Thursday, October 7, 2010


My dad and I went to see the Giants play the Bears last Sunday night. It was the first night game for either of us. And our first visit to the New Meadowlands Stadium (catchy name, huh?).

Dad's 81 years old and has been going to Giants games since they played at the Polo Grounds. He'd ride the subway from his home in Manhattan and pay $2.50 at the gate to get in. A far cry from today. Click on the ticket image above and check the price. Yep a 4800% increase. And that doesn't include the season ticket sea license fee. Ouch.

I'm pretty sure I'd seen them play at Yankee Stadium. And we've been to a number of games at the Old Meadowlands Stadium (aka Giants Stadium). 

Another change is the pre-game festivities. We arrived two and a half hours early, and found the parking lot full of tailgaters, with full picnic setups, tables, chairs, grills, and plenty of beer. Made our subs and drinks seem rather meager fare.

There was even a pre-game concert. I wonder how many original Jukes remain?

There were tailgate TVs. 

And end zone TVs. Another change from the Polo Grounds. This one was directly behind us. (Bonus, both are showing the Eagles lose!)

It was a cool (Dad would say cold) evening, with rain in the forecast.  We didn't hold much hope for a Giants win, as they had played very poorly the past two games, while the Bears were undefeated. So we figured if it got too bad we'd just head on home. 

We wound up staying through the rain to enjoy a surprising Giants win.

The Bears did win the coin toss. It was their only highlight.

Here we see the Bears line up in what their play book must refer to as "sack formation".

You can almost see the fear in Cutler's eyes ...

Not long before the end, at least for Cutler. Note Olsen trying to warn his QB of the danger lurking to the left. It was to no avail as a corner blitz resulted in a concussion for the Bears quarterback. The ninth Giants sack of the first half (they would finish the game with ten).

At half time it was 9 to 3, sacks to points, for the Giants. The Bears had but 22 total yards in the half. And no points. The Giants offense wasn't doing much either, and we fans wanted to cheer the defense and boo the offense as they went to the locker room at the half. In the end we cheered, defense has always been a fan favorite.

And defense was well represented during the halftime festivities, as the Giants introduced the inaugural members of their Ring of Honor. The group included linebackers Sam Huff, Harry Carson, Lawrence Taylor, Jesse Armsted, and d-linemen Michael Strahan and George Martin. In all thirty players, coaches, and executives were honored. Plenty of cheers at halftime.

And there were plenty of cheers before the game started. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the NFL supports this via its Crucial Catch campaign. Over 125 breast cancer survivors graced the field, forming a human pink ribbon, a very moving moment. Back when I first started watching football being diagnosed with cancer was a death sentence. And while I've friends who've died from cancer and Dad's sister, my aunt did as well, early detection, which is what the Crucial Catch is all about, clearly betters the odds of survival.

The second half saw the Giants put the game away. Cutler did not return and the backup quarterback Collins was also sacked out out of the game. The final score was 17 to 3 Giants, the Bears only points coming on a field goal after a Giants turnover. That the Giants didn't score more was a testament to a fine Bears defense.

Here we are at our seats. We're in the front row! (Albeit second deck.)

But we do get cup holders!

Unlike the Polo Ground days, there are no longer any walk up seats available. And there haven't been for quite some time. Every one of the 86 K seats is a season ticket. Fortunately, my dad is a season ticket holder, after having spent twenty-five years on the waiting list. 

It was a great way to spend the night. Thanks Dad!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You captured the excitement of the game perfectly! We don't have a pro team here, but we are big into our college football...The Nebraska Huskers played Kansas last night and we won big time (had 32 people over last night for the game...and by the end, everyone on our block knew we won - even if they weren't watching LOL)!