Home of the Jets

Home of the Jets
October 31, 2010

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Football Family

When my sister, brother, and I saw Santa Claus one year we were taught to believe. While St. Nick asked us if we had been naughty or nice, he said: “…and tell your Dad to stop throwing your toys when the Giants are losing…” We all left the little red caboose in Warwick beaming and telling our Dad things like: “He must have been the real Santa!”

The New York Football Giants have always been my Dad’s favorite team. As much as he loves the Yankees, Rangers, and even the Knicks, the Giants have always had a special place within my Dad’s heart. Sitting with him during one game is all you need to fully understand his passion for the Giants. You would think this passion would trickle down to all three of his children and they would love the Giants as well. My big sister Kara followed suit. But for some odd reason Kevin and I went different ways.

As early as I can remember Ken O’Brien was the quarterback for the New York Jets. When I first learned this two things made me into a Jets fan. I had just seen 1986 fighter jet movies Top Gun and Iron Eagle. Knowing this team’s quarterback had the same name as me gave me another inkling about the Jets. These childish reasons propelled me to claiming the Jets off waivers and into my young gullible heart.

Kevin liked teams for odd reasons. One time he liked every team with the color teal in their logo. He had hats and jerseys of the Charlotte Hornets and San Jose Sharks for this reason alone. Here is another odd reason. The year was 1990. The Giants were four years removed from their Super Bowl XXI triumph and having another spectacular season. It was during this season Kevin learned about David Meggett, a third down specialist and kick returner for the Giants. Meggett became Kevin’s favorite player. A few years later, however, former Giants coach Bill Parcells was with the lowly New England Patriots. As many coaches do when they get with new teams, former players tend to get phone calls. Meggett was one of these phone calls and became a Patriot. The next thing we knew, Kevin was asking Santa Claus for a Drew Bledsoe jersey. I was asking Santa if the Jets would ever have a winning season again.

Football remains a daily conversation with my family. When Kara brought her husband Mike home for the first time we had yet another team to the list. Mike was then and remains a Packers fan. I say "was and remains" because he was also a Mets fan. That did not last very long. Still though, he was old enough to see Brett Favre win his only Super Bowl for Green Bay. Him and I went to the Jet-Packer game in 2010. Perhaps the most boring game to go to, the Packers won 9-0. Within another three months, Mike's Packers were in Super Bowl XLV. A couple weeks later, Kara was ordering the Super Bowl Champion hat and DVD for Mike. Lucky guy.

Looks like he has bragging rights for a while.

During the actual season it is so important your team wins each week. If they do, you feel safe from the family banter that takes place the next week. Think you can look to next week when your team has a tough loss? Think again. You get constant one-liner reminders about how much your team sucked.

When the season ends, though, we all get excited about the Rangers and Knicks. Since 1999 we have had few good memories with these teams. Good thing we all love the Yankees, huh? It is now less than two weeks from baseball season. But we'd be lying if we weren't more excited about another football season several more months away.

Who cares about the possible lockout? My Dad is STILL mad about the Giants' collapse against Philadelphia. Heck, if the Giants won that game the Packers never would have made the playoffs. Fortunately for Mike that did not happen. He is thinking about a repeat. Kevin is doing mock drafts to see how many studs the Patriots get next month.

As for me? Another season ended with heartbreak. It's not every year your upstart quarterback takes down the two best at his position in consecutive playoff weeks though. Here comes another season where after each win I will be asking myself: "Could this be our year?"

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