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"Someone got a plate of food for me, but until the Jets went ahead 28-3, I couldn't tell if it was roast beef or cole slaw that I was eating. That's how tight I was."
The Jets' management had invited Young to be their guest at the game. He declined. "I felt my place was with our own group," he said. "We would all live or die together. I didn't begin to relax until the Jets were up 21-3 at the half. The Packers beat us twice. No one in our place takes them lightly. I was watching to see how much penetration the Jets' defensive line was getting. They were getting a lot on the inside. That was good. I knew Gofourth was out and that was going to hurt Green Bay. Then when Marty Lyons got an early sack I knew the Packers were going to have problems."
In his house in Upper Saddle River, N.J., Giant Punter Dave Jennings got a fire going and settled down in front of the TV set.
"I wanted to watch the game by myself," he said, "without getting all caught up in the excitement. I'm glad it wasn't thrilling. I wasn't ready for two in a row like that. You don't know how many years I've gone home and watched the first round of the playoffs on TV and been sick to my stomach. In the fourth quarter, when the game was in the bag for the Jets, I started balancing my checkbook. When it was over I let out a yell, a small one."
The hero of the Jets' locker room was All-Pro Defensive End Joe Klecko. He came out of the trainer's room on crutches, with his left ankle in a cast. He was asked whether he'd be ready for the wildcard playoff against Buffalo in Shea this week. "There's no way they'll keep me out of it," he said.
He'd gotten his ankle kicked on the first series, and he went into the clubhouse for X rays. They were negative. He thinks there was some ligament damage. "I'm not really sure," he said. "I was running around looking for different tape jobs until I got one that worked. There was no broken stuff, no torn stuff, so I went back out." He ended up with 2½ sacks, which gave him a Jet record 20½ for the season.
"We're a big, grown-up football team now," Klecko said.
The Jets had begun their season by losing three straight, and everyone was wondering who the next coach would be. Now Walt Michaels is coaching the first Jet playoff team since 1969. "They've got a damn good chance of going to the Super Bowl," Giant Center Jim Clack said. "Wouldn't it be funny if they found us there?"
"We live with each other's successes and failures," Reece said. "I guess after this weekend, we'll always be a part of each other."