Your team is one and seven. You’re in the basement of the National Football League. Again. Even the Jets can point at you and claim bragging rights. In fact, the New York Giants are the team that offers the Jets bragging rights this year. That’s gotta hurt. I mean, the Jets?! And yet, you keep coming, keep cheering, keep rooting for your team: The New York Giants.
Why? What makes a New York Giants fan a New York Giants fan during times like these?
I asked around and listened to a wide range of responses. And yet there were common threads through all of them.
Karl’s family has been Giants fans for decades. They can recall the glory years – as recently as 6 years ago. They’ve seen Eli Manning play at MVP levels. And, as Karl puts it, “at least we’re not the Jets.”
“… at least we’re not the Jets.” – Karl
Owen’s Dad was a Giant’s fan as a kid, so he, too, is a New York Giants fan by birthright. “The fans are good people,” Owen says. They make you want to be a Giants fan along with them. And while the team is “not always the best, you know that they always have a chance, if not a probability of their winning.”
“The fans are good people,” – Owen
Chloe is a fan because “[the Giants] represent New York.” And she further adds that “you know that they can do something great, you’re just waiting for them to do it.” Well said, Chloe.
“… you know that they can do something great,” – Chloe
Tom explains, “you pick your team as a kid” which creates loyalty. Like Karl, Tom further added that, as a New Yorker, “the alternatives are the Jets or the Bills.” Tom’s sticking with the Giants.
“You pick your team as a kid.” – Tom
But no true fan would look at this season and discount a team that won four NFL Championships between 1927 and 1956, and four Super Bowls in 1987, 1991, 2008 and 2012, including a fifth Superbowl appearance against the Ravens. Under coach Bill Parcells, the Giants were a dominant team, with Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor and quarterback Phil Simms. After Parcells moved on, Tom Coughlin entered as head coach. Coughlin helped take the team to the Superbowl twice, knocking off the heavily favored, undefeated Patriots in 2008, and stunning the NFL world. The Giants beat the Patriots again in 2012 and firmly established themselves as a major thorn in the side of what’s been considered a dynasty team.
Poor records are not new for a team that has four Super Bowl titles. The Giants rise and they will fall. But they will be back. One day. The fans know it.
New York Giants fans are resilient. They can sustain long periods of drought knowing that the rains of change will come again. And it’s the fans that carry a team, not the Barkleys or the Mannings or the Beckhams or the Shurmurs. It’s the fans that stick it out, game after game, season after season, decade after decade. Ten years from now, the New York Giants’ roster will be dramatically different. But the fans will remain the same – dedicated, and always hopeful.
Cheers to the New York Giants fans. You are what makes your team a force to be reckoned with!