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Robert Saleh says he means no disrespect to the Giants, but the Jets fan base “feels more invested.”
The New York fan dynamic reminds the new Jets coach of his days at Michigan State and their rivalry with Michigan, Saleh told NFL Media’s Steve Wyche and Jim Trotter this week on the “Huddle & Flow” podcast.
“The fan base is so passionate,” Saleh said of the Jets’ faithful. “So I went to Michigan State. Got my master’s from there. Have a strong connection to Michigan State. Go Green, right? And when you look at (the) Michigan State fan base versus (the) Michigan fan base, it’s very similar to what you see in New York if you think about it.
“Michigan’s more… We always make fun of Michigan for kind of being more the uppity-ups, sit on your hands, where the Spartan fans are a little bit more rambunctious, a little bit more passionate, a little bit more — they’re louder,” Saleh added. “Like we always say a loaded stadium in East Lansing is a hell of a lot louder than the loaded stadium at the Big House (in Ann Arbor).”
Saleh continued: “But at the same time, so when you get here, you just feel that. When we’ve played the Jets in the past versus the Giants — no disrespect to them, they’re absolutely a phenomenal franchise. But the Jets’ fan base has... is a lot more... feels more invested, I should say. They feel more invested in the way they are just so passionate about their team.”
Saleh, 41, said that’s why being a part of the Jets “is like home for me.”
“It’s what I feel like I’ve always been a part of everywhere I’ve been with regards (to) my high school and the passion that the people in the community have for that school, college and all that stuff,” he said. “So excited to be part of this thing and excited to get this thing moving in the right direction.”