Turn On The Jets Roundtable – New York Jets Stadium Experience Edition

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The Turn On The Jets Roundtable is back to debate issues surrounding the New York Jets. Make sure to give all of the writers a follow on Twitter and if there is a question you want to see us debate, leave it in the comment section! 

What was your best and worst experience at a New York Jets game? 

Joe Caporoso - Best Experience? Three come to mind and I’ll keep these quick. 1998…the Jets beating Jacksonville in the divisional round of the playoffs. At that point of my life, seeing the Jets make the playoffs after how awful they had been in the years before was a complete thrill and the way Keyshawn Johnson took over (1 rushing touchdown, 1 receiving touchdown, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery) is something I’ll never forget. There wasn’t a person leaving that stadium in the confetti (yes they shot confetti) who wasn’t convinced the Jets were going to the Super Bowl…we know how that turned out.

My second was the final game at the old stadium in the 2009 when the Jets blew out Cincinnati to clinch a playoff spot. Making the playoffs that season literally came out of nowhere and was something nobody expected only 2 weeks earlier. It was a crazy night that ended with Rex and the players taking a lap to high five the fans. Finally, the loudest I ever heard a Jets crowd was the 2009 home opener against the New England Patriots, which the Jets won 16-7. The building was literally shaking and this is one of the few games I remember when the crowd had a true impact, forcing Tom Brady into multiple delay of game penalties and the Patriots OL into killer false starts.

The worst? Let’s take a year by year since the turn of the millennium…

2000 - 10-7 loss to the Detroit Lions in week 16, which helped knock the Jets out of the playoffs. Detroit was terrible that season and John Hall missed a kick in the driving rain at the end of regulation that could have pushed the game into OT. Beyond that, my uncle’s car hit a bad puddle on the way home and we had to get towed. FUN TIMES!

2001 - The opening day 45-24 beatdown at the hands of the Colts. Remember Vinny Testaverde trying to make a tackle on a fumble return for a touchdown? An awful start to the season for a kid wearing his #16 jersey in the stands.

2002 - 24-21 loss to the Browns that seemed like a season backbreaker at the time but fortunately turned out not to be. I also locked my Dad’s keys in the car by accident…so yes, towed again.

2003 - Losing to the Giants 31-28 in OT. I went with 3 of my friends, all of whom were Giants fans and all whom got to laugh in my face as the Santana Moss led comeback fell short.

2004 - A week 16 23-7 loss to New England…a game we all thought the Jets would make a statement in…before they immediately fell behind by three scores.

2005 - What a miserable season. I’ll go with the 31-21 Monday Night Football loss to New England in week 16. I remember Patriots fans walking out screaming at Jets fans “YUW STAWRT BROOKS BOWLINGAH!!!” …and they were right.

2006 - 10-0 loss to the Bears in the rain, where the only touchdown came on a short hitch route that was taken to the house because Drew Coleman slipped.

2007 - Opening day. 31-14 blowout loss to New England AKA The Welcome To New England Randy Moss show. I can’t find the link but I was writing for MVN at the time and confidently picked the Jets to win easily in this game…yikes.

2008 - 3 days after Thanksgiving, getting destroyed by Denver in the freezing rain. This loss turned out to be the beginning of the end for the 2008 season.

2009 - 16-13 loss to Buffalo. SO MANY MARK SANCHEZ INTERCEPTIONS. Contrary to the video below, I was actually at this game sitting in front of a girl holding up a “I LOVE YOU MARK” sign and repeatedly screaming to him. Keep in mind, I sit in the nosebleeds…like literally 5 rows from the top of the stadium.

2010 - Loss to Miami 10-6…again in the rain…and again so many Mark Sanchez interceptions and poor decisions.

2011 - Christmas Eve loss to the Giants. The Victor Cruz TD killed the Jets “mini-era” of success and everybody in the building knew it.

2012 - The week 16 game against San Diego. Empty. Depressing. Hopeless.

Mike Donnelly - I’ve been to a few really good home games over the years, but the best one was unquestionably the home playoff win back in January 2003 over the Colts, 41-0. While the game was amazing from a Jets fan perspective, the events leading up to the game were what made it all the more awesome, from the time Adam Vinatieri’s field goal went through the uprights and eliminated the Dolphins the week before, making the Jets division champions. That night, I went and camped out for playoff tickets with several of my buddies and we were first in line. Throughout the night, hundreds of others showed up to land tickets at 9am, as soon as the place opened. We drank, we partied, we played touch football, and blasted the radio. Unfortunately, at about 8:45 when the store was getting ready to open, the manager came out to inform us that our efforts were for naught, as they were going to be doing a ticket lottery where everyone had an equal chance to buy the first tickets. Needless to say, we were distraught, and our massive hangover was not helping matters. At 9:00, with our lottery tickets in hand, the winning number was read out and I wasn’t even close to winning. But then, my friend Dave looked at his ticket and let out the happiest yelp I’ve ever heard in my life. We won the lottery, and with it the right to purchase the best tickets available in the stadium. 2nd row, 50 yard line, behind the Colts bench. To this day my friend Dan takes credit for the win because of his heckling to Peyton Manning the entire game. That was the best.

As for the worst game, that would be last Thanksgiving. Two words: Butt Fumble.

Chris Celletti - Best Experience – In very fitting Jets fashion, my best experience ever at a Jet game had the very, very distinct possibility of being one of the worst. It was the final game of the 2002 regular season. Then fan-favorite Chad Pennington (ha!) had led the Jets on a mid-and-late season run, giving them a chance in the final game of the season to win the AFC East (novel concept). But they needed some help. The Patriots and Dolphins were playing a 1PM game, and if the Dolphins won it would render the Jets’ 4PM game against Brett Favre and the Packers totally meaningless.

During the tailgate we huddled around fuzzy TVs in random people’s trunks following the Dolphins-Pats game. The Dolphins were up 24-13 at the beginning of the 4th quarter, right around the time we had to start heading in from the parking lot (note that a lot of fans did not head in, and waited to see the outcome of the game before making their decision). The Jet game kicked off and with the Patriots still behind, it was the weirdest vibe I’ve ever experienced at a sporting event, because the crowd simply wasn’t paying attention to the game.

Remember that back in 2002, not everyone had a smartphone, so you had the combination of people listening to radios and those close enough to to luxury boxes to see the TVs showing the Pats-Dolphins game, so the news about the Patriots’ stunning comeback permeated through the crowd organically based on random cheers and hearsay. The Pats did make the improbable comeback. Travis Minor booted a kickoff, Adam Vinatieri made a couple signature clutch kicks, his OT winner setting off a celebration in two stadiums, Gillette and Giants.

Now it was up to the Jets to win the game. It was like they were waiting along with the crowd to see if the game meant anything, and once they knew they had a shot at the division title, they woke up. They spanked Favre and the Packers, dropping 42 points in the final three quarters to win the division…under Herm Edwards!!! The Jets are the best, really.

Worst experience – This is like asking Blake Griffin which Kia commercial is his favorite. There choices are ENDLESS. Buttfumble? The first time I saw Tim Tebow in a Jets jersey live? Mirer-Brown?

As an overall miserable experience, I’m going to go with another season-finale but of the complete opposite type. In 2007, the Jets sucked. so did the Kansas City Chiefs. Two 3-12 behemoths meeting in a freezing cold, wet, 30% full Giants Stadium to close out the season. Guys, the least you could do is make it a little exciting, you know? Maybe we could see a kick return for a touchdown, or a safety, or a couple of 300-yard passing performances. Well, that’s impossible when the quarterback duel is KELLEN CLEMENS AND BRODIE CROYLE. Sweet lord.

And to be honest, those of us who did choose to intend the game (this site’s founder, was with me, by the way) probably deserved to see a slopfest that went to OVERTIME. Because if we were stupid enough to physically attend this game we should suffer the most pain possible. To top it off, the Jets won, thus making their draft position worse. Awesome.

Connor Rogers - My best experience at a Jets game was Thanksgiving night against the Bengals in 2010. I went with a buddy of mine, my first Thanksgiving away from home. All the way from the train ride till the end of the fourth quarter was a blast, as Brad Smith returned a kick for a touchdown with one shoe and also scored on a long reverse play. The crowd was real fired up and everyone waved their Thanksgiving Day towels proudly in the stands. It’s hard to narrow it down to one game. With that being said, a moment I’ll never forget is way back when I was about eight years old at a game. My father had lower tier season tickets in the old stadium and would take me to the games early to catch warm ups. I was in awe watching top tier athletes 5 feet away, until my dad noticed Joe Namath on the sidelines. My dad yelled out to Joe and he turned around, gave a big hello with a wave and smile as I was the closest I’ve ever been to a legend.

My worst experience at a Jets game was about ten years back. We knew everybody in our section as they’ve all had season tickets for decades. One random game some drunk idiot must have bought tickets from a regular and really stirred up a scene. He was fighting with everyone in sight and had no self control. Security took care of the problem but took way too long and really ruined a usually great experience for everyone. Football games are one of the best experiences a fan can enjoy and sadly some people ruin this experience every now and then.

Michael O’Connor -  It’s quite possible that I’ve had the worst luck for attending games out of any Jet fan ever, so I unfortunately don’t have a wide bank of great stadium experiences to choose from. If I had to pick one, I would take a split between the Jets win versus the future Super Bowl champion Steelers in 2007 and the close loss between the Jets and Colts in 2006. The win over the Steelers was a cold night, and the Jets needed seven sacks and overtime to beat Big Ben and the Steelers. The chants of “2 and 8, feelin’ great!” all around the stadium and parking lot afterwards were nothing short of hilarious, and it was a valiant win from clear underdog. The Colts game was a loss, but it was still a great experience. The game was close all of the way through, and the Jets made a memory with their last play, as they managed to make significant strides down the field with countless laterals on a try for a miracle. I also managed to swing my cousin from a neutral, uninterested view of the game to a fiery Jets’ fan by halftime, so I definitely remember that one.

The Jets really killed me with game experiences that make me want to cringe over the past 10 to 15 years. However, my untouchable worst memory was a Jets versus Chargers regular season game in 2005. The Jets only ended up losing 31-26, but the play by both teams was almost reminiscent to the (gulp)….Jets versus Cardinals game last year. Old Vinny started the day, but Brooks Bollinger came in after halftime, which I remember cheering for hysterically, oddly enough.  Bollinger wasn’t awful, but the final playcall was an atrocious fade from Bollinger to Justin McCariens from the five yard-line on fourth down. It was an ugly way to end an ugly game.  Wayne Chrebet also suffered his last concussion in that game, and it was a sad moment which ended a great career.

Dan Marcus –  Best: As someone that’s been going to virtually every home game for basically his entire life, there are a ton of memories both good and bad that come to mind. My favorite, hands down has to be the 2002 Regular Season Finale against Brett Favre and the Packers, where the Jets had a convoluted scenario by which they could clinch the division: the Patriots had to beat the Dolphins and the Browns also had to win. The Browns held up their end of the bargain but the Dolphins-Pats game was still going on right up until kick-off of the Jets game. It turns out that the Patriots took the Dolphins to overtime after the game had already started and the Patriots were driving in Overtime and they put up the live feed of the game on the Giants Stadium scoreboards as Adam Vinateri nailed the game-winning field goal and I had never heard the stadium that loud before.

The stage was set, all the Jets had to do was beat the Packers and they were AFC East Champions and would host a home playoff game the following week. As fate would have it, the Jets went on to trounce the Packers, securing the division and then they went on to beat Peyton Manning and the Colts at home to a tune 41-0, the following week. Those are #1 and #2 my favorite in-stadium moments.

Worst:

There are so many terrible Jets moments I have seen live but the first one that comes to mind was in 2005 against the Jaguars. Yes, you all know exactly which game I’m talking about. In a season that came with a lot of expectations following a very exciting 2004 season, albeit with a disappointing finish, the football Gods once again laughed at the notion of the Jets being Super Bowl contenders.

I remember this so distinctly, it was a grey and miserable Sunday and an equally miserable first half of football. I left my seat to got get some ice cream and in the span of those 10 minutes I was gone, both Chad Pennington and back-up, Jay Fiedler had sustained season-ending shoulder injuries and that was that. More injuries were to follow and we as Jets fans were forced to endure an abysmal 4-12 season that year.

  • Hillel

    Best: Ken Obrien and the Jets beat Dan Marino and the Dolphins 51-45 in OT. Approximately 1986.

    Worst: Night game where the Jets were being blown out by half time – approximately 1988. It was cap night and the fans set fire to the caps in the aisles.

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  • simplysimon2

    I was on the sidelines working for NFL Films at SB III. I was an AFL fan, not just a Jet fan (that came later) and to watch the “unbelievable” happening before my eyes, the upstarts beating the “best NFL team ever”, I was one happy upstart that day. Also in the winning locker room were 100 reporters and Joe roasted them all.

    Worst game? As a guest of the Sullivan family who owned the Pats back then, Joe threw for like 5 TDs at Shea and the crowd went wild and I joined them, pissing off the Sullivans who took revenge the next time they came to Shea by giving my son and I seats in the last row of Shea just under the lights, like 5 miles from the family.

  • MSGold12

    I dont have season tix but I went to 3 or 4 games a year for about 25 years. Top 5 for each.

    Best:

    1. 1981 v Miami- Jets win 16-15 in the last 15 seconds…Todd to Barkum. After 10 years of futility and awful football, we were in first place in November!

    2. 2000 v Miami- Monday Night Miracle. Nuff said.

    3. 1974 v NYG- At Yale Bowl. Joe Willy bootlegs us to a tie in final minutes and we win in OT.

    4. 1985 v Pats- Just a great game. Playing for first place in Nov and we won in OT.

    5. 2009 v Pats- Rookie Sanchez knocks off Brady. Things looked to bright for the future after that one!

    Worst:

    1. 1994 v Miami- Spike Game…yup I was there.

    2. 1991 v Chi- Soldiers Field. I was living in Chi at the time and was there for the Blair Thomas fumble. Good times!

    3. 1995 v LA Raiders- The Vance Joseph game.

    4. 2001 v Indy- 2 days before 9/11. Opening day disaster to start the Herm Error. This should have been a tell tale as to what was coming from Hermy.

    5. 1975 v Buf- Jets up 23-17 late in 4th. Rather then kick a 35 yard FG, Charlie Winner goes for it on 4th a 1 to try and run out the clock. Of course Riggins gets stuffed, Buf takes over and Ferguson hits OJ for a 64 yd td…we lose 24-23.