The Jets Vacations.com crew in Washington DC, September 2003
For years, my idea of attending Jets’ road games usually consisted of driving to Rhode Island for the weekend to not only see my sister, Kim, but also head to nearby Foxboro, MA for the Patriots game on Sunday. (Oh, and I’ve also attended the 1983 playoff games in Cincinnati and Los Angeles as well as the 1987 debacle in Cleveland).
That has been the extent of my road tripping with Gang Green.
However, that all changed recently as I was fortunate enough to attend a trip hosted by Jets Vacations.com to the Sept. 4 opening night game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Not only did I get to experience first-hand what it’s like to travel in style but bond with close to 100 Gang Green nuts like myself. What an experience.
Jets Vacations.com proprietor Carmine Feola organizes his Jets trips trip through his agency, Carson Wagonlit Travel of Piscataway NJ. After hosting trips for both Jets and Giants away games for over a decade, Feola and his lovely wife, Pam, really know how to make you feel right at home on the road. And I speak from experience.
From start to finish the trip was classy, memorable, WILD, and a lot of fun. It all began with a bus ride to the nation’s capital. And we’re not talking school bus here. This was an extremely comfortable and roomy luxury bus replete with several TV monitors. Carmine kept the restless travelers entertained with a couple of sports videos during the four-hour journey south. There were also plenty of refreshments to go around.
The ride was also filled with “nice to meet you’s” and plenty of football banter.
Upon arrival we checked into the swanky Embassy Suites Washington – the accommodations were top-shelf – for a couple of hours of R & R before meeting up for a pre-game tailgate bash at local sports bar at a nearby Hilton. There, the Jets fans assembled for a few group pictures amidst shouts of J-E-T-S, Jets! Jets! Jets! that echoed inside the hotel and startled several of the guests. New York was in the house.
Shortly thereafter, the food and adult beverages flowed and the Jets fans reveled in a much-anticipated victory (we all know how the game turned out.) It was Game Time.
We hopped on the bus for our sojourn in Landover, MD – our game faces on – ready to out-shout the vocal Redskins fans. As the bus approached the entrance to FedEx Field, several of us popped open the hatches and broke into what seemed like 50 Jets chants until our throats were hoarse. The many Redskins fans walking to the stadium clearly took notice and looked on in amazement – a couple of Bronx salutes. There were also plenty of Jets fans congregating in the parking lots who joined our chorus. What a blast.
After an hour or so of tailgating it was time to head to our seats. And what great seats they were. We were all in close proximity of one another, just a few rows from the field. Between downing a few beers, busting Redskins’ fans chops, and cheering what little there was to cheer of the Jets’ effort that evening, it was time well spent among the Gang Green brethren.
The ride back to the hotel was pretty quiet but the spirit of the day prevailed. On Friday many of use left to go home, but a bunch of fans stayed behind to soak in the history and flavor of Washington, D.C.
All in all it was a terrific time and highly recommended.
For fans interested in joining the Jets on the road, Jets Vacations.com still has two more trips planned for this season. The first is to Houston (prices from $699 including airfare) for the Texans game, Oct. 18-20. The second is Dec. 26-29 in sunny Miami ($799 and up including air) for a rematch with the hated Fish.
To get in on all the action, call Jets Vacations.com at 1-800-959-FANS or click on the company’s banner ad on the Jets Insider.com home page.
Here’s a travel incentive: The winner of the JetsInsider.com Girl Next Door contest wins a trip to Miami!!!