JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- It's Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016:
MURKY START: I got out for a walk a little after 6:30 this morning on a boardwalk that runs along the water in Jersey City and Newport. There were murky skies and a sweaty feel as the sun tried to break through. It was 78 degrees really early in the morning. It's supposed to become more pleasant as the day progresses.
SAME IDEA: I had plenty of company on my morning walk. Marvin Lewis was starting his day with a walk; so was secondary coach Kevin Coyle.
MORNING ON THE TUBE: The local stations are wall to wall with 9/11 coverage today. Very nice retrospectives of that fateful day 15 years ago.
END RUN: The Bengals made a side visit to the National September 11 Memorial on their way to their hotel Saturday. It was one of the greatest logistical achievements of our time. When we learned of the visit, I wondered "How long is that going to take?" The Bengals convoy of buses had a police escort from Newark Airport into Jersey City, through the Holland Tunnel and into Lower Manhattan. If you've ever been here on a regular day, you know how thick, tricky and maddening travel around New York can be. Longtime Bengals business manager Bill Connelly, with the help of the New York police, pulled this off without a hitch. And the bus drivers were incredible in the way they backed buses into and out of narrow streets. I couldn't have done that in my Corolla. They made a brief visit to the memorial, reloaded the busses and got to the team hotel right on time. It would have taken me longer to drive down Colerain Avenue.
HAVE THEY MEASURED RECENTLY?: I Googled Holland Tunnel and found that it runs 1.6 miles between New Jersey and New York. It feels like it's 5 miles.
THE VISIT: The Bengals joined hundreds of visitors to the memorial Saturday. It's startling how quiet everything is in the heart of a bustling city. What can you say? I think it hits everyone in the pit of the stomach every time they think about that morning. My parents used to tell me how they remembered Pearl Harbor. I could tell it was a troubling thought for them. I think we have to do the same for our kids and grandkids. Otherwise, it's hard for them to understand.
TODAY AT METLIFE STADIUM: The NFL is featuring a pre-game tribute prior to all NFL games today. But at MetLife Stadium, the observance will be significantly greater. Two hundred people impacted by terrorism and traumatic loss will form a tunnel during player introductions. Players and coaches will wear NYPD and FDNY hats.
BIG QUESTIONS TODAY: Can the Bengals find some leaks on a pretty good Jets defense? How do the Bengals deal with the loss of Marvin Jones and Mo Sanu? Can Brandon LaFell fill the gap, and can Tyler Boyd, Cody Core and Alex Erickson make an impact as rookies? How much will the offense miss Tyler Eifert? There is no Reggie Nelson or Leon Hall left in the secondary. Will the Jets exploit the youth there?
THE ANSWER: I think the Bengals win by 3.
I'll be tweeting all day long at the stadium: @Popo_WCPOSports
John Popovich - firstname.lastname@example.org