I woke up at 5:30 am, took a shower, got dressed, and was out of the door by 6:30. I reached lower Manhatten around 7:30 am where I waited with friends for about 31/2 hours.
What was I waiting for? The New York Football Giants.
It was parade day in New York City as millions of Giants fans came out to celebrate another championship with the team.
I perched myself near Dey Street as I watched the floats go by.
Victor Cruz floats on by as the crowd asked him to salsa. He salsa-ed away!
I saw Steve Weatherford steal a drum from the marching band in front of his float so he can have some fun.
I watched Eli Manning hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy high in the air just as he did four years ago.
Shredded paper and rolls of toilet paper were flying through the air and the crowd roared with praise and joy as these men floated by. It was one of the greatest parades I have ever experienced in my life.
But that wasn’t all of the day’s festivities. As soon as the parade ended, we made our way to Penn Station and jumped on the train to get to the Meadowlands. A big rally was about to happen at the stadium with the fans and the players.
They presented a video of images through out the 2011-2012 season. What a unique season it was! Losing to teams they should have beaten, and killing teams they normally struggle against, and seeing some of the biggest plays of the year being replayed in front of us was warming.
One of the biggest reasons why I love being a sports fan is the way people come together. Aside from the friends I was with, I didn’t know anyone else at this parade, but I had conversations with them like we had been friends for years. We all shared something special that day. It was our love for the game and for the New York Giants.
Brandon Jacobs recognized that. As the players were making their way off the field, Jacobs took the Vince Lombardi trophy over to the sideline to the fans in the front row to let them touch the trophy. He carried that trophy around the entire front row of the entire stadium. He let all of the fans share a special piece of that Super Bowl victory.
After the rally, we ran down the ramp to where the player’s buses were. We waited for them to come out of the stadium. My friends wanted autographs. All I wanted was a high five.
I saw Terrell Thomas, Jason Pierre-Paul, Chase Blackburn, and Eli Manning make their way by me. Then I saw my guy, my favorite player make his way in my direction with his son in his arms…it was Justin Tuck.
At first I just froze in time just in disbelief that I was this close to him. He look right at me and all I said was, “Dude…you are my hero.” He raised his right hand and gave me a high five.
Nothing else mattered to me in that moment. I got my high five, and it was from my favorite player on the team.
All that mattered to me was that I went home with the biggest smile on my face. I was the happiest Giants fan on the planet.
Thank you, boys, for a hell of a season. I can’t wait for next year.