Nothing can be worse for a diehard sports fans than seeing the team they loved watching play their entire life leave their home state.
Well, it's happening to me and I'm being reminded of the disappointing situation the minute I wake up.
Every morning, my alarm goes off nice and early in order to catch a 4:12 a.m. NJ Coast Line train heading northbound towards New York Penn Station.
During the 79-minute off-peak ride, one of the stops is Newark Penn Station. Upon entering the platform, I can't help but think of the future departure of the New Jersey Nets.
I think of this as I glare out the stretch of four-foot wide windows along the walls of the passenger cart from my two-seater and see their current home "The Rock," formerly known as the Prudential Center.
Thank you NJ Transit.
The second my train rolls into Madison Square Garden, I see the rich history of the New York Knicks through pictures, team merchandise on New Yorkers and the face of arena on my way out of Penn Station after riding the escalator.
How much will New Jersey miss the Nets?
This leaves me asking myself, "Is this what's going to happen when the Nets move here? Why can't the Nets do this in New Jersey?"
Thank you World's Most Famous Arena.
I continue my trek through the quiet and dimly-lit streets of New York City towards the studio on 27th St. between 5th and 6th Ave. as countless cabs fly by. With nothing else to watch during my 10-minute walk, it's only natural to glance at the yellow cars passing me.
I can't help but read the 2x1-foot bright signs sitting above the rooftops of many of the cars with the words "WELCOME TO BROOKLYN 2012" with a picture of the Nets' main attraction, Deron Williams.
And yes, these yellow cabs don't stop. I see them everyday.
Thank you all taxis alike.
As I stroll into the studio, I am more than happy to see a green screen surrounded by black walls with nothing but a teleprompter, light kits, a tripod, camera and my co-worker J.D. in the room. It gives me an escape from the early morning reminders of the team I learned to love during my childhood will no longer will be calling New Jersey "home."
Thank you for the memories Kenyon Martin, Kerry Kittles, Richard Jefferson, Kendall Gill and Jason Kidd.
Once filming wraps up, I leave the studio and head to the company office on 17th St. between 5th and 6th Ave. only to pass exactly four advertisements along scratched-up pay phone mini-booths that I didn't notice an hour prior due to the lack of sunlight.
What do these 2x4 foot signs read? That's right. "WELCOME TO BROOKLYN 2012" as if I didn't get the idea the first 20 times. Who even uses pay phones anymore?
Thank you New York.
All of this gave me the idea to write about my disappointment in the team's move as soon as I got to the office.
While I slowly sit down with a steaming hot cup of coffee, I try not to spill on me as I string together my thoughts.
I type "New Jersey Nets" into my MacBook Pro and send the words into cyberspace.
Of course, one of the first clicks from the search engine went to the team's Facebook Page, or lack thereof, only to be reminded of the team's future move.
In italics, the site asks "Did you mean Brooklyn Nets (English)?"
In English no, but thank you Facebook.
The only thing that can make reminders of the move any more clear to me will be when I go to see the Washington Wizards take on the Nets April 6 at "The Rock."
By tipoff, I will have passed all the high school and college hockey jerseys hanging from the walls, walked along the white, red and black tile floors of the arena and will be holding a nice cold beverage in a plastic cup with a New Jersey Devils logo on it.
Until then, enjoy Part 1 of this saga chronicling the disappointment of a Nets fan watching his team play their final year in the Garden State before becoming the Brooklyn Nets.
*If you feel this way about the Nets, or a team that has left your home state, comment & share with us below.