The Jets listened to Eminem to get in a Detroit frame of mind, but there are a few players who won't need any help feeling at home Sunday in Michigan.
"I think guys are excited -- Bart [Scott], David Harris, Braylon [Edwards] [and] Vernon [Gholston]," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "Calvin Pace was even born in Detroit. He lived there [until he was 3], so he doesn’t remember much of it. Of course, we have Eric Smith, but he is actually from Ohio and went to Michigan State. We're very aware of where guys are from."
James Ihedigbo went with Edwards to a Michigan game earlier this season. The Jets safety knew Edwards had acheived icon status in nearby Ann Arbor when they went to a local sports eatery. One page of the menu was devoted to things the wide receiver liked to eat.
“I knew we were in Michigan when we went to a restaurant and he had his own section of the menu,” Ihedigbo said.
Edwards tweeted to his hometown fans that he was on his way home: "Elysium bottle poppin, Southern Fires restaurant eating.....people of Detroit. The prodigal son is returning home!"
Gholston has 77 tickets for friends and family, and they'll be wearing matching Jets T-shirts to the game.
Scott estimates that he has gotten a hundred or so tickets through his mom, who still lives in Detroit. He still supports causes in his hometown, such as building a park and buying bleachers for his old high school when the old ones were stolen.
"That's my roots that'll always be my home no matter what," Scott said.
Don't be surprised to see those guys get more playing time in their hometown. Ryan has a theory.
"I had an old football coach tell me that he really believed in the hometown hero," Ryan said. "What I mean by that is we had a running back who didn't play for eight games and all of sudden he's rotating him in there with the starters for this week. I was like, 'Why are you playing this guy?' 'Oh, he’s from this town.' The guy goes out and rushes for 120 yards. I was like, 'Whoa.' Ever since that time, I bought into it.