LINDENHURST, NY – Jeremy Rookert, a New York Jets cheater, stood in the ice cream shop he visited as a child and chatted briefly with locals. This time he wasn’t going to break a milkshake or a banana. On this day, the postcard-appropriate Sunday in May, He Billing is at the top of the menu.
For the 6-foot-5 tight end, it was a cherry-on-top moment as the team was set to develop three weeks ago. Rookert, 21, signed the autograph and posed for two hours. Music was played from Ralph’s famous Italian Ice, a popular chain in the New York area, and a temporary DJ booth on the sidewalk that has been a prominent place in society for 25 years. More than 100 people stood in a line that never diminished.
In the crowd were jets jerseys – from Joe Nemuth, Curtis Martin, even Ryan Fitzpatrick. A man wearing Rookert’s Ohio State “88” jersey said he drove five hours to get there. A handful of police officers nodded inside to see the next Lindenhurst’s biggest rock star to control the crowd on Montauk Highway, Pat Bennett.
“You’ve always wanted a kid from the original village to go to a big show,” said store owner Michael Felicetti, who celebrates with part of the City Post – rock-to-the-jets free vanilla and pistachio soft-serve cones. . -Draft Green and White Day “It’s amazing to see this happening in our village.”
– New York Jets May 23, 2022
The next day, Rookert went to the Jets facility in Florham Park, New Jersey for a second autograph. Surrounded by his parents and two brothers, he fulfilled his cunning contract – four years, 5 million. When he signed in, his father, wearing a Jets T-shirt, entered the team’s famous anthem:
“Jets. Jets! Jets! Jets!”
Growing up with jets
Despite being the fourth most populous state, New York is not the center of NFL talent. In 2022, according to the league, Rookert was the only player in New York High School to be overseen by the NFL. Consider the possibility: In 2017, in its final season at Lindenhurst High School, according to the State Athletic Association, 46,000 people played high school football.
He was picked up by his village team – the team his father worships – which makes the story just as fascinating and simple.
“Everyone returning home in the hope of being able to dream of living in the NFL and playing for the Jets can relate to the person who grew up around them,” said Rookert, 36. Said the first draft crop at Lindenhurst. “It’s something I dreamed of as a child. It’s finally here, it’s very real. “
This is for everyone in his circle, especially his father.
– Bill Rookert (Bearshot 21) May 12, 2022
Bill Rookert has the Jets logo on the hood of his white pickup truck and another picture on a 3-foot landscaping rock on his property in Lindenhurst. It is important to note that this is in the front yard, not the back. It is by design; He wants everyone to know that Jet is his team.
Bill means all the jets, down on the back porch of the jets beer tap. His love affair with the team began in the late 1980s when one of his high school teachers gave him a home game ticket. He got stuck and was a season-ticket holder until the mid-1990s, traveling 50 miles (over two bridges) to the old Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
They had three sons, Jeremy, Will and Eric. If they don’t play with their dad, they’ll look out of their living room, in every jets jersey. Photos of those Halcyon days are everywhere on social media, including a photo of the young, uniformed Jeremy in front of the family’s Christmas tree. Santa will definitely be a fan of Curtis Martin as Jeremy, standing in his 28th uniform, his eyes shining with joy.
Desired job pic.twitter.com/JmYQ45XFeb
– Jeremy Rookert (Jeremy_Ruckert 1) June 30, 2022
“I’m crazy,” Bill said of his fantasy, which began several years ago.
On April 29, at the end of the second day of the NFL Draft, Jeremy entered the third round (101 in total) with five picks from the bottom, with two of his biggest joys – the Family and the Jets. In a minute in New York, he went through the frustration of having to wait a third day to speak without breathing at his small gathering.
“Oh my God, this is a jet!” Bill remembers thinking to himself excitedly – a moment, captured in the video, Which went viralA nearby bar filled with hundreds of guards watched the draft on a big screen, and Jeremy received a call from the Jets with applause.
The next day, the Rookers celebrated at a relative’s home with 75 family members and friends, who hoisted the jet flag in front, and displayed a framed photo of Jetty with the logo on his right cheek, Jeremy, about 5. The helmet was worn. Since then, his father has spent more time in the clouds than the pilot.
– Ohio State Football (hOhioStateFB) April 30, 2022
“I know how tough the NFL is and I know what’s going to happen in the end – it’s a business – but that moment of being chosen as the Jets can never be taken away from you,” Bill said. “It’s something we’ll always have. I know it might be a bitter time because it’s just a game, but no matter how long he played, that moment will always be with me. “
In his time, Big Rookert was a 6-foot-4, 250-pound offensive lineman for Lindenhurst High, he could be called a ninth grader at the university. It was a “bad experience,” he said. “I was playing with kids four years older than me and they got the dirt out of me.” He played football for a year in St. John’s. He dropped out of school and became a bricklayer. Nowadays, he drives a tractor-trailer for a rental company, transporting heavy machinery to the tri-state region.
The bitterness of his early days shapes his nurturing philosophy in the context of Jeremy’s athletic career. He encouraged his son to play not only football but many other sports. Using his size and agility to disappoint the shooters, Jeremy became an excellent soccer goalkeeper. He was so tall compared to his peers that suspicious opponents requested his birth certificate to verify his age. Bill said he got so bored with the routine that he decided to make a T-shirt with a picture of the birth certificate. That way, Jeremy can pick up his jersey when asked about his age.
Like his father, Jeremy was asked to join university football as a ninth grader. It was not an easy decision.
“His father was a little scared for him,” said university assistant Mark Froll. “Thank God we asked him to play, because he had an unprecedented year as a novice. If you ask any of our staff, we knew when they were little they wanted to do something good. “
Despite moderate stats in his four-year career at Ohio State (54 receptions, 615 yards, 12 touchdowns), Rookert established himself as an NFL prospect because of his overall play. He didn’t get many chances in the passing game as he was surrounded by top wide receivers, five of whom were drafted, including 2022 Jets first-rounder Garrett Wilson.
“I believe in myself,” Rookert said, more reserved than his father. “I believe in what I can do. Of course, the Jets do too. I want to earn their trust. Not a day goes by that I don’t land.”
Jeremy was 10 years old when the Jets reached their second consecutive AFC Championship game in January 2011 – he remembers watching the game on TV – but his favorite team did not make it to the playoffs. This is not the state of Ohio, where he had to face five defeats in his career.
This adds another dimension to the story. When a player plays for a team in his hometown, the team loses, which can create tension. Just because your friends and family are fans of the team doesn’t mean the noise is low or high. He goes the other way. If the team wins, there can be demand and variation.
“I’m too good to say no to people,” Rookert said, not caring.
Right now there are only good ideas. He has it whenever Bill Rookert passes MetLife Stadium on his way to work, as his son will soon be playing there as a member of the Jet. He gets angry every time. He is eagerly awaiting the day when Jeremy comes out of the tunnel, wearing the colors he has worn since he ran out of diapers.
“I’m a little humble when it comes to kids, so maybe I’ll suffocate,” said father Rookert, while waiting for the first home game. “I’ll try to put a bold face, but when I see her from there … it’s like a dream, like winning the lottery. I’m not down yet and I don’t think I’ll ever be.”