My son Adam and I took the Hampton Jitney excursion coach from Southampton to MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands to watch the Jets play the New England Patriots last Monday. You might have seen us. It was Monday Night Football and we were on TV, sitting at the 50-yard line for the entire game, such as it was.
I say such as it was because the Patriots were undefeated so far and the Jets had lost four and won only once. But the Jets had upset Dallas a week ago with their young star quarterback, Sam Darnold, back on the field. Perhaps he could pull off another one.
Shockingly, we were dissuaded from this by the pre-game warmup. The Patriots appeared and marched up and down their half of the field, throwing passes, running ground plays and essentially breaking a sweat and flexing their muscles.
Meanwhile, at the other half of the field, the Jets pre-game warmup consisted of the players standing forlornly out on the field while members of the medical staff with their kits examined a few of them to make sure none had become injured yet.
Considering the price of these tickets, I thought it outrageous that the Jets seemed so unconcerned about the possibility of trying to win.
And so it began. The Patriots received the opening kickoff, marched down the field and scored. Then the Patriots kicked off to the Jets, and in the stands some of the fans pumped their fists and emitted guttural roars designed to let the Jets know we were behind them. Darnold threw an interception. By halftime the score was Patriots 24, Jets 0. After that, Darnold often stepped back to pass but would throw the ball out of bounds before getting run over by the Patriot line. Before it ended, the Jets still had 0, and had fumbled or thrown interceptions to the Patriots six times.
We Jets fans who took the Jitney sat in silence for the trip back, some of us watching the postgame interview with Darnold on our cellphones. “I just gotta see the field a lot better,” he said. “That’s kinda what this means.”
Jitney trips to MetLife Stadium continue every Sunday during the season for both the Jets and the Giants. This embarrassment was hopefully the only Monday Night Football lie-down-and-die event for the Jets.