Monday, February 04, 2008

Exactly why am I a Giants fan?

For better or worse, I am best known for my abiding faith in and zealous following of the New York Football Giants. When I have an occasion to educate someone about "my Giants," I am almost always asked why I am a Giants fan. Afterall, I grew up in the DC area, home to the city's beloved Washington Redskins. The answer is simple... I was born to be a Giants fan.

Being a Giants fan in the Gonzalez family (my mother's maiden name) is akin to breathing. My grandfather, Rene Gonzalez, actually tried out for the Giants back in the 1940's. Not having the ability to make the team, he lived the remainder of his life as a passionate fan of the Giants. He passed that passion onto my mother, Joanne, who in her own unique way brought Giant fandom to absurd and comical heights. Among many of her odd foibles, you were not allowed to root for any other team while in her house. You also were required to pray in front of the television every time the Giants were attempting a game winning field goal (and in the 1980's, that occurred quite often). Casa Gonzalez (or later Pezold-Gonzalez) was strictly Giant country.

Now, one might say that I have taken the torch passed to me by my grandfather and my mother to even more absurd heights. But my history with these two passionate fans goes much further and much deeper. My family lost my mother on the evening of the Giants stunning defeat of the Buffalo Bills in January 1991. It was a tragic twist of fate and irony that my mother would pass on the very day that her beloved Giants provided perhaps the greatest upset in NFL history. But even more stunning was my grandfather passed away exactly one year later, to the day. Within the span of one tragic year, our trio had been reduced down to one... me. I was left to carry the torch alone.

That is why the victory of the New York Football Giants last night is even more special to me. Sure, it's just a game. But for me, it's a little bit more. It's a trip down memory lane, that as time passes along, becomes increasingly harder and harder to remember. But for one brief evening, my memories of our time as Giants fans becomes as vivid and memorable as I remember growing up.

Now, I have to end this post. Draft day is just over two months away and because the Giants were doing so well, I've had very little time to research the prospects. That's right people... it's 24/7/365(6)!


Kat said...

And this is why I'm a Giants fan. :)

Colin said...

This is really touching. You have a much better reason for your fandom than I have. And thanks to your team for beating the Evil Empire.