Sunday, March 29, 2009

Nets to NY Commuters: Drop Dead.

"But I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more, just to be the man who walked 1000 miles to fall down at your door." - The Proclaimers

Yes, I'm starting with The Proclaimers. Because, if you are trying to get from New York City to the Meadowlands, it feels like a journey of 1000 miles. But, while those twins were probably walking for some sweet, pale, freckle-faced Scottish poonani, you are going to see a franchise with a historical winning percentage around .400 with bleak-to-mild future prospects.

You see, I live in New York City, and it's the only city I want to live in. From the odd smells, to the flagrant displays of homosexuality, to the joy of being completely broke - New York has it all. But, being a Nets fan in the Big Apple has its draw backs.

First, your team name rhymes with two other equally shitty franchises - the Jets and the Mets. So, you will find yourself making specific distinctions. "Fuck no, not the Mets. The NETS. They play basketball. In New Jersey. I am NOT a crackpot!"

Then, there's the whole "watching the game in the bar" scene. It is never on, and you will have to grab a bartenders attention. The ordeal rarely ends there, as apparently a bar with 45 flat screen televisions can only show two different channels at once. So if the Rangers and Knicks are on, you are shit out of luck.

But, now, on top of this, the Nets and NJ Transit have gone and fucked up the ways to get to the Izod Center from New York. Before, they would just pack up buses from Port Authority and send them to the Meadowlands one after another on game day. In fact, they STILL do this for Giants/Jets games. Take a look:

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Four point one miles. Estimated 11 minute trip. Granted, with rush hour traffic, it might take 20-25 minutes. But still, if you left at 7, you could comfortably arrive at a 7:30 game. After the game, you would fly back to New York without traffic in around 15 minutes.

But this season, all this changed. Now, instead of Port Authority, you have to go to Penn Station. OK, it is 8 blocks away, no big deal. But does Penn Station take you to the Izod Center? It's the Nets, so of course not! It takes you to my least favorite junction: SECAUCUS. JUNCTION.

This ride takes around "10 minutes" by itself. However, as I have frequently found, there are multiple delays. I would safely estimate that you should allow 20 minutes for this ride as well. So, for those of you doing the math - we are now at the same exact amount of time that it would have taken if they still provided the bus option. Here's the kicker - did you get any closer to the arena? Let's take a look at the map:

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SHIT NO! You are now SIX POINT FUCKING SEVEN miles from the stadium. You went BACKWARDS by 2.6 miles! So it is now ANOTHER 20 minutes to the stadium. Double the time, half the fun.

Now, to safely get to a 7:30 game on time, you probably have to depart New York around 6:30. And getting home is no fun either, as there are less trains from Secaucus Junction back into the city at night. You'll probably end up back to New York around 11:00. So, what used to be a roughly 3:15 endeavor (7:00 - 10:15) is now clocking in at 4:30 hours. And that's if you live in a convenient neighborhood - subways will be running less frequently at later hours. God forbid the game goes into overtime.

The reason I'm pissed about this is because of one underlying reason: IT. MAKES. NO. GEE-DARN. SENSE. I have used the Port Authority system for years before. It worked fine. The buses were never empty - there were always long lines to get to the arena on game-day, even through the second quarter. It was not broken, so they decided to smash it?

But even more importantly is that this team wants a New York City fanbase! They will be moving to Brooklyn in 2009 2010 2011, and needs as large of a fanbase as possible. They should not only be slurping the New York fanbase, but tickling their balls, too.

It is an utter pain in the ass that makes zero sense for all parties involved. The Nets fans are not happy with the extra commute. The Nets need to get as many fans to that half-empty stadium as fast as possible (which helps concessions sales as well, too). And the Secaucus Junction commuters can't be happy with the extra crowds clogging the stations as well. I've been to a few season ticket holder Q&A sessions, and I am not the only one who is bitching about this. It severely deters from the entertainment value of the game, and is making me reconsider the amount of games I will go to in the future.

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