I hesitated in writing this, not only because there are tropical storm winds outside my apartment, but because I am waiting for the best game day post to come from OFF4L (Les Brown would say, "as uje!") That being said, I thought another perspective on a fun big time win against the Jets couldn’t be a bad thing. I don’t have that many pics, but others will provide plenty of those so have no fear.
This was my second time going to the new stadium at the Meadowlands. Despite the fact that the Jets play there, it is a nice place and a very easy trip from the city on the NJ Transit train. Last time I went we got blown out on MNF, but even still, I had met up with the DolfansNYC crew and had a blast at the tailgate. There was no question in my mind about trying to make it work this time around. Once I knew I could go, I bought a ticket in the row just in front of the DolfansNYC group (they purchased tickets for 200 people in 4 rows in two sections right next to each other. )
I packed up some unnecessary rain gear, some hot dogs for the tailgate, and set off. I arrived a bit before 11 AM and the DolfansNYC tailgate was already in full boom. I ran into two thephinsider.com regulars, Griffin (OFF4L – who I had the honor of having lunch with on Friday along with his wife) and Josh (aka Tunaflipper). Both great guys traveling to the game from Ohio and Baltimore.
I managed to get this pic of OFF4L:
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While we were there, Steven Ross, Nat Moore, Mike Dee and some blonde chick everyone says was Fergie showed up along with what I at first thought was the hottest group of Dolphins fans I had ever seen. (They turned out to be our cheerleaders.) I couldn’t even get near Ross and Fergie, as they were immediately surrounded. I managed to catch a handshake with Nat Moore, whom I had met before and is my favorite phins receiver of all time. I also shook hands with Mike Dee. All most of us could say was how cool a move it was for them to come check out the tailgate. That was despite the fact that some a$$hole Jets fan whipped a burger at Ross, knocking off his glasses. I was doubly pissed – what a stupid way to both disrespect another human being and also to waste perfectly good piece of meat. According to reports, Ross picked up his glasses and went right on as if nothing had happened.
I managed one decent pic of Mike Dee
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After eating my fill (sadly, I could not drink anything alcoholic), I walked with Tuna and co. up to the nosebleeds where we were all sitting. My seat was alone, although there phins fans next to me anyway. I tried to take a few pics of the team on the field, but my phone just doesn’t cut it for that type of shot. Looking up, Griffin pointed that there were some empty seats next to him, so I had the privilege of watching the game with some of the most intense fans you will ever meet.
The most interesting thing about this game was the subtle confusion on the parts of the Jets fans around us, suddenly finding themselves outnumbered (in our section anyway) at a home game. I think they were even more confused by the play of their team on the field. There was some friendly and less than friendly trashtalking, although it was becoming more and more one sided.
The most amazing thing about it was the fact that a few hundred fans in one section screaming may actually have been heard on the field. When the Jets were on offense, the stadium was quiet except for us yelling “Defense! Defense!” Ok, I don’t how well or how often the players actually heard us (although Reggie Bush said that everyone in the stadium heard us! Also, a lot of you guys have said that you could hear “Let’s go Dolphins!” during the broadcast), but I like to think we were something of an unexpected 12th man. As the game wore on, the trash talking of the Jets fans became gradually quieter. I like to think that most of us kept our trash talking relatively classy. There was a father with two elementary school boys with him, so I know the guys near us tried to keep things PG (or at least PG-13). Still, we had our fun. To the dad's credit, when I suggested he check out DolfansNYC's website so he knows where not to sit with his kids next time, he said, "are you kidding me? This is great!" I think he was happy to show his kids real fans.
When you are sitting in a hostile environment, but with a strong group, you have to have fun and be creative. I got a kick out of the entire section of Phins fans chanting “Tebow! Tebow!” at Sanchez, especially after he would screw up. I tried yelling, “And that’s another New York Jets 4TH DOWN!” although I don’t have a particularly loud voice. Fortunately, OFF4L does and he got our whole row doing it. Even more fortunately, our D gave us quite a few opportunities to do that one. Finally, once the stadium started to empty of Jets fans, and we were pretty securely on top, the phins fans would get all excited when the Jets would actually get a first down, so we were the only ones doing the Jets 1st down chant.
Now, the sad part for me, with the storm clouds approaching, was that my wife “asked” me to leave the game a bit early, so I began to leave with about 5 minutes remaining and slowly meandered out and down till about two minutes were left. I am thrilled I waited though because I caught the Incognito kiss-blowing. I also took this pic on my way out which tells the story of the game from the fan perspective.
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Empty seats, some glum looking Jets fans and a phins fan party.
The train ride home was slow and packed with Jets fans both pissed about the game but also somewhat worried about the approaching storm. It was an interesting human moment. One Jets fan, clearly drunk, was about to offer me an empty seat but then rescinded when he saw my phins gear. I didn’t mind, honestly, and actually thought it was funny. He said, "I want to trash talk but I can't after the beat down we got, but I won't offer the seat next to me to a phins fan!" He offered it to a really nice Jets fan who helped me find my way to the train. Even still, it was a hollow victory for the Jets fan, as a group of high school student phins fans had an empty seat in their row a few rows back, and they called me over.
At the end of a long but fun day, I got home and found that my wife had put my 4 year old daughter in one of her favorite t-shirts. We make quite the Father-Daughter pair in this photo (along with a very random toilet paper roll on the bookshelf)
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When my kids are a bit older, I will take them to a game. I probably won't take them to one at the Jets stadium though until they are much older. While the vast majority of the fans are mindful around children, drunken Jerseyites cannot be expected to behave appropriately. I plan on taking them when we are able to visit my brother in South Florida. Until then, I try and raise them right :)
All in all, an awesome and fun time. DolfansNYC wrote about it as well in an article here. They are a great group. If you are in the New York area during the season, they meet in a bar downtown. If you can come to the game with them, you won't regret it!