As most of you have heard by now, the Z-Man and I road-tripped to the (likely) final NFL game that the New York Jets played at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. The game started at 8:20 PM so they cut off alcohol sales, which is an indirect way of telling the fans to get hammered before heading in to the stadium. They followed those orders. Also, the weather was about zero, with 30+ mph gusts. So it was an interesting night. Here are some low-quality photos commemorating the magical evening:
For no good reason, I decided to trim the two-week old goatee into a mustache for the night. Seemed apt for the final Jets game in the old stadium. Needless to say, I fit right in. The only question about it came from the season-ticket holders next to us, an older guy named Ralph who goes to the games with his son Ralph. Classic guys. They've had tickets for 25 years, but will be stuck in worse seats in the new stadium because they won't swing the PSL fee.
This is me and the Z-Man doing our best Laurel and Hardy impersonation. I'll leave it up to you to figure out who is who. As you might have guessed (and hoped), my diet started Monday. It is going swimmingly. We stood next to each other while tailgating because the wind was howling and making my johnson react like a frightened tortoise. The layers needed to stay warm made bathroom trips tough. When we went in to take a tinkle, one guy in front of us yelled out "Oh my God! I can't find it!" when he was at a urinal. Everybody laughed. Nobody helped him find it.
Of course, no Jet game is complete without the foot-long they sell right by our seats at Gate B. For $7.50 (with unlimited toppings!), it is a much better value proposition than the crappy little hot dogs for $5. I usually load my dog with chili, cheese and jalapenos. One week, it mixed in unpleasantly with the 8 yellow beers in my belly and made bad odors and bad other things happen over the next 24 hours. I decided to go easy this night, with just a pint of melted cheese and some kraut.
These were the free gifts to the first 70,000 fans who entered. 1,000 too many in my book. Naturally, they were sponsored by Waste Management. Z-Man pointed out that funny point while I was busy licking dollops of cheese off of my mittens and wondering how long it would take the Bengals to have more than zero passing yards (Answer: halfway through the third quarter).
This is the field view from Section 316, Row 20. That is a towel, not a smoking spliff, in the picture. The crowd was pumped for the Star Spangled Banner, almost as pumped as they were about heaving half-full cans of beer at anybody in a Bengals jersey. Given the logistical challenges of smuggling a beer into a stadium that's not serving booze, why would you do that? Wouldn't you want to savor the spoils from your actions? Do you hate Dan Wilkinson fans that much?
This is the plane hat worn by the guy in front of us. I'd never seen him in the seat before this game. He ranked as the all-time best kind of guy you can have around at a game. He was a big fan of high-fiving strangers (one of my sneaky favorite things about live sporting events), he was totally sober and he LOVED to dance to every single song they played. Doesn't matter if it was Ram Jam's Black Betty or an old techno tune. He was standing, his arms were awkwardly waving over his head and he was smiling. Funny harmless big guys are always good times at sporting events.
This terrible shot is of the halftime presentation, when they brought out players to commemorate each of the 26 seasons in Giants Stadium. Vinny Time and Wayne Chrebet got the biggest ovations because they are Italian or from Long Island or both. And because many Long Island Jets fans are racist. Bummer for Jerald Sowell and Erik McMillan.
Other items of note: Mark Gastineau did a version of his sack dance when introduced, Leon Washington got the crowd fired up when he came in last on crutches to represent this year's team, and Marty Lyons gave an impassioned, (likely alcohol-induced) pep-talk to the fans, telling them that in the second half, they needed to help the team tear this building down. Good call on inciting a riot, Marty.
This is another shot of the intrepid adventurers. I think this photo was taken as Greg Buttle was introduced. Or Kyle Clifton. All I know is that Curtis Martin was nowhere to be found. I wish he was there. In this outfit. And no Lance Mehl, Boomer Esiason, Mickey Shuler, Johnny Hector or Keyshawn Johnson either.
And I couldn't call it a night without a photo of this guy. I saw him walking in the next section over and had to run after him to get the shot. A woman next to me laughed when I took it, because her boyfriend had done the same thing earlier that night. Good to know that a joke about wiping a feces-smeared penis on a girl's face is universally known.