During Monday Night Football, the New York Jets will induct Wayne Chrebet and Leon Hess into the Ring of Honor. Neither individual needs an introduction, but I will do so anyway, mostly for our younger readers.
Chrebet played for the team between 1995 and 2005 as an undrafted free agent out of Hofstra University. Chrebet was 5'10", 188lbs, and a local boy from Garfield, New Jersey. Chrebet joined the team as the eleventh receiver on a depth chart with eleven receivers. Notably, he was stopped at the gate on the first day of training camp by a security guard, who couldn't believe that at his size he was a professional wide receiver. He would eventually become the prototypical slot receiver for his smooth routes, ability to gain separation, and knack for making the clutch third-down catch. In fact, 65% of his career receptions were third-down conversions. Although his jersey number has not been officially retired, the team has an understanding that no player will be issued a #80 jersey.
Hess, founder of the Hess Corporation, owned the team from 1963-1968 as part of a five-man investment group, and then bought out the rest of the partners in 1968. In that year, he bought out Sonny Werblin, and would go on to buy out the other partners over the years. From 1984 until his death in 1999, Hess owned the team outright. Hess presided over the highs, including the New York Sack Exchange, and the lows, including Rich Kotite. It truly isn't possible to write the history of the Jets without Hess, for better or for worse. The team got close to winning a Super Bowl under his ownership in 1982 and 1998, but could never quite make it over the hump.