East Rutherford, NJ
Vikings vs. New York Jets
New York Jets Stadium
October 11, 2010
20 - 29 Win
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Capacity: 78,741 seats
Playing Surface: FieldTurf
Draft Beer: $8.00 (bottled)
Hot Dog: $4.75
Stadium Parking: $40.00
50 State Highway 120
East Rutherford, NJ 07073
Stadium Review - Finally, a Real Home for Gang Green!
Last year when I visited Giants Stadium, or the Meadowlands as referred to by Jets fans, the building certainly had a very red, white, and blue bias, like a slap in the face of the Mighty Jets Nation. They were squatters and Giants Stadium was like a rental property occupied by Jets fans eight weeks of the year. It really didnít feel much like a home to Gang Green. Well, with the build of MetLife Stadium, in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Jets fans finally have a venue that they can call home. The most interesting thing about MetLife Stadium is that on gameday, through the help of some innovative lighting technologies and LCD screen,s the stadium actually morphs into either a New York Jets or a New York Giants facility. Green and white lighting and logos dominate the interior and exterior when the Jets are in town and red and blue take over when Big Blue stake their claim on the facility. Even the Pro Shop morphs along home team lines, not only by selling merchandise of the appropriate home team on gameday, but by changing its entire appearance as well. White walls provide an excellent backdrop for projected team logos and dramatic lighting schemes that bathe the area in home team colors; and wheeled product racks complete the transformation allowing the appropriate products to be easily wheeled in an out of the store. Itís actually very impressive.
I was in town for a Monday Night Football matchup that would bring former Jets Quarterback Brett Favre back to the Meadowlands along with Randy Mossís triumphant return to the Minnesota Vikings. It was sure to be an interesting night of pro football. The parking lots opened five hours prior to kickoff and as soon as we entered the lot, the energy of Monday Night Football and this resurgent Jets franchise was evident. Popup tents, beer pong tables, and flat screens were all over the lot along with some exceptional tailgate cruisers sporting customized paint jobs that proudly displayed the green and white New York Jets team logos. We even stopped in on a group calling themselves ďBrothers TailgatingĒ that had setup a makeshift living room on a parking lot median in the Green Lot. The fellas had a set of plush couches, an antique oak coffee table, and area rug centered on a 50Ē flatscreen hung on the side of their van. When I happened by they had just kicked off a Madden 2011 tournament, so a stopped for a few photos.
Whenever I go to the Meadowlands I always stop in on two of Gang Greenís finest tailgates, the Lot L11 Tailgaters and TailgateJoe.com. In an atmosphere of supreme tailgaters, itís tough to single out a couple of them, but these two groups exemplify what best about New York Jets Tailgating. We began by stopping in on Frank Conway and the Lot L11 Tailgaters. Itís always easy to find Frank and the Boyz, you just look for the multiple flags in the corner of L11, theyíre usually flying 20 -25 Jets flags on gameday and last year they even hoisted the Quest flag for me. Frank always has a great group of Jets fans that are eager to talk football with an ice cold beverage of choice at the ready. When we arrived, these guys had their propane powered deep fryer going and were serving up some fried chicken along with a deep fried whole duck. For appetizers, the Lot11 Guys had bacon wrapped scallops and my personal favorite, fine cuts of charcoal flamed filet mignon served slider-style on mini burger buns with chopped onions and blue cheese dressing. These guys do not mess around.
Later in the evening we made our way to TailgateJoe.com located in section E-10 of the Green Lot. Joe and his brothers Nicky and Andrew are rising stars in the world of organized tailgating. Along with Sal, Jay, and Frankie they continue to carry the torch as premiere blacktop culinarians in the eyes of this seasoned pro. When we stopped over, Joe and the boys were in the middle of hosting a multi-table beer pong tournament. Draft beer and microbrews were flowing all night long, accented by an impressive array of tailgating foodstuffs. Half pound black angus burgers were on the grill along with fresh Italian sausage from Espositoís pork store in New City as well as some Sabrett hot dogs. To compliment these exceptional cuts of meat, the fellas were serving up pasta with peas and bacon, a Momma Mayno, specialty along with some incredible New York style cannolis. Guests that were lucky enough to latch onto a TailgateJoe party pass ate well and were thoroughly entertained by the antics of some of the most rabid Jets fans in the lot. It was truly a family atmosphere that continues to take on new members.
As gametime approached, a storm front moved in from the west dumping torrential rains on MetLife Stadium along with some severe winds and lighting. Kickoff was delayed for forty minutes as the most severe parts of the storm passed overhead. Knowing there would be a 50% chance of rain, on the way into town we stopped at a Wal-Mart to purchase a set of disposable ponchos. As soon as the rain hit, the ponchos were put to good use and kept us warm and dry throughout the evening.
Once the game began, I reveled in the truly electric atmosphere provided by Jets fans inside MetLife Stadium. I have to say that Iím always impressed by the work of Fireman Ed Anzalone, the most recognizable SuperFan in the nation. His command of this crowd of sixty-seven thousand New Yorkers is iconic. With hands outstretched and all eyes trained upon him on the scoreboard, the crowd falls silent until Fireman Ed suddenly leads the Mighty Jets Nation through the greatest chant in the National Football League, the New York Jets chant. In unison, this formidable home crowd chants,
J! E! T! S!
JETS! JETS! JETS!
Fireman Ed keeps them involved throughout the game especially when the Jets defense takes the field. Throughout the year Gang Green maintains an imposing home field advantage that visiting offenses dread. The first half of this Monday Night Football contest was a defensive struggle with the New York Jets pulling out to an early lead with three field goals by kicker Nick Folk. In the second half, the Vikings offense led by veteran quarterback Brett Favre came back to life throwing three touchdowns to pull his team back into the game. I was able to witness Brett Favreís 500th touchdown on an amazing throw to Randy Moss, but in the end the record setting 33rd Pick-Six thrown by Favre led to their ultimate undoing as the New York Jets celebrated an impressive 29-20 win outlasting the late rally by the Vikings offense. It was entertaining, it was wet, but definitely one of the better games Iíve attended.
For more information on the city of New York, NY check out my other reviews by clicking on the links below:
NFL: September 20, 2009 - New England Patriots vs. New York Jets
NFL: December 5, 2010 - Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants
NFL: November 8, 2009 - San Diego Chargers vs. New York Giants
NBA: Madison Square Garden General Information & Cheap NBA Tickets
NHL: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum - General Information
NHL: Madison Square Garden - General Information
|New York City Local Information|
Top Tourist Attractions:
Empire State Building, Broadway, Time Square
Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island
Ground Zero Memorial, Central Park
Little Italy / Chinatown
Top of the Rock - Rockerfeller Center
Coney Island - Amusements
Circle Line 45St & West Side (boat tour 3 hours around Manhattan Island)
Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA, Brooklyn Intensified Coffee Stout, Miller Lite, Bud Lite
Green Lot (L11 & E10)
Pocket Map of New York
New York City Transit System Map
NJ Transit System Map
Stadium Parking Map
Fan Forum: JetNation.com, TheGangGreen.com
Local Sports Media:
New York Post, New York Times, New York Daily News
1050AM - ESPN Radio
Where To Stay:
When youíre in New York, and you can spend the money, you should plan to stay in Manhattan. The big city lights, dizzying skyscrapers, and especially the nightlife, makes NYC the place to be. Hotels in the city will cost you though, so my suggestion is to stay near the stadium and train into the city.
There are three hotels near the Meadowlands in New Jersey. Crowne Plaza Hotel Secaucus, Sheraton Meadowlands, Residence Inn Marriott .
If you plan on seeing NY. Popular hotels include Holiday Inn Manhattan 6th Avenue (very central to all major attractions including Penn Station train to Giants Stadium), W Hotel NY, Hotel Gansevoort, Doubletree Hotel New York, Holiday Inn Express Madison Square Garden, Hotel Pennsylvania.
Manhattan - 2nd Avenue 57 Street to 42nd Street (Sutton Place, Turtle Bay,
Calico Jacks, McFadden's)
Greenwich Village - Bleeker St. (McSorley's Old Ale House-est. 1854,
Down the Hatch, White Horse Tavern)
Brooklyn (Radegast Hall & Beer Garden, Spuyten Duyvil, Park Slope Ale
House, Beer Table, The Gate)
SoHo - McDougal Street
Hoboken, NJ (Black Bear, Green Rock, Whiskey Bar, Texas Arizona)
Manhattan's Restaurant Row (located at 46th Street between 8th and 9th)
Little Italy ( ... )
Babbo (fine Italian dining)
Gramercy Tavern (fine dining)
Bouley (fine French cuisine)
Union Square Cafe (new American cuisine)
Oyster Bar (seafood)
Tao - 57 St & Madison Ave (Asian)
Harry's Burrito - 71 St & Columbus Ave (Mexican)
Vincent's Little Italy - Hester St & Mulberry St (Italian)
John's Italian Restuarant 12 St between 2nd and 1st Ave
Ferrara's - Grand Street & Mulberry Little Italy (Pastry)
Woo Hop & Hop Key - Chinatown Mott St & Pell St (Chinese)
Peter Lugers Steakhouse - Brooklyn NY
Getting to the Stadium:
Only ticket holders with with a Pre-Paid Parking Permits will be allowed to park at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. However, the NJ Transit has just built a new rail line to service the Meadowlands Sports Complex. This is really the best way to get to a Giants Game. For more information on the new rail line click here. The only problem is that the trains don't starting running to the stadium until 10:30am on game day.
From New Jersey:
Park your car at a rail station and take the rail line to Hoboken. Get off at the Hoboken PATH Station and walk upstairs to the NJ Transit Rail Station. Buy a ticket to Meadowlands Sports Complex Station and locate your train to the game.
From New York City:
Take one the subway lines to the 34St-Penn Station. Go to any NJ Transit station clerk or Ticket Vending Machine, and buy a round trip ticket to Meadowlands Station. Look on the departure boards for the next NJ Transit train that stops at Secaucus Junction Station. The screen will say "SEC" next to the line name. Board that train and ride it to Secaucus Junction, and then use your ticket to transfer via the escalators to the Meadowlands Service.
If you want to get to the lot before 10:30am, take the subway lines to the Port Authority Station. From there take Bus No. 161 into New Jersey. Tell the Bus driver you want to get off near the Meadowlands.
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|The Quest Machine made the Journey||Mountain Dew Brackets||New Meadowlands Stadium|
|The Commissioner of Tailgating, Joe Cahn||Matt and Me at the Home of the Jets||I met you guys in Minnesota!|
|The Awesome Jets Mobile||Kirk and the Boyz at Jets Mobile||A Plush and well Decorated Interior|
|Team Green, Professional Beer Pong Players||Brothers Tailgating ... Nice Couch!||Laura, Matt and Myself|
|Green and White Lights Complete the Change||Myself, Nicky, Sal, and Jay - TailgateJoe.com||Half Pound Burgers at TailgateJoe.com|
|Endzone Level as the Players take the Field||Matt and I trying to stay dry||New Meadowlands Stadium - Quest Approved|
Please feel free to post any suggestions or comments you might have
for my journey to MetLife Stadium, including the following:
- Local Hotspots (Bar Districts, Restaurants, Clubs)
- Local Foods (Traditional Cuisine, Micro Brews)
- Tailgating Traditions
- Your Experiences or Helpful Hints
- If you saw me let me know!
All commentary will be moderated. Your e-mail address will not be published.
|Mad Mike Giants fan from Ocean, NJ||
Hans, Counting down the days until you see
the real football team in NYC. Fly that flag my brother and me and the
gang will find you in the parking lot and celebrate the Questology of
New York Giant football!! - Mad Mike
Jetbo from The Meadowlands, NJ
Hans, Thanks for the Visit. That was a
great day, and we need more like it. Hopefully the Jets Win over
Carolina yesterday will at least be the beginning of a respectable
finish to the Jets 2009 season.
If possible, can you forward me a picture of you, myself and Captain Jet when you have a chance?
Regards, JETBO "the Original"
Absolutely man, the photo is on its way! Thanks for contacting me.
Hey Hans! It was great having you by, and
when you have to do it all over again next year for the new stadium let
Frank "Flagman" Conway the Jets Fan
from Franklin Lakes, NJ
Great to have you out at the tailgate on Sunday and I wish you luck on your quest. Let me know when you are back in NJ and I will meet you at the game. My Giant Tailgate guys set up in the exact same spot with flags and such and you are welcome to join if the next time is a Giants game.
Frank "Flagman" Conway