It’s good to be a part of it..
07 February 2012: Being a part of the the NY Giants Superbowl 46 victory in NYC and MetLife Stadium (a.k.a. Giants Stadium) was an incredible day. Abbey and I left home around 8.30 and made our way to lower Manhattan by 1p. We headed down FDR Drive, so I could show Abbey some of the famous bridges of NYC. We both thought the 59th Street (Queensboro bridge) was the nicest looking of the bridges – probably for its immense detail and truss structures.
As soon as we rounded the tip of Manhattan, our fellow NY Giants fans emerged from the streets – kids on father shoulders, confetti blowing, and huge crowds. We decided not to head into the mob, but enjoy the sunny 52 degree weather, and head over to MetLife Stadium for the 3.30p pep rally. We would certainly have a better view than the many rows deep of people, some very tall and hard for Abbey to see (putting her on my shoulders now is a bit of a stress on ole dad).
We parked (later to find out a no parking zone – but hey – others were parked there too!) right on West St. North, and only a couple blocks up from the new WTC. There was a neat playground on the pier, with beach volleyball, a small football field, and plenty of decent views of the Statue of Liberty. Abbey was excited to see lady liberty, and I was as well. The air was crisp and clean, so the view was pretty good.
Some kids where playing football at the small field, and it brought a smile to my face when I heard the young QB calling the cadence: “Omaha, Omaha, Set!!”. Football — especially NY Giants aficionados — recognize that call as Eli Manning’s cadence when the play clock is approaching zero, and he wants the ball to be hiked ASAP on “Set”. We watched for a moment and I wish I could have jumped in and played 🙂
I high five’d a few Giants fans, and echoed their shouts of “Gmen!” “Giants!” and couldn’t have felt better. As a fan, it was euphoric, so I couldn’t imagine the fame and euphoria that the players must have been feeling. What a feeling!
After taking some nice pictures, doing some walking and pointing out of some of the famous lower Manhattan building (the new WTC is still under construction). I told Abbey for us to make the Stadium, we had better leave, as the pep rally was scheduled for 3p. It was now 2p, and we all know how NYC traffic can be. But, as luck would have it, getting out of lower Manhattan was just as quick as getting in!
We made it to the stadium by 2.50p, and Abbey was impressed to see all the cars, and people ascending into the stadium. There really were a lot of cars for a Tuesday afternoon, and plenty of kids out of school! People were actually tailgating, and the whole parking lot had a feel of a Sunday afternoon. I guess why not. Tuesday was celebration for the team and their fans, so why not have a party – if you are going to do it – do it!
The stadium also felt like a game day. Abbey took part in her first “wave”, and was privy to some of the antics that fans take part in. Like spilling beer, shouting, and horseplay. I’m still not sure if Abbey is ready for a real football game. Pro games are much more adult oriented than a high school or pop warner game. She might lose sight of whats important – which is a team becoming and learning to play as one.
I latter heard coach Coughlin on the FAN, and he remarked that seeing everyone at the stadium, gave him goosebumps. What gave me goosebumps was listening to the player speak, and when the entire team rose to their feet when Eli took the mike. They really look up to Eli as a leader, and I have always believed in him. Eli is tough, smart, and oh so cool under pressure. Who wouldn’t want that in a leader? Forget all the leaders who expend all their energy yelling and screaming, Eli is able to lead without all that, and you don’t even have to have your blood pressure increased as a result!
The goals of any football team are layed out on the first day of practice, and I remember our goals layed out, which were basically the following (with your number one goal being the first goal)
1. Become a team
2. Win your first game
3. Win your divisional games
4. Beat Herkimer (our #1 rival of the day)
5. Win the division
6. Become CVC champs
7. Win the section III championship
I may have missed one or two, but those were the basic goals we strived for, and I bet the Giants had similar goals. Your number one goal however, lets the other goals come much easier. This is what I must instill in Abbey and help her understand the importance of that goal of becoming a team.
I still think Coach Coughlin should have got coach of the year. How many coaches have been able to bring a 7-7 team from the brink of playoff elimination, and get them to believe in themselves to the point of being able to play as one team? Not to mention, all the injuries really had the team thinned out for a few weeks, and as anyone knows, coming back from any kind of injury never leaves you at 100% – you need to dig deeper to edge out enough to get you back playing at 90%. But, when playing as one, you are effectively playing at 110% at an indivudual level, and at the team level, you are playing at a world champion level. Thank you coach, Coughlin, Gilbride, Fewell, and the many other coaches that contrubuted to producing a world championship! Oh, and a special thanks to the conditioning coach, coach Palmieri, as his preperation had the team still rolling on a full tank, late in the fourth quarter, every game this season! Thank you!