Giants Opening Day 2008
INTRO: It was a calm day in the end of summer when my dad, my brother and I went to the kickoff game to the 2008 season for the New York Football Giants. Their opponent would be the Washington Redskins. They came into this game as defending Super Bowl champions, which was a huge accomplishment in beating the New England Patriots, even though Bill Bellichick and the Patriots had it coming. The last time I had gone to a Giants game was back in 2006, when they couldn't win a playoff game and they still had Tiki Barber. He ran for a record for a Giants single game record of 220 yards, which was special to watch. But nothing would compare to the energy and the hype going into this game. The Giants came into this game with so much confidence, and I was sure they would win.
This was a very enjoyable event for me, except for the fact that it was the last thing I would do in summer. It was a very bittersweet time.
The morning of September 4th was a long and tedious one. I knew what was in store later, and I almost burst due to anticipation. I thought some bad things about the media and televising contracts and then proceeded in going downstairs. My dad was packing the car for some intense tailgating when we arrived at the stadium. I went on my computer and watched the television until it was time to leave. I almost didn't want the time to come, because when the time arrives, the next step is the time passing, and once the time passed my summer would be over.
When the time finally came, we all went into the car. Being exhausted from getting close to no sleep the night before, I fell asleep. The next thing I saw was Giants Stadium, the new one. It was not completed yet but it should be for the 2010 season. My dad found our tailgating friends and we started cooking and eating Doritos and Sun Chips. On my cell phone I was surfing the internet and I found out Giants star receiver Plaxico Burress signed a fat multi-year/multi-million dollar contract with the Giants. My brother and I threw around a football until about 6:15, when it was time to go into the stadium.
It really is a sight to see when going to your seat in Giants Stadium. First, there are the people with 1 too many tickets and trying to sell. Then there are the people looking to buy, usually without luck. Then there are the people selling juice out of a trunk. And right before you get in, there's the people trying to sell you a t-shirt. The security is tight, metal detectors and a pat down. There are various signs explaining to you how to get the easiest trip back to your car (ie: throwing bottle caps, profanity, being disruptive, etc.).
Once you finally get to your section, you sigh and thing to yourself "this is it". You can see anything in pictures, but its nothing like being there and experiencing it. The second you step through the pathway from the vendors and bathrooms and main walkway into the actual stadium, it's like a portal from everyday life into this life you would like to live, without care except cheering on guys bashing heads for a living. The field just opens up to you and you see the enormity not fathomable from television, even if you watch in high definition. There's nothing like being and experiencing and feeling like you're a part of something bigger then yourself.
Once 6:30 rolled around, they brought out this enormous trophy, made to look like the Lombardi Trophy. And guess who popped out of it. It was none other than Michael Strahan himself. He was a hero of last year and is now retired and working for NBC. The fans went crazy; I could feel the crowd rock. The energy for this game was amazing, and the game hadn't even started yet. The game was about ready to start.
The captains went out for the coin toss, and the Giants won. They elected to receive, and the game was underway. The Redskins kicked off. On the Giants' first drive, they scored a touchdown thanks to a few crazy catches by Burress. But the real defining moment for me was the first defensive play for the Giants. The same defense that took the Giants to the Super Bowl recorded a sack on the first play, and it was Justin Tuck who penetrated the Redskin defense to sack Quarterback Jason Campbell. This was Giants football. John Carney went on to kick three more field goals for the Giants during the first and second quarters. The Redskins scored a touchdown, making the score 16-7 in the Giants favor at the half.
Unfortunately, this is how the game ended. No one else scored in the second half, and overall it was boring. Once the Giants got the ball back after the two-minute warning, we left to beat the crowd. The game was over and Giants had won. Everyone gets to go home happy.
We stuck around a little longer, ate a little more, and threw the football a little more in the parking lot. There was no reason to try to get out considering the traffic and how long we'd sit there in a car, compared to staying and just chilling and talking about the game with a few of my dads friends. Everyone was happy about the Giants victory, and were all surprised about Strahan coming out of the trophy and enjoyed the speech he gave about the past season. The Giants were heavy underdogs in the previous seasons playoffs, and they showed everyone who they were and how good they can be. They had an incredible run the season before, and for one more night, it was back.
MORAL: The moral of the story is that even though all good things come to an end, it doesn't mean you cannot enjoy them while they are there. I mean this in two ways. Even though summer was ending I still enjoyed the last bits of it. And even though the Giants amazing run the season before was in the season before, it was almost like it wasn't over and it had carried over into the next season.