Jets cry foul over games on Jewish holidays

April 16, 2009 9:43:06 PM PDT
The New York Jets, upset about being scheduled for home games on consecutive Sundays in direct conflict with Jewish holidays, sent NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a letter Thursday asking that one of the game times be changed. The Jets' home opener is Week 2 against New England at 1 p.m. on Sept. 20, which falls during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. New York then plays Tennessee at 4:15 p.m. the following Sunday, with Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, beginning at sundown.

In the letter to Goodell, owner Woody Johnson suggested the game against the Titans be changed to a 1 p.m. start to give Jewish fans time to arrive home before sundown.

"I am extremely disappointed with the league's decision to schedule us to play at home on consecutive Sundays that are in direct conflict with the Jewish High Holy Days," Johnson wrote.

"There has long been an understanding that neither the Jets nor the Giants fans should have to bear completely the brunt of this issue since we are in the largest Jewish market in the country."

Jets officials called the league offices first on Wednesday to express their concern, and Johnson followed with a formal letter Thursday.

"We were not contacted prior to this decision," Johnson said. "We are flexible and would have been more than happy to work with the league to accommodate as many of our fans as possible."

Brian McCarthy, the NFL's vice president of corporate communications, said the league received the letter and was reviewing it.

The Giants are on the road for both weeks, with games at Dallas at 8:20 p.m. in Week 2, and at Tampa, Fla., at 1 p.m. in Week 3.


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