I went to yesterday’s Jets game and all I got was a loss and almost kicked out of the stadium
There’s a scene in Martin McDonagh’s 'In Bruges' that I think about a lot when watching the New York Jets play in person. While looking at a surrealist Hieronymus Bosch painting, Colin Farrell’s character of Ray describes what purgatory is. “Purgatory's kind of like the in-betweeny one,” Ray says. “You weren't really shit, but you weren't all that great either. Like Tottenham.”
Going to MetLife Stadium to see Gang Green (a grotesque nickname) is just like that. Everyone looks like an extra out of a reboot of The Sopranos and the energy is eerily similar to that television program. You can see someone passed out at any time, drunkards parade through the parking lot as if it’s Mardi Gras and everybody is somehow named Saul. There’s always so much hope and fanfare, and most of the time you walk out of the stadium wondering where it all went wrong.
This weekend, my dad and I did just that. We were gifted tickets through a friend of a friend and we decided to test our luck at the oftentimes rigged Test Your Strength machine that is watching the New York Jets.
Perhaps you’ve never been to MetLife—good on you—but if you have, you must know that it is somehow more horrifying and depressing than purgatory. The trains get there at a Peyton-Manning-QB-sneak pace, the people at the sausage stands actively hate you if you order something and every fan there is withered from years of trying to convince themselves that Chad Pennington was actually much, much better than you ever knew.
The aged fan next to me, wearing a stained white Jets shirt that has seen more horrifying things than a WWII soldier constantly muttered under his breath that "we need to put in Joe Flacco.” Can you think of a more ominous statement? Joe Flacco! In 2022!
Anyway, after the trains sojourn to the swamp and you get through the lines that rival Black Friday at Target and the bathrooms in which drunk people try to tell everyone near their urinal why concussions aren’t actually that bad, we had to watch the Jets blow an early lead to the goddamn New England Patriots.
That was bad, but what was worse is that we were seated right in front of the most Boston Bostonians to ever Bostonian. Of course, my dad and I found ourselves right between an inebriated and upset (that probably goes without saying) Jets fan and a family of Patriots supporters that loved to constantly screech at him. The back of his hat read “Bushwood Country Club” and the family, one guy probably mid-20s in particular, yelled at Bushwood over and over and over again.
The Jets fan had enough and started shouting that he wanted to meet the guy behind us “in front of the bathrooms” and after a bit more egging on, he got on his chair, tried to lean over my dad and attempted to push his way to the row behind us. Our row held firm and tried to keep him in his place. You may not believe this, but the Pats fans did not calm the situation. Instead, the mom of the pack started throwing napkins and an empty water bottle, which did not help.
After a bit more prodding for the New Yorker to go back to his seat, security came over to … umm, yell at me for provoking a fight. “We saw the whole thing,” said some guard, who certainly did not see the whole thing. “This is my last warning.” Even the Patriot mom was on my side here and said that I was a “nice boy.” I will not be adding that to my LinkedIn.
My dad and I after breaking up a fight (and moving seats)
Anyway, the shouting continued through the second half and into the game’s final seconds, as the motley Pats crew started singing different “goodbye” songs to the crestfallen Jets fans. The guy in front of us tried to initiate a few more fights, just for ol’ time's sake, and eventually, my dad and I left MetLife after a 20-minute wait for the urinals.
With all that said, I’ve definitely had worse Jets games.