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Woody Johnson: Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist

Marc Serota

In The Avengers, Tony Stark is asked what kind of man he is without his Iron Man suit of armor. He responds by saying that he is a genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist. Woody Johnson, the owner of the New York Jets, may not be a genius or a playboy, but a recent article by the New York Post indicates that Johnson may have had a Stark-esque party-boy history in the past.

The article discusses a book by Jerry Oppenheimer called "Crazy Rich: Power, Scandal and Tragedy Inside the Johnson & Johnson Dynasty," which talks about the Jets owner and refers back to his supposedly wild, partying days as an undergraduate at the University of Arizona. The book apparently refers to how Johnson, one night, got drunk and was urinating off a bridge when he fell and was almost paralyzed for life. Johnson is now a staid, low-key individual, but it's certainly interesting to hear his backstory.

I think Johnson's time as owner of the Jets has been underrated. It's easy to forget how terrible the team was before he bought it from Leon Hess. Since 2000, the team has been in the playoffs six of thirteen seasons with two AFC Championship appearances. There are many teams that would kill for a playoff history like that. In the thirteen years before that, under Hess, the team made the playoffs in only two years.