Stranded by Sandy, local man embarks on long journey home -- with ex-NFL player along for the ride

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - When a Lenexa, Kan., man got stranded by Sandy, he took the long way home by car and plane -- and with an NFL Hall of Famer along for the ride.

As canceled flights sprinkled the flight boards of KCI, Jake Gutierrez got an email he didn't want early Sunday morning while he was in New York City.

"My flight had been canceled," he said.

Working statistics for the Jets game, Gutierrez was supposed to fly back to Kansas City on Sunday night. Instead, his flight was rescheduled for Tuesday evening because of Hurricane Sandy.

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Gutierrez had to get back to Kansas City for his full-time job producing The Border Patrol for 810 Sports Radio.

"The closest airport open was Cleveland," he said. The storm hadn't started in New York, but the panic had. "It was overcast, that was it."

So Gutierrez drove more than eight hours to Cleveland to catch a flight home and finally landed at KCI on Monday morning. He got what seemed like the only rental car left in New York as everyone tried to get out of Sandy's path.

"It was like planes, trains and automobiles," he laughed.

But it wasn't all bad -- Gutierrez got to travel on the road with pro football Hall of Famer Dan Fouts. The Monday Night Football radio analyst couldn't wait for a Tuesday flight either.

"Great guy," Gutierrez said. "We became besties on our eight-hour trip across the country."

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