When You’re A Jet…

“06880” reader Terry Brannigan spent yesterday at PJ Romano Field.  A flag football fundraiser raised money for breast cancer awareness.  He says:

I was dreading 3 hours of 2nd grade football.  But it was a great event.

Joe Klecko of the NY Jets was there signing autographs.  In world full of divas, dog fighters, philanderers and anabolically supported superstars, this guy is the complete opposite.


Laurie Brannigan and Joe Klecko


You cannot believe what a great guy he is.  He had time for everyone, and physically looked great.  He signed footballs, t-shirts and jerseys (often on the backs of the kids) and photographs.  He did not grunt his answers but engaged each person, asking as many questions as he answered.  What a refreshing surprise.

25 years ago he was the guest speaker at a father/son breakfast at Assumption Church I went to with my father.  He happily signed a note for me to give to my dad.

I’m not a sports junkie, but a handful of names that mean something.  Joe Klecko is one of them.  His manner today compared to the “bling” of current athletes is as obvious as his manner was on the line compared to Mark Gastineau.  Joe looks fantastic and happy.

I was blown away by how gracious the guy was.  I’m sure he could have mailed it in, but instead he brought it.

PS:  Check out the size of his mitts!

3 responses to “When You’re A Jet…

  1. Terry I too was lucky enough to meet Joe Klecko at the apex of his popularity when I was 14. He could not of been nicer and even made mean feel important. When he went to give me his autograph and a take a picture he said he needed to stand because I made him feel small. This three times the size of me man gave me a memory that is still totally smile invoking.

  2. The Dude Abides

    For those who don’t know, Joe was an NFL player for ten years and a member of of Jets’ “New York Sack Exchange” in the 1980’s. Considering the constant bad press of the not only the NFL but NCAA football these days, it is refreshing to hear about a genuine good guy. Thanks Terry for sharing.

  3. His son Dan Klecko had a nice NFL career as well, winning 3 Super Bowl rings and believe it or not was a two-way player, playing both defensive tackle and fullback.