Personality+: Jerry Tedino On the Chain Gang

Jerry Tedino might be described as a serious fan of football in general and of the New York Giants in particular. In 2008, he traveled to Arizona from his home in New York for Super Bowl XLII without reserved tickets. We scalped them outside the venue prior to game time, which was pretty risky but worth every penny,” he said. The wild-card Giants won 17-14 over the previously undefeated New England Patriots in one of the biggest upsets in sports history.

Jerry at Giants vs. Carolina Panthers, Aug. 17, 2009. (Photo by Tom Berg)

Weighing risk and reward is a daily affair for Jerry, who runs sales and service in the East region for PAETEC Communications as vice president and general manager of channel sales. So, it was without reservation that in 2005, Jerry joined the New York Giants chain gang,” risking the rare, but real possibility of being injured (or humiliated on the ESPN highlight reel) by being bulldozed by a 250-pound running back.

Members of the chain gang or chain crew  usually seven or eight per game  assist the officials from the sidelines by marking where a team begins a series and how far they need to go to get a first down. The chain” part of the gang is a 10-yard metal chain with poles attached to each end. When a team gains a first down, one of the rod men places one end of the chain on the sideline parallel to the spot of the ball. The other rod man then stretches the chain out to mark the first down line.

Jerry owes his sideline perch (as well as his traffic-stopping yellow and white uniform) to Tom Quinn, a close friend who happens to be the chain gang supervisor (and son of the original chain gang supervisor back when Giants games were played at the Polo Grounds). Jerry is assigned to work one game during the preseason and one during the regular season. The gig does not require special training, Jerry said, only knowledge of the game, good communications skills and common sense.” (And, I would add, maybe thick skin;” if you screw up, the fans can be brutal.)

Jerry is close to the action: Giants' running back Ahmad Bradshaw in a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Aug. 21, 2010. (Photo by Anthony Causi)

In this line of work, Jerry has had a few brushes  On the Chain Gang but no tackles  On the Chain Gang with fame, including owner Wellington Mara; broadcasters Terry Bradshaw, Jimmy Johnson, Tony Siragusa and Bob Shepherd; coaches Jon Gruden, Lovie Smith and Tom Coughlin; and players Harry Carson, Mike Alstott, Marshawn Lynch, Larry Johnson, Michael Strahan, Tiki Barber and Brian Urlacher.  

For his keen eye and love of the game, Jerry is paid $100 not to mention the best seat in the house.

Thoughts on telecom: The industry is constantly changing. I have lived through auto dialers, equal access, 800 portability and have been in the industry since 1982 (I worked for USTS, a division of ITT) and channel since 1981 (I worked for RCI.)

First job: I started working out of college with my dad as a laborer in 1978. Then, I became a salesperson and never looked back.”

Currently reading: This Wheels on Fire: The Story of the Band”

Advocacy: I am a board member of The Friends of Rigby Foundation, which is a non-profit organization created by my oldest son, Jay, to promote fire safety and education, after his best friend, Dan Rigby, was killed in an off-campus fire in 2004 during his senior year at Georgetown University. The foundation has distributed more than 600 carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms to students in off-campus housing with the proceeds from its fundraising efforts. PAETEC and several agents are platinum sponsors.  

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