View Full Version : I can relate, how about you?

02-18-2012, 10:58 AM
MY TORTURED RELATIONSHIP WITH THE NEW YORK GIANTS (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/david-kamp-new-york-giants.html?_r=1&ref=football#)

"One of the few aphorisms I have committed to memory is
a Nick Hornby line from “Fever Pitch”: “The natural state of the football fan is
bitter disappointment, no matter what the score.” Hornby is talking about
soccer, not American football, but the idea translates well. I am a lifelong
football miserabilist, and more specifically a New York Giants miserabilist.

Now, you might find it preposterous that anyone could
be made miserable by a team that has won two of the last five Super Bowls. But
the roots of my Giants miserabilism run deep. My father, otherwise an uncommonly
cheerful man, approached Giants fandom as a Viennese-style exercise in high
neurosis. I inherited this perverse trait from him. Whether it was in the
stadium or at home, he and I watched every game in a sustained state of anxiety,
forever envisioning worst-case scenarios. </p>

It helped that the Giants were adept at realizing such
scenarios, being a losing team for all but two years of the ’70s. The lowlight
of my childhood came against the Philadelphia Eagles in 1978, when the Giants’
quarterback, Joe Pisarcik — who needed only to take a knee to preserve a victory
— was ordered to hand off the ball to the running back Larry Csonka. It’s well
documented that the handoff was botched and that the Eagles’ Herman Edwards
scooped up the fumble and ran it in for the game-winning touchdown. Less well
known is that my father, watching this scene unfold on TV, dove over the coffee
table and onto our living-room carpet in a futile attempt to recover the ball.

Our miserabilism was clearly a hedge against
heartbreak, but even when the Giants started winning in the Bill Parcells years,
it didn’t abate. The Super Bowl victories of ’87 and ’91? We greeted them more
with relief than with exultation. </p>

In 2007, my father told me that he no longer felt up
to attending games at the stadium; at 76, he had become too hobbled to endure
the stairs and the crowds. The first Sunday of that season was like one of those
time-jump edits in movies — as if a P.O.V. camera, fixed on a 2006 view of my
dad to my right, swung forward to regard the field and then swung back to my
right to reveal . . . my new companion, my 8-year-old son. I felt a needly
sensation in my sinuses — the beginnings of tears. But I held them in. I was a
miserabilist, not a sentimentalist. </p>

The Giants made an improbable run in the playoffs that
season, advancing to the Super Bowl with an overtime road victory over the Green
Bay Packers, an outcome my father and I discussed with wonderment over the
phone. But in the week before Super Bowl XLII, Dad fell gravely ill with
pneumonia and was hospitalized. One of the last things he said to me, mustering
all his strength simply to lift the oxygen mask from his face, was, “The Giants
are gonna win!” — a curiously unmiserabilist sentiment. </p>

My father died that Saturday night, the eve of the big
game. The funeral was scheduled for Monday. In my grief, I didn’t want to spend
Super Bowl Sunday watching the undefeated New England Patriots dismantle my
Giants. But my wise wife insisted that my son and I turn on the game. A game
that the Giants, absurdly, won. </p>

The miserabilist take on this sequence of events is
that it was just like the Giants: the team just had to pull off its
greatest-ever win a day too late for my dad and me to enjoy it together. But I
prefer to think of what happened as sweetly apt. My memories of that victory
will always be tempered by thoughts of my father’s death, and my sadness over my
father’s death will always be mitigated by the euphoria — yes, euphoria —
produced by that victory. </p>

You’d think that this year’s Super Bowl victory, so
eerily similar to the last, would make me question the very foundations of my
miserabilism. Yet two Sundays ago, my son, now 12, took turns with me lamenting,
“That’s it, ballgame over!” every time the Patriots’ Tom Brady completed a pass
downfield. We just can’t help ourselves; the 2.0 iteration of father-son
miserabilism in our family is arguably more ridiculous than the original. </p>

But when Brady’s final throw fell incomplete at Rob
Gronkowski’s ankles in the end zone, my son leapt into my arms, both of us
wailing primally — our emotions a whirl of joy, disbelief and remembrance of our
absent patriarch. Miserabilism is a volatile compound. But a part of it is, I
suppose, happiness."</p>

02-18-2012, 11:16 AM
My dad finally succumed to alzhiemers in Nov of that year.He loved Big Blue. My son and I watch the games together whenever we have the same day off. We just go nuts on game day. Last week He told me how fortunate He was to have seen 2 victories in His lifetime. I told Him I felt sorry for Him. He said why would you feel sorry for me. I'm on top of the world. Because I said.....I'VE SEEN 4 HEH, HEH, HEH,

02-18-2012, 11:23 AM
My dad finally succumed to alzhiemers in Nov of that year.He loved Big Blue. My son and I watch the games together whenever we have the same day off. We just go nuts on game day. Last week He told me how fortunate He was to have seen 2 victories in His lifetime. I told Him I felt sorry for Him. He said why would you feel sorry for me. I'm on top of the world. Because I said.....I'VE SEEN 4 HEH, HEH, HEH,

It's interesting to note how many of us are fans of tradition.

02-18-2012, 11:33 AM
I think this applies to all fans, well genuine fans of one team.

Even the winningest teams don't win it all, so between each big moment, there is the perpetual disappointment. That suffering is mandatory. Yet it is that sequence of bedrock lows to close-but-not-quite lows that make the ultimate apex that much more special each and every time.

From a Giants' fan perspective, the Superbowl season of 07-08 was far more perfect for us than had the Pats gone 19-0 for Boston. From the habitual midseason collapse, to the crucifixion of Eli Manning and the last hoorah of Strahan, the ending incapable of being scripted is a once in a 100 lifetimes sensation in sport.

02-18-2012, 12:12 PM
Getting the right people to manage the team, the right coaches, and the right players takes time and luck.

Time: Enduring thorugh seasons with QBs like Dave Brown, Kurt Warner as a Giant, Jesse Palmer, and even the growing pains with Eli.

Luck: Steve Smith jumping ship to the Eagles, Burress turning down a larger contract offer from the Giants for 3 mil guaranteed from the Jets, and Hixon with another torn ACL...
If these did not happen, we probably would not have witnessed the greatness of Victor Cruz and seen his salsa dances this season...as a Giant at least.

In another dimension where the above didn't occur, Cruz doesn't make the Giants roster as a WR, gets picked up by another team (worst case scanario) by the Eagles, and poor Reese would not see the end of it from the fans. lol

02-18-2012, 12:40 PM
My grandfather was a season tickey holder from the 40's ,he died in his sleep on the monday after the Giants beat the Redskins to go to the Superbowl in 1987.I knew they would win!In 2007 my dad passed away after the Giants beat dallas to play the packers again i felt it was the Giants year! But Beating the Broncos and being there to see it changed my life,I live and die with this team,my family knows how I feel and they let me watch in peace! I believe in this team that's why I wanted the strike to end this year,now I need them to go Back to Back!! One for the thumb!! Go G-men you can do this thing!!! Dad and Grandpa are up there looking down and are smileing today!

02-18-2012, 02:39 PM
the reason the highs of being a Giants fan are so high is because the lows are so low...</P>

you never know true happiness if you have never experienced true misery....</P>

02-18-2012, 02:56 PM
i'm a first generation giants fan in my family, i was born in trinidad and tobago and all we watch down there is futbol and cricket when i came to new york in 1990 i immediately accepted the giants and american football as a main stay in my life, played for my elementary school, then JHS then highschool. this was the years of the bandwagon cowboys fans and i got into fights over the giants.
cried in 2000 ****ing jamal lewis.
so i resonate with this cause in the game against the unbeaten pats, every time brady made a play i said in my head **** **** this games over, it wasn't cause i didn't believe in my team but man how many years of disappointment followed before 2007.
now both my cousins are eagles fans and thats partly my fault cause when they came up to new york before moving to willowgrove PA i didn't instill giants pride in them. FML

02-18-2012, 03:17 PM
Great post RF. I am a first generation Gmen fan as my father isnt into sports. He did watch me play football and baseball in high school though. My uncle was the person who turned me into aGiants fan back in 1985. Ever since that first game I watched with him and his do or die attitude, I have myself become addicted and always fear the worst outcomes each and every play of every game. I have passed this same do or die attitude onto 5 of my sons and also my daughter. She even got her first tattoo and it was a NY giants tat. lmao, I have created a monster!

02-18-2012, 03:25 PM
thanks for sharing that Roanoke; My eyes are misty as I ponder my inherited love of Giants from my own dad.

02-18-2012, 03:37 PM
As a kid, my dad, brother and I would gather to watch the Giants play every week, and my mom would call us heathens from the other room.

That was probably 40+ years ago for me and more for my brother.

He and I still talk every week after the Giants play, win or lose. DURING the SB, actually called after the Bradshaw TD and BEFORE the game ended!!! I hung up on him and called him back when the game was over.