Fifty-one years ago Tuesday, the New York Titans scrapped their old name and unveiled a new one: the Jets.
Club president / CEO Sonny Werblin made the call, with the positioning of home field Shea Stadium between Idlewild Airport and LaGuardia Airport one key element in the decision, according to the club. For the 1963 season, the Jets had an airplane emblazoned on their helmets before changing the look the next year.
And that wasn’t all for key franchise decisions made on April 15, 1963. The Jets hired their only Super Bowl-winning coach in their history, tabbing ex-Colts coach Weeb Ewbank as head coach and G.M.
About Ewbank: he led Baltimore to two NFL titles (1958, 1959), but he was replaced by Don Shula after a 7-7 season in 1962. However, Ewbank’s Jets would later get the best of Shula’s Colts in Super Bowl III, with the Jets pulling off a historic 16-7 upset in 1969.
Finally, about the “Jets” nickname: it has aged well, given air travel’s great importance. Moreover, the “J-E-T-S” chant does have a certain ring to it. Finally, is also the NFL’s shortest moniker — four characters, a distinction it shares with the Rams.
So if nothing else, the Jets are one of the NFL’s most Twitter-friendly teams.