Here in the UK, you don’t often get to choose your sports team. Whether it’s a ‘soccer’ team that has been passed down through the generations of your family. A rugby team based on your place of birth or even a cricket team because it’s the closest county to where you live. They all become part of everyday life, the highs you celebrate (if you’re lucky enough to have any!) to the dark dismal lows which can still affect your mood many, many days later. With the NFL here in the UK, it can be very different…
Being a Welsh, Everton fan at the age of 30 I can say I’ve not experienced many highs. The last trophy my football team won I was the grand old age of 5. On the national front I’ve been a little more fortunate with Wales and our national sport of rugby. We’ve had some great success against our European opponents… well the other 5 of them who take it seriously! But we’ve had nothing on a worldwide scale! So when it came to choosing an NFL team I was craving success!
Now, maybe I’m a sucker for punishment… with zero knowledge of the game, it would have been easy enough to have done a little research and come across the New England Patriots. That locomotive of a dynasty who just keep chugging away win after win, year in, year out under the conductor that is Bill Belichick.
Maybe that was too easy? Who wants to watch a winning football team each week anyway, surely it gets boring?! So how about some excitement instead… a quick search of the best quarterbacks would have brought up names such as Romo (I’m talking 2011 now), Rodgers, Brees, Newton, Roethlisberger and of course Manning!
In 2011 when I first decided to start watching the NFL Peyton Manning was already a Super Bowl winning MVP. The 12 time pro-bowler (at the time!) who was on the cusp of breaking all sorts of records! So why oh why did I then go and make the decision to go and follow his little baby brother instead?!
Ladies and Gentleman, I decided MY quarterback was going to be Easy E. The lovable dope!
Allow me to expand… in 2010 I spent 6 months working in the beautiful mountains of Connecticut. During my time I got numerous days off where I would venture into the big apple and quite simply fall in love with the city that never sleeps.
Now due to the logic I mentioned at the start… you do not get to choose your sports teams. They somehow find you! So New York was my local team right?! The only decision that had to be made was Big Blue or Gang Green… and I’m not that much of a sucker for punishment! (Sorry Jets fans).
So there it was… my journey with the New York Football Giants was about to begin and what a start it would be, although I didn’t really know it!
Here in the UK you’re not brought up with X’s and O’s so when you first tune in it’s an absolute minefield! Why do they keep stopping? What’s that flag for? Can they show more of the cheerleaders?! It’s not a sport you can just tune in to and pick up right away. That meant my first experience of watching the pig skin getting tossed was almost meaningless to me! What I would give to enter a time machine & go back in time knowing what I do now. Why? Because my first game as an NFL fan was watching the Giants win superbowl 46.
My only real memory from that night/morning was an early Victor Cruz TD (as I had money on him which was a complete fluke!) & the ever so odd Ahmad Bradshaw touchdown which confused the hell out of me at the time! Then it was over. My team were champions of the world! Well… in a sport where the rest of the world don’t play, but still!
So there we have it… the greatest success any sports teams of mine has ever had and I didn’t really understand it! Even so my team were superbowl champs… I may not understand it all right now, but when I do, my god am I going to do some bragging over the next few years. Yeah right!
That’s where I’m going to leave this for now. Since then it’s been doom and gloom! Coach Coughlin’s time was up… despite him being 5 minutes early! Slick back Mac was about as fun as his hairdoo! And Pat Shurmur had no pats on the back despite being the driving force behind drafting Eli 2.0.
Since then I have grown to love the Giants… although I’m not sure how! Staying up until 4am watching your team repeatedly lose while you’re still a student of the game isn’t much fun. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and that bond has grown ever since!
So here’s to more light hearted blog posts going forward. I plan to give awful fantasy advice, losing betting tips & most of all the inside scoop on the New York Football Giants… mainly reported by others & regurgitated by me!
I hope you all enjoy.