Last month, on October 16, I stepped into a new decade of my life. With the day falling on a Monday, I celebrated the weekend prior with friends and family, eating brunch in SoHo on Saturday and having the pinkest picnic in Central Park on Sunday.
But if you know me, you’ll know my girly, fashionable side is for the weekdays. As for the weekends? That’s always reserved for football. This week, I had to make changes for the Monday Night showdown between my LA Chargers and the New York Jets.
To be clear, this isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve only been to two Chargers games in my life, and both games were at home: Chargers vs Broncos in 2016 and Chargers vs Rams just last season. This game was an experience like no other, so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to write about it. And since I turned 20, I thought I’d convey it all in a different format.
With that being said, here are 20 things I learned during my experience at the best game I’ve seen this season (so far).
1.) The Brisket Broads Are the Best People to Watch Chargers Football With
To be honest, I already knew this fact. Last season, I attended the Chargers/Rams game with the Broads, Heather Lubeck, and Mary Miller, and it was honestly the time of my life! Not only were we on our feet the whole time, we were cheering for individual players and screaming until our heads felt like they were going to explode. This game was no exception. And with Heather’s parents in attendance, it just made for an even bigger party. (Happy belated birthday, Heather!)
2.) New York Fans Don’t Take Opposing Fans Lightly
I get it. Fans are passionate about their teams, especially here in the New York/New Jersey area. The Jets have an interesting history here too, sharing a stadium with the Giants despite their original wishes of playing in the Upper West Side. Despite their tenant status at the stadium, my friends and I were greeted with jeers and some not-so-nice comments from Jets fans at the tailgate. It’s bound to happen at any away game, but I couldn’t refrain from blowing kisses in their direction.
3.) Endzones Are the Best Seats
We were seated in Section 148 at MetLife, on the right side of the field goal post, and I was honestly impressed by the view we had of the field! Though we weren’t next to the Chargers tunnel like we wanted, we were so much closer to the players than I thought we would be.
4.) Get a Rental Car If You Can
If you go on Google Maps or any other location service, you’ll be able to see how challenging it is to get to MetLife from the New York area. Mary’s idea to get a rental car was absolute genius on her end because we shaved off so much traveling time and got to the stadium three hours before the game started!
5.) No Home Game? No Problem!
Either there are a lot of Charger fans in New York, or California residents were able to make the flight to the East Coast. Regardless of where they came from, the large spots of blue in the stands were quite noticeable amidst the sea of green.
6.) Get Into the Stadium As Quickly As Possible
It was honestly a little tricky to get into the stadium. Your ticket and seating arrangements determine what gate you have to enter at MetLife, and there’s no way around it. Asking the people who are posted at the different gates outside the stadium is your best option.
7.) You Can Watch the Players Practice If You Get to Your Seats Early
One of the coolest things about our specific seats was the fact that we could cheer for the players, and they would hear us. During practice at least; it’s highly unlikely that they’ll hear you during the game.
8.) NFL Girlfriends Are the Coolest!
The players weren’t the only ones on the field that we were cheering for. Before the game started, friends and family of the players were standing on the sidelines watching them practice, including Kailey Ann Fox, Rachel Joseph Day, and Ally Kendricks. I’d also love to shoutout Amanda Kass for snapping this photo of us:
9.) Night Games are COLD
Maybe this is my inner San Diegan talking, but it was chilly at the game, especially since it was a night one in New York. MetLife is an outdoor stadium so I came prepared in my turtleneck, Chargers sweater, and my Justin Herbert jersey with my puffer on top. My only regret was not bringing my gloves since my hands felt like ice.
10.) Buy Snacks and Drinks Before the Game
It sounds like common knowledge, but it’s easy to overlook. I know I get wrapped up in the stadium and the excitement of it all, but it’s good to get food and drinks before the game starts so you’re not rushing between timeouts and still beating the crowd at halftime.
11.) Tailgates = Networking Opportunities
You never know who you’re gonna meet at tailgates. People come from all over the country to watch their team play, and the Chargers were no exception. One of the popular Chargers clubs, Diehard Bolt Club, had representatives from so many different locations, from the Bay Area to San Diego to even Germany! There’s no better feeling than connecting with fellow fans.
12.) Karaoke Brings A Stadium Together
One of the fun things about MetLife was the karaoke they had during commercial breaks. Does it get any better than that?
13.) No Roof Stadiums Are Magical At Night
Not only was this my first away game, but it was my first night game. Before we headed into the game, there was someone handing out bracelets, but I opted out of wearing it since it had the Jets logo on it. I finally learned what the bracelets were for when the stadium lights turned off and the stands were illuminated with flashing green and white lights. It was honestly a magical experience, especially when fireworks lit up the sky.
14.) Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Family Members of Players
One of the many exciting things about my experience at the game was running into none other than Mitch Herbert, Justin Herbert’s older brother. To say I fangirled was an understatement. But it was more of an inner turmoil because I was too stunned to speak. Heather had to intervene and introduce us for me to remember how to speak English.
15.) Football is Fun
If Heather’s sign doesn’t express it enough, football really is fun. Charger fans know and love the saying too, it’s one of Justin’s many quotes that sounds like it could be something out of a movie.
16.) Players Doing Group Celebrations>>>Individual Celebrations
One of the best highlights from the game was Derius Davis’ 87-yard punt return touchdown in the first quarter. I was already losing my mind over the epic touchdown, but it was even better when all the players ran into the endzone to join him for a coordinated group celebration. The energy was just infectious!
17.) Your Team Having A Significant Lead Means Less Traffic Going Home
Apologies to the Jets fans, but with the 21-point lead the Chargers had over the Jets, it only made sense for them to leave the game early. It actually worked in our favor because when it came time for us to finally leave, there was less of a crowd which resulted in less traffic going back home.
18.) Winning Is Better Together
I can’t even begin to describe the joy and camaraderie that happened after the Chargers won. This was one of the few times it felt socially appropriate to high-five and embrace complete strangers. Not only is football fun, it brings people together.
19.) Stick Around After the Game for High Fives From the Players
The fans weren’t the only people my friends and I got to celebrate the win with. The dominant victory made for high energy that the players were running on after the game. We got high fives from Keenan Allen, Ja’Sir Taylor, Alohi Gilman, Eric Kendricks, the list goes on. I can’t even begin to express what I was feeling when I locked eyes for the guys I’ve spent my life cheering for and high-fived them.
20.) Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Girls just wanna have fun! And these girls sure did at this game. The win, the Charger fans, the cheering and meeting players and family members. It all made for one of the best nights of my life. It only felt fitting to wrap it all up with a car ride back into the city, with Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” blaring throughout the drive.