This summer, I was lucky enough to be able to meet Holmes at his charity flag football event, which was a major success that was run by our friends at uSTADIUM. Tone was friendly, respectful, and just a great guy to be around all day. Last night I decided to head out to Jersey Lanes in Linden, New Jersey to help support Holmes with his bowling event for sickle-cell anemia, sponsored by his “Third and Long Foundation”. I certainly made a good choice in attending. This was a night I will certainly will never forget.
I arrived at around 5:45, but was forced to wait outside since the event would not start until 6:30. This was not a bad thing though since I was able to meet and talk to many Jets fans. When the doors opened up, the real fun began. As soon as you walked in you could see a table set up that was full of memorabilia that was going to be auctioned off al night. My Dad and I were assigned to bowl on lane 16 for the night, and let me tell you I was lucky to be assigned to that lane. I will explain why later on. While everyone was still making their way inside, I was able to walk around and meet some players who just showed up and were heading to the VIP area, which was where the players spent the first hour of the event mingling and talking with many fans who had VIP tickets.
While this was going on, I was able to talk to Jets right tackle Austin Howard for a bit. I have to say Howard is a very humble and respectful guy, and I certainly enjoyed talking Jets with him. Around 8 PM the players came out of the VIP area and started to walk around. The players that were at the event were Holmes, Mark Sanchez, Brady Quinn, Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, Mike Goodson, Tommy Bohanon, Stephen Hill, Michael Campbell, Konrad Reuland, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Willie Colon, Austin Howard, Muhammad Wilkerson, Leger Douzable, Quinton Coples, David Harris, Antwan Barnes, Demario Davis, Kyle Wilson, Dee Milliner, Ellis Lankster, Antonio Allen, Josh Bush, Jaiquawn Jarrett, and even Plaxico Burress came by to support Tone.
Once 8:15 rolled around, it was bowling time. This is the part of the night that I will never forget. I was on lane 16, with my dad, and two other Jets fans. Ellis Lankster walked by and decided he was going to bowl on lane 16 as well! Dee Milliner was on lane 15, Mike Goodson was on lane 17, and Big Mo Wilkerson was on lane 14. I must say, Ellis Lankster and Mike Goodson are great bowlers, with Goodson bowling a high game of a 202. Throughout the night some friendly smack talk was going on, and it ended up becoming a competition. It was Lankster and me vs Milliner and Goodson. Although I knew I didn’t have much of a chance, it was still special to me that I was able to bowl with the Jets. In the second game we bowled, I was able to beat Milliner with a score of 139-137. I never thought I would have the chance to say that I beat a New York Jet in bowling.
All night the players were taking photos and signing for any fan that approached them. The event was a lot of fun for everyone who was in attendance, and you could tell the players were having a blast as well. If you can, I highly recommend heading out to the event next year to help support Holmes as he continues to help fight Sickle Cell Anemia.