A Father’s Day Jets Memory with My Dad
By Alan Schechter
(Note: This is a repost of a previous piece entitled “My First Experience with the New York Jets”. I felt it was appropriate to re release this on Father’s Day)
We had such success with Alex Parizale’s great piece, “The Day I Met a Legend“, that I wanted to write something in the same vein. I wanted to take a few minutes of time out from Tebow, from the draft, and everything else, to talk about my first experience with a Jets game. The day that I became a football fan for life.
The game my father took me to was November 24, 1985. I had just begun watching the Jets on television, but my Dad got tickets to this one against the Patriots at the Meadowlands, and I was 8 years old, chomping at the bit to go. We didn’t go to a lot of games, but when we did go it was great fun.
Furthering that, my father got seats near the 50 yard line, downstairs. I don’t remember how he did that, but man, what a way to be introduced to the game, huh?
It was a cool day, I remember that the game was a 4 PM start, and we all know that it’s always colder inside the stadium. My Dad got me all bundled up, I remember packing some soup, and hot cocoa in a thermos, and off we went.
I will tell you about what I remember. I remember walking through the tunnel, and just how big everything was. Remember the first time you went to a game, and just the expanse of it all? As an eight year old, I remember thinking, “Wow! This is a heck of a lot bigger than it is on TV, huh?” Obvious now, but to a kid, not so much.
The first time I heard the “J-E-T-S” chant was exciting. I really didn’t know what was going on. If you remember, at the time, the stadium didn’t do it in unison. One side of the stadium would do it, and the other would do it back, a call and response. My Dad told me what was going on, the tradition of it, and I was all ready to scream my heart out for my team.
I don’t remember a lot of detail about the game, I remember that the Jets won in OT, on a Pat Leahy field goal(the score was 16-13). What I do remember is the action. Football action live is amazing, especially to an eight year old. I looked at the boxscore, and am reminded of a long TD pass from Ken O’Brien to Wesley Walker. O’Brien was my favorite player at the time, so I can imagine how pumped I really was.
Can I tell you my greatest memory? It was late in the game, when it was clear that the game was going to OT, I picked up to leave. I figured, the next day was a school day, the evening was upon us, and Dad would want me to get home at a decent hour in order to be ready for school on Monday.
My Dad’s response? We’re staying. I asked him if he was sure, and he said yes. My Dad wanted my first game to be special, and what’s cooler than an OT game, for your first game ever? And to top it off, the Jets won. Think about an eight year old seeing his team win his first live game ever on an OT field goal. I couldn’t have been more pumped up walking out of that stadium.
And I was hooked, and hooked for life.
Thanks to my father for that. For getting me into football, and igniting my passion that brings me to you today, as lead blogger for the Jet Press.