The Meadowlands (Giants Stadium)
East Rutherford, NJ
England Patriots vs. New York Jets
New York Jets Stadium
September 20, 2009
9 - 16 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 - A Tale of Two Tailgates
As many of you know I was born and raised in Western New York (Buffalo Bills country), but Iíve actually never set foot in New York City. I guess I just never had the opportunity or enough desire to go. Well, Stadium #27, Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands finally provided me with just such an opportunity and I relished the chance at a typical New York City outing. Catching a Broadway show, eating in some of the finest restaurants in the world, and obviously catching a New York Jets game across the Hudson River in Giants Stadium were top priorities on my journey; and my new wife Crystal was on hand to take it in with me.
Walking the streets of New York, one canít help but be absorbed by the energy of the city. Itís like walking through a Seinfeld Episode Ö you even half expect the Seinfeld baseline to ring in from the sky as your eyes pan from left to right, checking out the little delicatessens, laundromats, and restaurants that populate the ground floors of the many apartment buildings dominating New York City neighborhoods, but again I digress.
My focus for this trip was my AFC East rival New York Jets. Treated the like the red-headed stepchildren of East Rutherford, New Jersey, every Jet fan I talked to was thrilled by the idea of the new joint stadium which opens in 2010, and I have to agree. Itís an embarrassment to have to play your home games in a facility the bears the name of another team, but Jets fans persevere and it appears that the organization has finally provided them with a product that they can be proud of.
Prior to my arrival in the city that doesnít sleep, I arranged to hook up with two of Jets Nationís premiere tailgaters for some gameday celebratory beverages of choice. We began the morning hanging out with Frank Conway of Jets Tailgate Lot 5A Ö the flag guys. These guys are extremely easy to find in the parking lot, you just look for all the Jets flags (like twenty of Ďem, and special thanks for flying my Quest flag on gameday by the way). Perched on the one of the concrete islands that border the lot, the fellas from Jets Tailgate Lot 5A have a great thing going. With these knowledgeable, friendly fans itís easy to strike up a conversation and sustain solid NFL dialogue, even in the most inebriated of states, with some of the most passionate Jets fans in the lot. We drank beers and broke bread with the likes of Frank, Snake, Sam, and Goose, and enjoyed every minute.
Taking to the lot to discover what Jets fans do on gameday, we found lots of New England themed cuisine in honor of their esteemed guests. Crystal had a hankering for a warm breakfast and Jets fans were happy to oblige. We stopped in on the 5J Crew. Joe and AJ, flanked by a couple of Jets Themed Tailgate busses, offered up a scrambled egg breakfast sandwich that really hit the spot Ö scrambled eggs, cheese, sausage and a hard roll were quickly compiled into a superb all-in-one sandwich by seasoned blacktop culinarian, AJ. But to find New Yorkís premiere tailgate chef, we had to look no further than Tailgate Joe and the brothers Maino (Joe, Nicky, & Andrew). These fellas put on an exemplary Tailgate near 16H. They've recently teamed up with JetsNation.com and in my opinion have really set the bar high in the race for Jet Fan Headquarters in the Meadowlands. In honor of Mark Sanchez, the first Mexican-American quarterback in the NFL, Tailgate Joe and the boys hosted a ďViva SanchezĒ Mexican-themed tailgate. Grilling up some carne asada burritos made with a special citrus-influenced marinade, Tailgate Joe masterfully prepared me a sample burrito as if he were the Emeril Lagasse of the blacktop. Homemade guacamole, with crispy cabbage, cilantro, and fresh tomato salsa adorned what I have to consider the best burrito Iíve eaten at a tailgating event. We even caught the whole thing on film, so be sure to check out the video on QuestTube as soon as I put it up. Tailgate Joeís website, hosts tailgating recipes, photos, and game day write-ups, so be sure to check them out as well.
Gametime approached quickly, so after downing my share of some very large beers, Crystal and I headed toward Gate A to watch the Jets take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. I purchased our gameday tickets from TicketCity, our new sponsor this year and they were superb seats. Perched in Section 124, in the corner of the endzone, we found ourselves nestled in the heart of rabid Jet fandom. The crowd at the stadium was unreal. Whenever the Patriots offense took the field, Jets fans bombarded them with a booming wall of noise, causing several delay of game and false start penalties to assist their defense in holding the New England High Powered offense without a touchdown in the first half.
It was refreshing to be part of home crowd that obviously understands the importance of the twelfth man in disrupting opposing offenses. The Jets Chant, by the way, is easily one of the most infectious in the NFL; simple by design, but effective in its inspiration. To truly appreciate it however, you have to be there on gameday to witness the awe and the spectacle that is Ed Anzalone, commonly known as Fireman Ed. Throughout the day, when the Jets need him most, the camera pans over to Ed, who appears on the scoreboard. With his hands outstretched, palms down. This one man quiets an entire crowd of 80,000 screaming Jets fans. As an eerie silence falls over the crowd, we wait in anticipation for the signal from Fireman Ed, and then like a thunderous storm front, Fireman Ed leads this mass of humanity in unison through the four letter chant that has become synonymous with the New York Jets organization.
J! E! T! S!
I was truly in awe of the respect one man could command each time he appeared on camera ... that is power.
The game however, was a tale of two halves. The Jets Defense, refocused under Rex Ryan played an incredible game. Cornerbacks flew around the ball, defensive linemen frustrated Tom Brady all day, and the Patriots running game found little room to maneuver in. The Jets offense under Mark Sanchez had a tough time cracking the Patriots defense in the first half, but made no mistakes. By the second half, the tide had turned and the Jets offense began moving the ball. Down 9-3, Mark Sanchez methodically moved the ball throughout the third quarter to claw back into the game. A touchdown pass to tight end Dustin Keller late in the third quarter put the Jets up 16-9, and with less than two minutes remaining, the ball was in the hands of Tom Brady for a chance to knot the game at 16. Rex Ryanís defense responded admirably by sealing the victory with an interception, as Brady threw to the endzone for what would be the tying touchdown, capping off the improbable Jets Victory.
Call me crazy, but I honestly believe that the Jets fans have me to thank for the win in the home opener. You see, this year I decided that as a service to the home team, I would employ a game winning strategy that Iíve only used for Bills Games Ö the lucky football drawers. I know it sounds insane, but whenever I wear this powder blue, football embossed set of boxers, the home team pulls off an improbable win. I wore Ďem again this weekend and the Jets dominated the Pats. This is definitely a trend that I intend to map throughout the year. Well, thatís it from New York, catch me next week as I road trip to Texas for a weekend Sunday / Monday double header.
For more information on the city of New York, NY check out my other reviews by clicking on the links below:
NFL: October 11, 2010 - Minnesota Vikings 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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|Giants Stadium Looms||New home of the Jets for 2010||Keyshawn Johnson and Mark Sanchez|
|A Brew with the 5J Crew||Crystal's Breakfast Sandwich with Chef AJ||The Pats Fans Came to Town|
|The Fellas from JetNuts.org||Some Great Tailgating in the Meadowlands||Goose, Myself, Sam, and Frank|
|BEER ... I'm looking ... for BEER!||Now that's a good lookin' Beer||10.1%, only in Canada|
|Crystal and I in Section 124||A Pic with Gary Herman||A Satisfying Win ...|
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.
Jetbo from The Meadowlands, NJ
Sent: Monday, November 30, 2009 6:58 AM
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.
Sent: Thursday, September 24, 2009 10:44 A
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
Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 11:08 AM
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