When I was a little girl, one of the ways I was assured of getting my dad’s attention was by sitting down next to him on Sunday afternoon to watch the Giants play football. There was never a doubt that I would be a Giants fan; I loved my Dad and he loved the Giants so I learned the ins and outs of football and the agony and occasional ecstasy of fervently supporting the G-Men.
My Dad was born in Queens, grew up with his mom and his grandmother, without a dad, off of Jamaica Avenue on 197th Street. It was a neighborhood full of German immigrants; my grandmother collected rent from the Trumps. My Dad was a lonely overweight kid, smart but not sure how to fit in, spoilt by the two crazy women with whom he lived. Football and the solid comaraderie of being a Giant fan no doubt became a veritable refuge.
By the time he had met my mom, at the age of 24, he was much more svelte, had an Aston Martin sports car, a membership to the New York Athletic Club, and coveted 50 yard line Giant season tickets at the Polo Grounds: A legendary fan had been born. And he lived and died Giant Blue. Even when we lived overseas, which we did a lot in the 60’s and 70’s, my dad would listen to the game, or updates of the game, on Armed Forces Network. Our Sundays always included the Giants.
This season, I watched the Giants with a wistful interest. You see, my Dad passed away in May, after battling a really hard and pervasive illness. I was so lucky in that I got to spend the last 7 months of his life with him, helping my mom take care of him, down in Naples Florida. It was a tender, bittersweet time that will forever remain one of the most powerful experiences of my life. My Dad and I had a special connection and an abiding desire to uphold one another through thick and thin. He was incandescent and I will miss him forever.
And the Giants won tonight. I cried like a baby, renewed by my passion for the sweet effort of a team that my Dad would have loved so much. I texted two words to my four kids at the end of the game and received the same two words back from all four: Bob Bob.
This win is for him!