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Fans Hope Fewer Training Camp Distractions Pay Off for Jets

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Fans Hope Fewer Training Camp Distractions Pay Off for Jets
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CORTLAND, N.Y. -- The New York Jets have wrapped up their 2014 training camp at SUNY Cortland, as the team will now finish up camp at a training facility closer to home in New Jersey.

Compared to previous years, 2014 has been relatively uneventful. No HBO, no brawls, and despite the controversial addition of Quarterback Michael Vick, there were no protests in Cortland this year. Most fans in attendance have said they've enjoyed watching many of the new players workout for the last few weeks to earn their spots on the depth chart.

"I think camp here in Cortland is great. Facilities are great. Fans get a chance to intermix with the players," said Mark Chalmers, a Gang Green fan.

The Jets held 15 practices and the and annual Green and White scrimmage this year in Cortland, which all together had a fairly calm tone.

In years past we've seen everything from HBOs Hard Knocks, a few brawls and Tebowmania put the national spotlight on the Jets training camp. However, this year, that attention has diminished. And, fans believe that may help the team.

"It kind of got out of control the last few years. It has died down completely because they're talking about the quarterback controversy. But I like that it's not as big, I like no distractions," said Andrew Kardis, a Jets fan.

"It gives the players a chance to be themselves and not be so subconsciously concerned about who's filming them and what they're saying. And give them a chance to focus on what's important which is the upcoming season," said Joseph Lusardi.

Less hype, may also be the reason fewer Jets fans have made the trip to camp this year.

Mark Braun owns Doug's Fish Fry in Cortland, and also happens to be a die-hard Jets fan of more than 30 years. Braun says his business has seen about a 20 percent increase in revenue so far during camp. As a fan he has enjoyed having the players and staff come in to grab a bite to eat.

"Then the days off, you know that's when you see more of the players, and they have time to go out, and a lot of the Jets behind the scenes people because there's so much more than just the players," said Braun. "You know there's one hundred workers that manage the field, that do the tickets, there's so much that the Jets being here brings."

By Braun's estimates, there were fewer fans in attendance at this year's camp, however he says that made it a better experience for those visitors.

The Jets will play their second pre-season game Saturday at Cincinnati. After that, they will continue preparations for the regular season at their training facility in Floram Park, New Jersey.

As the team leaves Cortland, locals like Braun hope the team will be back again in the years ahead.

We won't know for sure if the Jets will be coming back here to Cortland for camp next year, for a while but most fans I spoke to are hopeful they will. That decision could rest on just how well the Jets perform on the field this season.

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