An AFC East rivalry unlike any other, Patriots-Jets. As a Pats fan and a new-ish NYC resident, I had to take the pilgrimage to the mecca that is the Meadowlands.
And boy, did it disappoint. Getting to New Jersey is an absolute nightmare. From Brooklyn, it takes at least an hour and half on the transit since you would have to have a death wish to own a car, even a city where most people have a death wish.
The New Jersey transit is tough and smells like stale beer, the sticky floor aura that looms the day after a party.
Once on the NJ transit, you start to see a lot of Patriots and Jets jerseys, maybe 50/50. After missing multiple trains and being more claustrophobic than I ever found possible, we were finally there.
Thinking there may be a nearby bar or restaurant outside the stadium I hadn’t eaten beforehand and was sorely mistaken. The area surrounding the stadium resembled an airport more than a place where people gather to get drunk (I guess you can do that at airports too).
The stadium itself is brand-new and the energy was high. Multiple J-E-T-S chants broke out, and many Jets fans yelled “Let’s fucking go!” apparently thinking they were about to play the Bengals.
The stadium, at least in the nose-bleeds was at least 50/50 if not more Pats fans.
The Monday night game may have taken a little away from the pre-game festivities/kick off, as plenty of people were still settling into their seats due to the aforementioned nightmare that getting to the Meadowlands entails if you do not live in New Jersey.
The game was not a game from the start, as the Pats jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, and had Sam Darnold “seeing ghosts” in his second game back from mono.
What did not disappoint were Jets fans.
Here’s the best stuff I heard and saw:
- A Jets fan, after Darnold’s second pick (but first in the red zone) crush his aluminum Bud Light bottle in half, not even bothering to finish it first. He threw it to the ground in his aisle and left the stadium. He had been talking trash to everyone walking by all game, so had to make a dramatic exit.
- A Jets hat that went flying like a paper airplane down our section, followed by a Patriots hat. They were sitting near each other and clearly had words before hand. At least one of them was kicked out.
- A Pats fan who was hammered and tried multiple times to get “Let’s go Patriots” chants going with various degrees of success, eventually somehow managing to get himself upside down in his row, tangled between his seat and the ground. The look was of anyone who’s ever tried to do a handstand in a pool, where only your legs flailing can be seen.
- A Jets fan on the train back, jersey half-off, leaning his head on his friends shoulder. “I just, I can’t – I can’t do it anymore. We’re never gonna win, man.” To which his friend, a clearly glass-half-full kinda guy said “Yes, we will. We’re gonna win.”