Zach Wilson was drafted just a few weeks ago by the Jets, but the second overall pick is already connecting with fans. For example: The 21-year-old was sitting front and center at the Islanders' Game 4 win against the Penguins in the Stanley Cup playoff on Saturday.
But he wasn't decked out in an Islanders jersey by himself; he was at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, with members of his offensive line.
"It’s fun being out with the guys and the camaraderie of it,’’ tackle Conor McDermott, a Predators fan, told Newsday's Colin Stephenson. "I’m buddies with most of the guys on the (Predators) team, and Nashville’s turning into a hockey town, so I’m a big hockey guy, and I love it.’’
While fans were happy to see the new Jets quarterback in attendance, it was his teammate Dan Feeney who stole the show. The offensive lineman, signed as a free agent in the offseason, not only chugged a beer and crunched the empty can over his head, but also sported a wicked mullet too.
The Jets and Islanders have a long-standing connection, as the former used to practice back in the day — including during the Bill Parcells Era — across the street from the Nassau Coliseum at Hofstra University. It's probably a connection that Jets guard Greg Van Roten, who grew up on Long Island, remembers. Stephenson reported that the Rockville Centre, N.Y., native was the one who coordinated things.
Seeing members of Gang Green at the Old Barn isn't a new sight, nor is seeing a pro athlete chugging beer at a sporting event. After all, there was the Packers' David Bakhtiari showing up teammate Aaron Rodgers at a Bucks game. Christian Yelich and Patrick Mahomes also made appearances at a Bucks game and Game 3 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, respectively.