FLORHAM PARK, NJ - Last Monday evening was an ideal 61 degrees at MetLife Stadium for Monday Night Football against the New England Patriots, a game that was talked about on the New York sports airways more than any other New York Jets matchup this season. The highly jazzed crowd was hopeful the New York Jets could repeat their performance against the New England Patriots like they did in week 6 against Dallas.
I don’t usually write in the first person but I’m going to make an exception because this season is just ripping me apart. Here goes my rant.
MetLife was filled to capacity for the Patriots game and so were the parking lots. I arrived at the entrance ramp to the stadium off Route 3 with an hour and a half hour to spare and it took an hour to get to the ticket gate. With premium parking I had to walk for what seemed like a mile to get to the SAP gate. Part of the delay in getting to the preferred parking was people without parking passes were confused on where to go, possibly from poor signage, and it held up entering the stadium.
Legend Wesley Walker was inside the SAP gate at the turf field signing autographs but my guests and I missed him as a result of the entrance and parking delay. We got to our seats with 6:34 minutes left in the first quarter and we could see major damage was about to be inflicted on the New York Jets. By the end of the first quarter the score was 17-0, even with Sam Darnold’s excellent opening start. By the end of the first quarter my guests and I were at the bar.
There was nothing to see in the second quarter, with a zero on the scoreboard for the Jets. We stayed for the halftime show to see Kevin Mawae praised for his induction into the Football Hall of Fame.
My four seats and parking cost about $1,000 per game. That’s not a huge expense compared to what other fans pay but here’s a quick list of luxury items I could have spent my money on instead of the Patriots game:
1. A pair of Manolo Blahniks for about $995.
2. Newark to Paris on United for $506, 3 nights in an Airbnb studio apartment close to Notre Dame Cathedral and an evening river cruise on the Seine.
3. A Louis Vuitton Zippy wallet.
4. A deposit on a new Peliton bike.
5. A Porsche Boxster rented for 5 days from Hertz.
6. Two bottles Opus One, 4 prime steaks cooked medium rare and 4 lobsters.
Maybe that list seems absurd and shallow. But absurdity was on display when someone, and we may never know who it was, allowed Darnold to be mic’d up. Darnold was recorded live with the now infamous words “I’m seeing ghosts,” as he sat on the sideline.
According to the league rules regarding the obligation of NFL players to be mic’d, which is found in Article 51 of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), it’s a contractual obligation. According to Sports Illustrated writer Michael McCann “any player conversation or comments transmitted on these mics while players are standing or seated in the bench areas are supposed to be encrypted and not made available.”
For God’s sake Darnold is just 22 years old and after playing so little this season due to mono he is still like a rookie. Shouldn’t someone on the New York Jets handle him and protect him from ridicule better than this?
Head coach Adam Gase was asked if he will rethink mic’ing players after Darnold’s comments were aired.
“I don’t know if I have ever seen that where somebody that was mic’d up, a comment like that was allowed to be aired,” Gase said. “It bothers me. It bothers the organization.”
O.K. Gase, then who the hell was responsible for micgate? Unusual things happen when you play the New England Patriots. Spygate in 2007 comes to mind, when New England was penalized and fined for illegally videotaping the Jets defensive signals. A word to the wise – keep your eyes on those Patriots because they can have their hand in anything that can go wrong to your team.
Darnold looked shaken and somewhat reserved in most of the game against the Jaguars Sunday. His teammates and the New York Jets fans need to rally around him so we can finish the season strong.