The Jets' long journey is over

UPDATE V: It's over -- finally. Some 31 hours after their game in Chicago ended, the Jets arrived via bus at their training facility in Florham Park, N.J., at about 11:30 p.m. The team gets a day off Tuesday and will return to work Wednesday to prepare for the final regular-season game.

UPDATE IV: The Jets' long journey almost is over. After being stranded in Chicago Sunday night and most of Monday, their charter flight landed at Stewart Air Force Base in Newburgh, N.Y., around 9:40 (EST). The team boarded buses to start the trek to Florham Park, N.J. Wonder if there was a heavy-set man on the bus selling shower-curtain rings.

UPDATE III: Weather permitting (the buzz words of the day), the Jets were scheduled to depart Chicago at 6 p.m. (CST) for Stewart Air Force Base in Newburgh, N.Y. From there, they will bus to New Jersey, about 75 minutes on a good day.

UPDATE II: The Jets have been pushed back to a 6 p.m. (CST) departure, with a scheduled arrival at 9:30 (EST) -- weather permitting, of course. The team is trying to take it like a normal Monday. For example: At noon, the players and coaches convened for the usual team meeting.

UPDATE: Weather permitting, the Jets are scheduled to leave Chicago at 4 p.m. (CST) and arrive at Newark at 7:30 (EST).

When it comes to flying into a blizzard, professional football teams are like us regular folk. They get stranded, too.

As of mid-morning Monday, the New York Jets remained at a Chicago-area hotel, waiting for clearance to fly to Newark, N.J., on their charter flight. Obviously, it's a huge inconvenience, but at least the Jets have the luxury of knowing they're in the playoffs and that the upcoming game against the Buffalo Bills isn't Armageddon.

The team is trying to stick to a normal routine. For instance, on Sunday night, the team set up a makeshift trainer's room to allow injured players to seek post-game treatment. Nowadays, all the coaches carry laptops, so they're able to review and evaluate the game and grade players.

We'll keep you posted from Chicago, where the beat-writing corps also is stranded. If this lasts a good while, we, too, may require treatment -- mental, not physical.