200 Miles From the Citi

January 21, 2011 7:01 PM

A Close Call


Before we get to AFC Championship story time, there's this:

I got my Sports Illustrated Friday.

I had heard tell of the Jets picture that was on the cover, but I was nowhere near prepared for just how awesome it was.

The best part is not that Tom Brady is going down.  Not that it's such a great action shot of a great play that I clearly remember from the game frozen in time...

It's the look on Tom Brady's face.  It absolutely captures the way he played all day last Sunday.

So that's that.  Now it's story time.

Last year I told you the story about the 1998 Jets and their appearance in the 1999 AFC Championship Game (the fact that the NFL Playoffs are always in January in the calendar year following the regular season is always confusing to write about)...and how I didn't watch that game live.

This year, I tell you that the last time the Jets appeared in an AFC Championship Game...well, I just watched it at home, but my parents came up and watched it here with me.  Nothing exciting there.

This year, though, there's plenty of excitement.

And it all takes place right around kickoff.

My wife is going to Las Vegas.  That is happening Sunday morning.  (A brief aside.  My wife and I always talked about going to Vegas together.  Couldn't wait - thought it would be a blast.  It just never came to fruition. Now she's going for work, 5 months pregnant, without me.  Not exactly how either one of us drew it up.)

Because my wife is going to Vegas, and because I work, we've invited my mom to spend some time with my daughters for the few days my wife is gone.  So I'll get to watch the AFC Championship Game with my mom.

But here's the catch:  Her bus gets in at 6pm Sunday night.  Kickoff?  6:30pm.

The bus stop is not far - I should be able to get home in time for kickoff.  But it's going to be close.  And of course, me being me (I always get a kick out of Dave in Brighton's assessment that "It must be difficult to be you, John"), since I have to tape the game, what I'll have to do is pop the tape in the VCR and record CBS from about 5:30.  Which is fine.

But then there's getting the girls in and out of the car, which adds some time to getting back into the house, and then there's...well....talking to my mom.

I'll have to do nice son things, like ask her how her bus ride was, and see if she wants anything like a drink or maybe dinner....and there's no way all of that happens before 6:30pm Sunday evening.  Unless I seriously abbreviate the conversation.  Or let her fend for herself for dinner.  Or leave her and the girls upstairs as soon as we get home and go watch the game downstairs.

So needless to say, the 2011 AFC Championship Game (featuring the 2010 New York Jets) will go down in my memory as the game where I almost missed kickoff.

And the night I was a jerk to my mom.

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