200 Miles From the Citi

September 13, 2009 4:01 AM


And today it begins. Yes, the full slate of games that begins the NFL season, but on a personal level, for me it's life after DirecTV.

When we bought and moved into our house five years ago, it represented a freedom of choice for us - if we wanted a dish, we could get a dish. (As opposed to our apartment, which had a restriction on satellite dishes.) Thus, we fulfilled my dream of watching the Jets when I wanted, without having to leave the comfort of my own home (and allowing me to let fly whatever I needed to say during a game in the company of family rather than complete strangers).

Well, after last year's debacle of a season, I succumbed to my wife's request to go to a cheaper cable option, thinking I would never care to schedule my Sundays around the Jets again.

Then this weekend hit. And I still care.

It's not easy being a Jets fan in New England for a number of reasons...but primarily it's because the Jets are often televised opposite the Patriots. With the increase in the number of prime-time Patriots games, I've lucked into some TV windows where the Jets are the local TV option - but that hasn't had an effect on me recently because of the Sunday Ticket.

This year, though, I'm going to have to heavily rely on those days. And today happens to be one of them. With the Patriots playing Monday Night Football, the Jets-Texans is the nationally televised CBS game. And next week I'm going to the home opener (although it's a game I would have been able to see at home, since it's against New England). So two games down, 14 to worry about.

A small part of me misses the old days when I'd get to a bar that had the Sunday Ticket at around 11:30am, reserve myself a booth with a TV, and then eat lots of appetizers. I'm kind of excited to see who would be up for recapturing that element of our lives from five years ago.

But I'm realizing now that I'm a little worried about the days when the Jets face a must-win situation and I'm stuck in enemey territory, and I can't yell at the TV. I just hope I don't cry if they lose.

*I hope my head doesn't explode today. First full weekend of NFL, a few baseball doubleheaders, and a golf final round to boot.

*I've mentioned this before, but I'm not really buying the Houston Texans. I'll go with Jets 24, Houston 20. And if I'm smelling big upset anywhere, I look no further than Foxboro, Massachusetts. Now, this does come with a caveat - I did pick the Patriots in a survivor pool, so I feel pretty strongly that they're going to win. But if any team can stretch their defensive weaknesses, it's the Bills, with Lee Evans and Terrell Owens. Plus, there's the Richard Seymour trade. There are shades of the Lawyer Milloy deal here, when the Pats got plastered by the Bills in the game after that trade. But I don't get the impression Seymour had the same relationship with his teammates that Milloy had...I have it in my mind that Seymour was kind of a loner. That's how I imagine it at least. Anyway, maybe there are repercussions. But, again, I picked the Patriots, so this is just a thought I'm throwing out there. Of course, the fact that I picked the Patriots makes me feel strongly that they might lose, too, because that's the way things go for me.

*I forgot that Sports Illustrated had picked the Mets to win the World Series this year. I should have listened to my Red Sox fan friends who were quick to point out after that prediction that SI had also picked the Red Sox to win it all in a year they would rather forget. (I think it was 2003.) It's sad that the only teams below the Mets in the standings are the likes of Kansas City, Washington, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. Not the company a team with that kind of payroll should be keeping. I'll add that it was nice to see David Wright come through in a clutch situation and carry the Mets to a big win over the Phillies on Saturday...if a meaningless game in mid-September for the Mets counts as a big win.

*Your weekly update on Hall of Famer Gary Carter and the Long Island Ducks - the Ducks are at .500, and have a 2 game lead in the wild card chase with 8 games remaining, all against last place teams. Seems like the Ducks are right where they want to be.

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