...and our guest speaker was George McGovern (no relation to the democratic presidential candidate that opposed Nixon), who is the head chaplain for the Giants and Yankees.
He gave a speech regarding the three Giants super bowl appearances that he was present for: 2000, 2007, and 2011 (and yes, he had his own rings since he was part of the organization), and tying into life lessons for each one. These lessons all pertained to football in some way, but more importantly, each one was something that applied to life in general just as easily.
First he talked about the 2000 season, where the Giants were doing so well in the regular season and playoffs only to lay an egg vs the Ravens. The life moral he took from that is, even if you're having a great year (or season) in your life, you can still have a terrible day. That bad day could easily come at the most inopportune time as well (kinda reminded me of Murphy's law to be quite honest).
The story behind the 2007 season actually had nothing to do specificaly with the season itself or the great upset about the patriots. It started with the design of the SB ring that year. Apparently, when the team was creating the ring design, Strahan reportedly wanted a "Ten-table ring", that is, a ring that would draw attention from ten tables away at a restaurant. Many on the team had echoed that sentiment. This story evolved into a lesson about pride, and how it can be a downfall. The team was very prideful after that win, and it helped contribute to the egg against the Eagles in 2008, and the 8-8 2009 season. He warned how easy it is to fall into this trap in life, and how it can affect you.
Finally, with the 2011 season, he told the story we've all heard, with the poker chips and the beginning of ALL IN. It was a guest he had brought in to speak at one of his team chapel services that had actually first brought the phrase ALL IN to the franchise, during the week before the Jets game. He told the story about how quickly it caught on with the team and front office (who had 80,000 ALL IN towels printed for the cowboys game, and another 80,000 for the wild card game). The main thing he drew from this is that there are times in one's life that you need to realize the hand you've been dealt, as it were, and just like the team did in 2011, go all in, give it 100% of your effort, etc... He related the team story in 2011 to the biblical story regarding the birth of Jesus (remember this is a chaplain we're talking about here), and how (again, according to the story) Jesus' parents went ALL IN with God's plan despite not even really knowing what was happening to them. It was ultimately a lesson about giving all the effort you can and leaving it all on the field, whether you're talking about the field of football or the field of life.
Overall it was very interesting to listen to this guy. He also had insight into a lot of personalities of the players that we on here only see as icons more than human beings. He said that Eli was the kind of guy that he would have no qualms about if his daughter (hypothetically) brought him home, even if Eli were just an average joe kinda guy and not a famous football player. He also mentioned Canty, Tuck, Nicks, and Blackburn as examples of guys that have real personal integrity in their lives (though he also mentioned those were just examples and there were many more examples present on the team). Just a little under half of the roster would attend his team chapel services. He doesn't lead any prayers on game day due to the fact that he is required to be in the coach's booth, but TC will lead pre-game and post-game prayers (I've seen such before during some locker room media sessions), and there's also a "shower prayer" (the shower is really the only place that the players can go on gameday where there's no coaches or media present) that is often led by either Tuck or Webster.
Finally, he did answer one question that I had regarding rookies and playing time. He said that a rookie's time table to playing was 100% related to how well they adjusted to the pro game. I know i personally have had my doubts in the past regarding that, but answered me very emphatically and without hesitation, and i am inclined to believe him.
Anyway, that is the experience I had this morning that I felt like sharing with you guys.