The team was named this by fans' bedsheets at games in 1981. The name was quickly picked up by the Jets and by the media. The front four didn't play together for many years and the name is historical today, from a quarter of a century ago.
However, if the Jets ever field a strong defensive front four again, the name might be re-used. Plans have been made for a "New York Sack Exchange" cafe for the proposed stadium on the west side of Manhattan.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
In American football, to tackle (a quarter-back) behind the scrimmage line before he can make a pass.
1969 Internat. Herald Tribune 6 Nov. 13/4 If you're sacked it's second and 17. 1974 Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio) 27 Oct. 7-C/3 Despite all the problems the Buckeye defense managed to sack Anderson three times and picked off three of his passes. 1976 Washington Post 4 Sept. D1/5 Kilmer..was sacked hard early in the second quarter by Bears tackle Ron Rydalch.
Sack Exchange had a brief, but glorious, run
By Jerry Eskenazi
(Oct. 22, 2002) -- New York Sack Exchange. Two decades later, the name is enough to make grown quarterbacks shudder, even though its members have long since retired.
Truth be told, the New York Jets' fearsome foursome occupied the NFL stage as a true pass-rushing force for just a few short seasons. But what a time it was.
It began during the 1981 season, which saw the Jets return to the playoffs for the first time since 1969. A fan at Shea Stadium held up a bedsheet on which he had scrawled "New York Sack Exchange." Frank Ramos, the Jets' public relations director, used the nickname in a press release and a legend was born.
The men who made up the Sack Exchange were four diverse individuals who had little in common off the field but formed an awesomely efficient unit on it.
There was the theatrical but naive Mark Gastineau; the brave and unpredictable Joe Klecko; the solid but prone to pregame craziness Marty Lyons; and the no-nonsense Abdul Salaam, who adopted the Arabic name meaning "Soldier of Peace" because he wanted serenity in his life.
16 November 1981, New York Times, Dave Anderson column, pg. C7:
In the arrival of the Jets as a playoff contender with six victories and a tie in their last eight games, their pass rush, which includes Marty Lyons (6-5, 270) at right tackle and Abdul Salaam (6-3, 270) at left tackle, finally has emerged as perhaps the N.F.L.'s best, and arguably the best in the history of the franchise. The front four has a nickname now - the New York Sack Exchange - to go with the Steel Curtain, the People Eaters and the Fearsome Foursome of other N.F.L. teams in other years.
14 January 1982, Globe and Mail (Toronto), pg. S5:
The front-runner for the head-coaching job is Dan Sekanovich, a New York Jet assistant who coached the much-publicized New York Sack Exchange in the 1981 National Football League season.
3 February 2005, New York Post, pg. 22:
Cross said the facility would include an "interactive gaming fantasy sports caf" called the "New York Sack Exchange," in honor of the team's legendary defensive line of the early 1980s.
The stadium, which would be built on a platform above an MTA rail yard, would sit between 33rd and 30th streets on a superblock stretching from 11th Avenue to the West Side Highway.
Word Mark NEW YORK SACK EXCHANGE
Goods and Services (CANCELLED) IC 041. US 107. G & S: Entertainment Services in the Form of Professional Football Games and Exhibitions. FIRST USE: 19811221. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19811221
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 73411843
Filing Date February 1, 1983
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition October 2, 1984
Registration Number 1309397
Registration Date December 11, 1984
Owner (REGISTRANT) New York Jets Football Club, Inc. CORPORATION NEW YORK 598 Madison Ave. New York NEW YORK 10022
(LAST LISTED OWNER) NEW YORK JETS FOOTBALL CLUB, INC. CORPORATION ASSIGNEE OF DELAWARE
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Disclaimer No claim is made to the exclusive right to use "New York", apart from the mark as shown.
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Cancellation Date November 3, 1992