{ From Connell to Manhattan }

Fall is serious business in the Harris household, particularly with Mr. Harris. Fall means football. In fact, we’ve discussed that perhaps the word “fall” is just short hand for “football.” The East Coast has presented challenges with its time zone as sometimes Z is staying up from 10:30pm -2:30am to watch his college team, the WSU Cougars, play on the West Coast. The NFL games don’t start until 1pm on Sunday which means at least he gets to sleep in and recover after his late night college football viewings.

Yes, you’re reading this correctly. Weekends at our house are dominated by football.

One of our favorite weekends this fall was when Zach’s best friend, Devin, flew from the very small town of Connell, WA to NYC for a live-action football weekend. Devin is a third generation Notre Dame football fan and when the schedule came out last spring and he saw that the Irish were playing Syracuse in New York he jumped at the chance to visit. Later, we discovered that the Seahawks would be in town the same weekend to play the Jets and thus our back-to-back football weekend at MetLife Stadium was born.

Notre Dame vs. Syracuse. Since MetLife Stadium is in East Rutherford, NJ it was quite an ordeal trying to figure out how to get there with public transit that wouldn’t take over an hour and where we wouldn’t have to take several bus transfers. Z figured out that on game days there is a bus that leaves from Port Authority (first come, first serve) that drops you in the parking lot of the stadium. And even better, it only took 20 minutes! Once we arrived we attempted to join a tailgate but there weren’t as many friendly fans as we predicted. Luckily MetLife has a few bars in the stadium and we found an Irish pub that worked perfectly.

 

It was without a doubt one of the strangest and high-scoring college games any of us have ever been too. There were at least three touchdowns within the first 2 minutes of the game! Notre Dame fans were everywhere and although Devin was skeptical based on their record the Irish pulled out the W! We had an absolute ball!

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Seahawks vs. Jets. It felt like Groundhog’s Day when we woke up for Sunday’s game but we were even more excited to repeat the day all over to see our Seahawks in our new city! I had never been to an away game before but let me tell you, the Hawks fan base rolls DEEP. The terminal at Port Authority had almost triple the amount of fans to the Jets fans which made the bus ride over so much fun. No surprise, however, that once we arrived to the stadium we were out numbered by Jets fans. The Jets fans are known for being a very passionate and loyal fan base so we were a bit timid to let the smack talk roll as freely as it did at the Notre Dame game. But that didn’t stop me from wearing my Richard Sherman jersey and hollering one “You Mad Bro?!” on the way into the stadium. I couldn’t help myself!

The game was close to begin with and then around the 2nd quarter the Hawks began to make the magic happen and pull ahead. A few interceptions, long passes to Doug Baldwin, and a few “3rd and Jimmy’s” later we secured the win. It was a blast to be joined by our friends, Andy and Parv Miller (who coordinated the tickets and game day – thank you!), Andy’s sister and her husband, Courtney and Bryan, and the boys’ friend, Shaun. We were a motley crew in the middle of the Jets fans but we were thankful that the very full Hawks fan area was only a section away.

Devin – Thank you for making the incredibly long journey for a short but very sweet visit to our new home! I know the Irish in NYC was the cherry on top of the visit but it meant the world to us to have you be one of the first visitors in our inaugural year in NYC. You and Zach are like brothers and it is SO much fun to be a part of your dynamic. You are such a good friend to both of us and we can’t wait for our next adventure together! We love you!

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