So, bought my tickets (very easy from ticket machine), parked at SoNo, Football train was 25 mins late due to "mechanical difficulties" but no problem. Train crew knew what they were doing, enjoyed startled faces watching NJ Transit bomb train going by. Train LURCHED hard every time brakes were applied, but otherwise nice ride to Penn. Arrived at Secaucus (beautiful terminal), transferred smoothly to Meadowlands train, and enjoyed watching the Jets win for a change!
After the game, NJT trainsets all ready at the Meadowlands, local crew smoothly loaded the trains, plenty of capacity (first ride on the double-level car, very impressed). Then confusion at Secaucus. Train back to Connecticut was not listed on the boards, customer service people said "Never heard of the train, and we should buy Amtrak tickets if we wanted to get back to Connecticut(!)". Finally figured out the only track it could leave from (A), and sure enough right on time it came up to the platform right after the scheduled local. Startled the hell out of the customer service crew, as it was not on their schedule at all. Uneventful ride back, except that at Stamford local people poured onto the train, pointing to the NJ Transit markings but settling in anyway. After the train left the station, the conductor came back, scratched his head, and started collecting tickets, but since the train only made limited stops some people were going to be surprised.
Back to SoNo. Kudo's to all the operational crew, and will do this again.