They were the New York Titans. Formed in 1960 as part of the new American Football League, the Titans played at the crumbling Polo Grounds—former home turf of baseball’s New York Giants.
“On September 11th, the Titans took their field for the first time ever at a rain soaked Polo Grounds against the Buffalo Bills,” says sportsencyclopedia.com.
“A disappointing crowd of only 10,200 showed up to watch the Titans win 27-3. Attendance would not improve as the Titans and AFL played in front of empty stadiums all season in the league’s inaugural season.”
So when did the name—and their luck—change? In 1963, the Titans were sold to a new owner. The new Shea stadium was now their home, and the team’s name changed to reflect the jets flying to and from LaGuardia Airport.