I Got the Jet Blue and Big Blue Blues
by John Delach
Two months ago, I vented my frustration with Jet Blue for radically changing the Estimated Time of Departure (ETD) for my family’s flight from Tampa, FL from 11:06 AM to 6 AM. A letter to their CEO followed by a complaint to their Customer Commitment (Center) rectified much of my misery. We re-booked on a flight out of Orlando leaving at 12:15 PM providing us with a civilized wake-up call of 8 AM as opposed to one of 3 AM.
My son rented a car from Hertz using his corporate discount and I made the case to my Customer Commitment Crewmember, Janet, that Jet Blue should reimburse me for the rental cost as part of our inconvenience. Without commitment, she asked me to submit my proof of expense.
Long story short, I submitted both the Hertz receipt for $132.60 and the itemized Amex charge for the same amount. Jet Blue responded promptly agreeing to reimburse me with a pre-paid Visa card in that amount. Game set and match!
So why the title? True, my Jet Blue blues have been lifted, but I like this title and it leads into the second part of this story.
When Michael, Drew, Matt and I made our fan trip to Tampa, our beloved, Big Blue, the New York Football Giants, were a dismal 0-4. They lost that game against the Buccaneers dropping to 0-5. Since then, Big Blue has lost four more games while winning only one making their won / loss record a horrendous 1-9.
On November 5th, the wheels fell off the wagon as Big Blue was obliterated by the LA Rams 51 to 17 on a rainy Sunday afternoon at Met Life Stadium in the Meadowlands. Brutal, a disgrace, players gave up, quit; shamed themselves. I have been a season ticket holder for 56 years, so I have seen more than my fair share of lousy football. Once, Big Blue’s unexpected collapse this season would have had me going berserk, acting like a lunatic. Fortunately, at 73, I take Big Blue’s triumphs and failures in my stride, calmer, much calmer than ever before. But, still, when it becomes obvious that the team is a train wreck, it’s time to let ownership know. This is what I wrote to John Mara, President and CEO of the Giants following the Rams debacle:
Dear Mr. Mara,
When my mates and I gave up the ghost and left the Rams game early in the fourth quarter we encountered other Giants fans burning their game tickets in the parking lot.
I believe that tells you everything you need to know.
Sincerely, John J. Delach; Football Giants Season Ticket H.O.F. 2013
Unfortunately, the following week Big Blue traveled west to play the winless San Francisco 49ers. How’d that work out? The Giants cratered once again losing by a score of 31 to 21 in a fiasco that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicated.
On November 17, I received the following reply signed by Mr. Mara and dated three days earlier:
I have your letter. I feel worse than you do. When you are 1 and 8 there is not much you can say. We will evaluate everything after the season and make a decision about how to move forward.
Thank you for your many years of loyal support.
Next up, the Kansas City Chiefs at home in Met Life Stadium on November 19 at 1 PM. Ugh! Everything being equal, I’d stay home and skip it. But neither my friend Dave or his son could make it so he offered me his tickets. I asked my son if he thought grandsons Drew and Matt wanted to go and the answer was a resounding, “yes!”
Fine, count me in. Another quirk, my other buddy, Joe, couldn’t make it either so I chose to go by train rather than drive alone. The LIRR to Penn Station, NJ Transit, one stop to Secaucus then the dedicated shuttle to Met Life Stadium. Upon arrival at Penn Station, my heart dropped when I realized I had left my game ticket on my dresser. I texted Michael already in the parking lot: “All F***** up. Left game ticket at home! Do your best to scrounge a ticket for me. Worst case, I’ll enjoy tailgate and return home.”
Upon arrival at our tailgate, Joe Daniels, a regular greeted me with: “John, not a problem. I did the same thing two weeks ago only to discover that we have access to E-Tickets. Do you know your password?”
I did, and as if by magic, Joe downloaded my e-ticket to my phone.
Sunday should have been the Chief’s day. Ten points favorites, The Chiefs were well rested having had a week off and Andy Reid, their coach had a record of 16-2 coming off byes.
Once upon a time when the NFL was about to explode from an obscure after-thought to college football to the America’s top rated sport’s league, Bert Bell then the commissioner, made this remark: “On any given Sunday, any given NFL team can beat any other NFL team.”
New York and Kansas City went at it, going east and west in the swirling winds. NY went up 6-0 on a TD with a missed PAT. The Chiefs tied the contest, but late in the game the Giants kicked a field goal to make it 9 to 6. The Chiefs scored with two seconds left to make it 9-9.
By that time, I was on the train heading back to Secaucus. After boarding the connecting NJ Transit train headed to Penn Station, I discovered the Giants had grabbed their second victory of 2017 beating the Chiefs, 12-9 in overtime.
I was stunned. Overtime! I expected Big Blue to quit and KC to prevail. Make no mistake, the Giants are a bad team but for one autumn afternoon in November they upset a better team. There is a wonderful expression that gladdens rooting hearts and souls belonging to loyal fans. It explains how their underdog team can defeat the prohibitive favorite:
“And that’s why they play the game!”