200 Miles From the Citi

November 7, 2010 6:49 PM

Not Your Average Sunday


I sat down on the 4:30 commuter rail slightly before it departed.

The Jets and Lions had just gone to overtime.  And as I took my seat I heard the guy one row back say on his cell phone, "No, the Jets lost the Lions."

I wanted to say something, but I didn't.  I was engrossed in a cell phone call of my own.  My wife was watching the Jets at home while I raced to make the 4:30 train...and she was finishing up the play-by-play of the Jets' overtime win over Detroit.

Nick Folk kicked the game-winning field goal.  I hung up the phone and sat back in my seat.

That was a lot of work for a Sunday.

Let's get this straight - despite my wife watching the final minutes of the Jets-Lions, the Jets were not on local television here.  They were opposite the Patriots.  It's just that the Patriots' loss to Cleveland was over by about 3:45 - leaving CBS to switch to the end of the Jets game for that 1 o'clock window.

So my decision to take the 11:50 train into Boston, watch the game from 1-4pm at the downtown bar, and then take the 4:30 back home - it's not a decision I regret.  It's just the circumstances surrounding it that make it look like a bad decision.

I had to make the 4:30.  My wife was good enough to let me leave the house for 5+ hours on a Sunday - I couldn't miss the 4:30 and come home at 6:55.  But at 4:10pm, when it became clear that I had to leave the bar with the Jets still down 3 points at the 2-minute warning, I put her on call.

As I was walking to the train, I listened as she described the Jets moving the ball down the field - first to Dustin Keller, then back-to-back passes to LaDainian Tomlinson - the second of which was followed by what she said was an "egregious" push out of bounds. A couple of plays later, despite what she said was the Jets being awfully "blase" about the clock, Nick Folk kicked the game-tying field goal.

I breathed a sigh of relief, and said I'd call her back.  I knew I was going to make the train, but I ran every few steps just to make sure I was going to be on time.  I also knew that a Jets win - in a game that looked like a sure loss - was going to put them back in first place and quiet the critics who were ranking the Patriots ahead of the Jets.  And I knew the Jets were going to win this game in overtime.

Sure enough, the Jets closed it out on their first possession in overtime, aided by a big pass play from Mark Sanchez to Santonio Holmes.  The person on the other end of my cell phone was a more reliable source than the guy in the row behind me.

It was like I told my friends at the bar when we departed - If the Jets lose, I'll be angry either way.  If they win, I'll be happy on the train - but if I missed that train, no one would be happy.

The Patriots are Sunday night next week - I have a feeling CBS will put the Jets-Browns on here 1pm next Sunday.  So it'll be a couple of weeks before I have to face going to a bar to see the Jets again.  And I think I'll be going back to this particular bar in downtown Boston.  

Because it may not have been the ideal football-watching afternoon, but the bottom line is that the Jets won.

And for a Jets win, I'd do all that over again in a heartbeat. 

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