Governor Chris Christie and Jerry Jones have developed quite the friendship. They're so close that Christie might be investigated for the
gifts he's received from the Dallas Cowboys owner that might include travel and most definitely include lucrative box seats at AT&T Stadium for multiple Cowboys games.
Christie has made contradictory statements on when he first met Jones as well as what the nature of their relationship is. In an interview with PBS, Christie made it clear that his and Jones' friendship had been blossoming for nearly half a decade — he now states that the two only just met in 2013. They'd spoken on the phone that summer, when Jones invited Christie to AT&T Stadium for a Cowboys game after discovering Christie's surprising support for the team. It was not until the Sept. 8, 2013 Cowboys game against the New York Giants when Christie and Jones would finally meet face-to-face, or so Christie now says. And, really, what could be more fitting than Christie watching the Cowboys take on a team that claims a stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey? Nothing looked out of the ordinary, save for Christie's unabashed love of America's Team.
Also in 2013, Jones' company, Legends Hospitality, gained a lucrative contract from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to operate the observation desk at One World Trade Center. The men behind the Port Authority's board membership are New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and — you guessed it — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Another contradictory claim came from Christie in the same interview refuting when he'd met Jerry Jones. Speaking on his monthly radio show "Ask The Governor," Christie told 101.5 listeners he had no idea about the Legends contract. He said about the Port Authority's deal with Jones:
When he got the contract, I knew nothing about it. I didn’t know him. I had no relationship with him. Nor did I have any influence or knowledge of who was going to run the concessions at World Trade Center 1, nor quite frankly, do I care. That was a New York issue. That’s a building in New York. I don’t deal with those issues.In a press release issued on the Governor of New York's website, it was Cuomo and Christie's names listed issuing a joint statement to announce the deal. Legends operates in Yankees Stadium as well as Cowboys Stadium, making it less shocking that the company secured the One World Trade Center observation desk deal. But when Christie and Jones' relationship bubbled up to the surface, the deal became a little more questionable.
Though a formal investigation has yet to be launched against him, Christie is in a very precarious position accepting gifts from Jones at all. In fact, any affiliation with the NFL seems a bit odd given the fact that the league, along with four other major sports associations including the NHL and MLB, actually sued Christie over his controversial stance and support of sports gambling. New Jersey enacted a sports betting law in 2012 that allows all 12 casinos and all four racetracks in the state the privilege of letting guests and visitors bet on sports teams, a direct violation of 1992's Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.A judge ruled in favor of the various leagues just last year, and Christie intends to fight that decision all the way up to the Supreme Court. It's hard to be particularly supportive of a sport that explicitly opposes something you want so desperately in your presiding state, yet Christie does it with fervor mirroring the support of his beloved Cowboys.
The Cowboys might be out of the playoffs, but Christie's woes have only just begun, as pressure mounts for his comped Cowboys tickets and travel to be heavily investigated. This isn't the first time Christie has shirked the law in favor of sports: Records show that he used a state credit card to pay for his trip to Super Bowl XLVII, held in New Orleans — the same year Christie says he met Jones. Oddly, neither the Cowboys nor the Giants made the playoffs that year.