Anyone who knows me understands how I feel when one of my teams loses a big game.
Megan and I lived in the same dorm my freshman year at Plattsburgh. We had common friends but never actually met. Then one day I saw an ad for jobs at Normandie Watersports, a summer camp in the Adirondack Mountains. The camp was famous for its name which provided water skiing, wakeboarding, jet skiing, and other water activities on Lake Champlain. Megan was hired as a water skiing instructor. I was hired as what K called me: "a landsports guy."
We were both counselors there. From the first day there when we actually met until now we have remained the best of friends. If anyone has stories about me after a loss, ask her!
The Jets had to win their last game of the 2001 season just to get IN the playoffs. They had to win at Oakland of all places. It took a last second field goal from John Hall for the Jets to win. Yes, he actually made some field goals those days. The good news was they were in the playoffs. The bad news was they were going right back to Oakland.
As fate would have it the Jet-Raider playoff showdown fell on a travel day. Saturday January 12th was when Megan was driving me back to Plattsburgh for the next semester. Classes were more than a week away. The life of an RA means loneliness. Try living alone on your floor for a while and tell me you don't hear things! Before that would happen, though, Megan and I headed north just as the game were underway. We got to Albany as the second half began. It was still a close game at that time.
Who am I kidding? It was 16-3 Oakland at the half. I am an optimist when it comes to my teams. I never think we are out of it until the game is over. Anything can happen. I knew we were getting the ball to start the third quarter. My positive thinking helped me see Wayne Chrebet catch a touchdown pass from Vinny Testaverde. Well, not all of it. There was a clown blocking the TV at the Outback we stopped at for dinner. Not a real clown. Just another guy who forgets TV's are on at bars so fans can watch their teams. Otherwise, why would they leave home?! Megan was laughing when I was getting mad at my obstructed view. I was still somewhat relieved it was 16-10 after three quarters. Back to the Jeep for the ride up north.
I don't know how we picked up a broadcast on the radio when we made it back to I-87. My luck was it was the Raiders broadcast. There is nothing worse than hearing a live feed of your team sent by the opponent. Talk about favortism. I heard the Jets score 14 points in the fourth quarter. 24-16 Jets, right? Not so much. The Raiders scored 22 in the same frame and won, 38-24. Season over. This was clear around Exit 30. The last hour of the ride I had no words. I could not believe another season was over. They could look so good and then the next week it's the opposite. Unfortunately for Megan she had the darkest ride to Plattsburgh with me in the passenger seat motionless. Always next year, right?
The Jets started next fall with a win. Then they were on a three-game losing streak when it was opening weekend for Sweet Home Alabama. Megan and I had first seen the trailer for this movie when we saw Blue Crush the previous summer. Previews gave us the opportunity for future movie dates. We always tried to go opening weekend.
It had to be the same weekend where the Yanks were facing the Angels in the American League Divisional Series. After winning a crazy game one, the Angels won the next two. The Yanks were on the brink as we went to the movies on Saturday October 5th.
Thank the world for a walkman! Yes, I went into the movie wearing a headset. The Yanks were up 2-1 going into the bottom of the fifth when the Angels put up an eight-spot. Byebye walkman. And byebye to another Yankee season. Making matters worse came the next day when the Jets lost their fourth straight. But I saw another great movie with Megan. For the record on the ride home I was talking THIS time. Always next year, right?