter told Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch leaving New York was like a weight being lifted off him.

Asked to describe it, Hunter replied: “No, I can’t. No words describe it. If you can handle the ‘Concrete Jungle,’ you can handle anywhere. I’ve been through it all.”

After a poor preseason outing against the Panthers brought more verbal abuse from behind the Jets bench, Hunter snapped and had to be restrained by teammates.

“They’re like sharks,” Hunter said. “If they don’t like you, they let you know right off the bat. And even if you’re doing good, they might just not like you for the heck of it. It’s brutal over there. Those fans, they know what they want, and they pretty much demand it. So if you don’t give it to them, they’ll let you know.”

Of course, fans weren’t the only ones who had it out for him, as he was at the point of Santonio Holmes’ barbs last season, though they’ve since made amends.

He said he has no hard feelings toward the Jets organization, but clearly relished the slower pace in middle America.

“I just want to come in, I just want to participate, I want to help the team win,” he said. “That’s all it is for me. There’s no chip on my shoulder. The New York Jets treated me so well. I had the best four years over there. We had a great run with two AFC championship games. I’ve got nothing to complain about. I love those guys, I wish ‘em the best, but it’s time for me to move on.”

Some guys can’t handle the crucible of the largest media market. But coming down the stretch, Hunter became a pinata, a symbol of the Jets problems, rather than the moderately talented backup tackle thrust into water over his head he actually was.

That wasn’t his fault, but New York and New Yorkers apparently weren’t ready to consider it.

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28 Responses to “Former Jet Wayne Hunter glad to escape the “sharks” of NY”
  1. altoon88 says: Sep 5, 2012 12:50 PM

    Wayne Hunter being restrained from heckling fans was the only block Vlad Ducasse made as a Jet. #neverforget

  2. pixelito says: Sep 5, 2012 12:51 PM

    Those fans will be sooo much happier with Jason Smith.

  3. bigjoe2269 says: Sep 5, 2012 12:51 PM

    wow amazing – the fans got on him because the defensive players were running by him like he wasnt there and almost got Sanchez killed a few times. I really dont know why anyone would get on a guy for something like that. I dont care where you play but when you are on a team that is a contender you need to perform or get out – go play in Green Bay and see how they treat you if you played the way you did last year and in the preseason this year.

  4. fuglyflorio says: Sep 5, 2012 12:58 PM

    What a wimp. Sorry NYC was too tough for you.

  5. green41563 says: Sep 5, 2012 12:59 PM

    “It’s brutal over there. Those fans, they know what they want, and they pretty much demand it. So if you don’t give it to them, they’ll let you know.”

    Yeah, see, that’s generally referred to as “good fans.”

  6. strctlylo says: Sep 5, 2012 1:07 PM

    i just want to be mediocre. i don’t want to get better, i would rather just collect a paycheck and if i disappear into obscurity, i’m fine with it.

    w. hunter

  7. threedeep1998 says: Sep 5, 2012 1:11 PM

    fuglyflorio says: Sep 5, 2012 12:58 PM

    What a wimp. Sorry NYC was too tough for you.
    ——————————————————

    You mean New Jersey?

  8. cali49er707 says: Sep 5, 2012 1:13 PM

    Justin Smith, Aldon Smith, & the rest of the NFC West defensive ends are thrilled to have you in the west Jason!!!

  9. waldoampere says: Sep 5, 2012 1:13 PM

    So I guess the point of the story is that New Yorkers are honest and blunt. I’m not really certain how that’s news.

  10. green41563 says: Sep 5, 2012 1:19 PM

    Last year, the cheapest seat for Jets home games was about $100. And that was to sit on top of the moon. If you wanted to sit downstairs, you were looking at $250 a clip–plus a few thousand for one of those absurd “seat licenses.”

    Expecting fans to act like choir boys when they’re paying out of their a$$e$ for seats is not just unrealistic; it’s also unfair.

    Players make millions because of people’s obsession with football. So it’s a two-sided coin. Their obsession puts millions in your pocket, so don’t complaint when it causes you to get shipped out of town.

  11. godofwine330 says: Sep 5, 2012 1:28 PM

    Those who say “what a wimp” clearly do not know how hard it is to be constantly berated day in/day out like you cannot do anything right. No person should be subjected to that against their will, and no person has the right to subject others to that either.

    NYC is too fast for some. Hell, too fast for most. I’m glad I was born in the slow midwest of Cleveland, Ohio. Money goes farther, property is cheaper, property is larger, and people aren’t quite as mean. New Yorkers are brutal and I for one am glad I do not live there. This is nothing against New Yorkers, but I prefer the laid back life of the midwest compared to the hustle and bustle and all around craziness of NYC.

  12. We'reFineThere says: Sep 5, 2012 1:31 PM

    He is right. The media and fans here used Hunter cover up every single other flaw with the team. He wasn’t good, but neither are their receivers, runningbacks, and QB philosophy.

  13. flapjackdaddy says: Sep 5, 2012 1:35 PM

    Continue to play like that and you won’t be welcome in any NFL city.

  14. dogman9 says: Sep 5, 2012 1:36 PM

    Pinata – no

    Turnstyle – yes

  15. jolink653 says: Sep 5, 2012 1:51 PM

    Dammit always looked forward to the Patriots DEs abusing Hunter and slapping Sanchez around…Guess they’ll just have to go around Jason “The Rock” Smith now…

  16. nyyjetsknicks says: Sep 5, 2012 1:57 PM

    godofwine330 says:
    Sep 5, 2012 1:28 PM
    Those who say “what a wimp” clearly do not know how hard it is to be constantly berated day in/day out like you cannot do anything right. No person should be subjected to that against their will, and no person has the right to subject others to that either.

    NYC is too fast for some. Hell, too fast for most. I’m glad I was born in the slow midwest of Cleveland, Ohio. Money goes farther, property is cheaper, property is larger, and people aren’t quite as mean. New Yorkers are brutal and I for one am glad I do not live there. This is nothing against New Yorkers, but I prefer the laid back life of the midwest compared to the hustle and bustle and all around craziness of NYC.

    ____________________________

    Move to the middle of the country. That’s what it’s for, people who gave up on their dreams.

    - Daniel Tosh

  17. 11inthebox says: Sep 5, 2012 2:05 PM

    Why is he listening to fans?

  18. umainebearman says: Sep 5, 2012 2:19 PM

    Those sharks that expect him to do his job and protect the most important player on the field. HOW DARE THEY!

  19. bigjoe2269 says: Sep 5, 2012 2:28 PM

    @godofwine330
    hope you are happy with your mediocre to terrible franchises – here in NY we expect winners and players to earn the money they make – Labron is lucky to be out of mediocreland

  20. truthhurtstoo says: Sep 5, 2012 2:40 PM

    @bigjoe
    hope you are happy with your mediocre to terrible franchises – here in NY we expect winners and players to earn the money they make –

    But the jets/nets/knicks haven’t won anything in our lifetime. 1 shot at the super bowl over ALL these years is really nothing to brag about. BTW- its New Jersey afterall.

  21. nyjalleffingday says: Sep 5, 2012 3:02 PM

    I don’t care how badly he was treated, he gave up 11 sacks last year, and three against the Giants in the first half of our annual preseason game alone. I have the memories of him getting absolutely destroyed by Dallas burned into the back of my brain, Ware turned him around in microseconds and made him watch as he made his best attempt at assassinating Sanchez. Dude was brutal at RT. Enjoy the isle of misfit Jets, Wayne.

  22. roadtrip3500 says: Sep 5, 2012 3:03 PM

    godofwine330 says: Sep 5, 2012 1:28 PM

    Those who say “what a wimp” clearly do not know how hard it is to be constantly berated day in/day out like you cannot do anything right. No person should be subjected to that against their will, and no person has the right to subject others to that either.

    NYC is too fast for some. Hell, too fast for most. I’m glad I was born in the slow midwest of Cleveland, Ohio. Money goes farther, property is cheaper, property is larger, and people aren’t quite as mean. New Yorkers are brutal and I for one am glad I do not live there. This is nothing against New Yorkers, but I prefer the laid back life of the midwest compared to the hustle and bustle and all around craziness of NYC.
    ——————————–
    And this has exactly what to do with playing bad right tackle? The NFL is the most balanced league in terms of small-market vs large-market… Lambeau Field can hold 70% of the entire population of Green Bay, and yet they have 4 Super Bowl wins. Fans of every NFL team expect competent play or they’ll let you know how bad you are. If that pre-season game against the Giants had been a regular season game, Perry Fewell would have been walking along the bench asking “who hasn’t played left defensive end yet? Kenny Phillips? Get in there and get a sack.” Hunter couldn’t play his position – period.

  23. torturedraiderfan says: Sep 5, 2012 3:55 PM

    Is this guy for real????? He’s supposed to be a football player and he got rattled by fans yelling at him because he sucked. What do you think a guy like Ronnie Lott would say after he cut of part of his finger to go back in a game. You think he got rattled when fans yelled at him?? Wayne Hunter should not be called a football player. For that matter, he should not be called a man. I hope he doesn’t read this. He may start crying.

  24. ceschatz says: Sep 5, 2012 4:55 PM

    he’s a strength for every team the jets play

  25. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 5, 2012 5:13 PM

    We laud guys who perform well and rip those who stink. Wayne Hunter stinks. I’m a Giants fan and still got on that guy’s case.

  26. kingcarlbanks says: Sep 5, 2012 6:09 PM

    Was he crying when he whined about New York? Were there tears? Man come on, you’re a pro athlete, man up.

  27. bigjoe2269 says: Sep 5, 2012 10:52 PM

    @truthhurtstoo the Jets and Knicks have both won in my lifetime and what about the Rangers Islanders Devils Mets and oh yeah the Yankees? a lot of championships for NY sportsfans – how many championship flags fly in Cleveland?

  28. bigjoe2269 says: Sep 5, 2012 10:53 PM

    Hunter should have worried more about blocking than what the fans are saying

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