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Who is A Fan Divided

The Short Story

I am a diehard New York Football Giants and Boston Red Sox fan.  Growing up a Red Sox fan in New England was, predictably, easy or as easy as it could be being a Red Sox fan pre 2004.  However, being a Giants fan in Patriot’s territory was another story all together (see “The Long Story”).

Today, I live in Los Angeles, rooting for my teams from afar, on the internet, in bars and occasionally on real, live broadcast TV in my home.

I’ve been “A Fan Divided” my whole life with no one sports nation to call home.  The goal of this blog is to find others like me—“Divided Fans”—and to create a place for us to come together to commiserate, to celebrate, to talk sports.

The Long Story

The question I’ve been asked more than any other in my life is: “Why are you a Giants fan?”

My allegiance to the Red Sox has never been questioned, I guess being from New England, it is just a given, no explanation needed.  However, it’s usually assumed that I am also a Patriots fan, but I was born a New York Football Giants fan in July of 1981, in Providence, RI.  Now let’s get one thing straight, that’s Rhode Island, not Long Island, it’s not in New York.  Rhode Island, it’s a state, I promise, but that’s a different story.  How is this possible, you may ask and many have asked–me being a Giants fan not RI being a state, that’s just history, look it up.  I am a Giants fan because my father is a Giants fan.  That is the simple explanation.

The full story begins about 56 years earlier, in 1925, when the New York Giants become one of the first teams to join the National Football League.  In the years before I was born, the Giants would go on to win 383 games including 4 championships and lose 325 games.  My father, Bernie, at age 8, in 1956, watched the Giants beat the Chicago Bears for the championship.  In 1958, at age 10, he would watch the Giants lose to the Colts in the “Greatest Game Ever Played.”  The New England Patriots did not exist in 1956.  They did not exist in 1958.

The Boston Patriots wouldn’t come into existence until 1960, when they joined the American Football League.  They would not become the New England Patriots until 1971, the year after the AFL and NFL merger.  In 1971, my father was 23 years old, a college graduate, married, and a devoted Giants fan.

Now when I say “fan” what do I really mean?  Well, when you experience each win and loss with a team as if you were actually out on the field with them, you become more than a fan.  When they’re up, you’re up and when they’re down, you’re down.  You’re in each contest together, and when someone asks what the score is you say “we’re” up 10 to 7. That’s the kind of fans we are in my family.  So you can understand that after 23 years of loyalty to one team, you don’t switch your allegiances over night just because a new, shinier team comes along.

My father didn’t become a Patriots fan not because the Patriots were bad–even though they were, they were terrible–my father didn’t become a Patriots fan because he was already a Giants fan. That would be like today, Providence gets a new baseball team and the world expects Rhode Islanders to suddenly not be Red Sox fans anymore, I think we can all agree that that’s insane.  It’s crazy!

Even after the Patriots got good, got new uniforms, got Tom Brady and starting winning Super Bowl after Super Bowl,  and the Giants, on the other hand, were putting together a long line of disappointing seasons with Ray Handley and Reeves and Fassel, our loyalties, in my family, never wavered.    It didn’t matter if it were 1956, 1986 or 1996, as my father once said, “we were Giants fans then and Giants fans we’ve remained.”

In 1981, the New York Giants drafted linebacker Lawrence Taylor and I was born.  On January 26th, 1987, I woke up on our black pull-out sofa in the den, my father was there, and the first words out of mouth were, “Did we win?”  My dad looked at me and said, proudly, “Yes, we won.”  The Giants had beaten the Broncos in Super Bowl XXI and that is my first memory as a Giants fan.

I was only 5 then, too young to stay up to watch Phil Simms complete 22 out of 25 passes with 3 TDs, but in 1991, I was almost 10 and wide awake to see Scott Norwood’s kick sail just right of the goal posts.

Earlier that year, I had declared that I was going to become the first ever female football player in the NFL, and I began wearing Giants paraphernalia pretty much exclusively.  My secret was out, I was a Giants fan, and thus began years of torment at the mouths of “so called” Patriots fans.  Now, I say that because growing up in the late 80s early 90s, the Cowboys, the 49ers, the Dolphins, they were the cool teams of the day, and that’s what my friends wore–Cowboys’ Starter Jackets–yet they called themselves Patriots fans and made fun of me for liking the Giants.

Admittedly, summers were a little easier, I blended in with my Red Sox hat on or maybe my Fenway Park t-shirt–that my dad had to buy me the year we went to the Patriot’s Day game wearing long underwear and it was 80 degrees out–but each year, when the leaves changed color and the air got crisper and fall rolled around and and I put on my Giants jacket–the one I got for my 6th grade graduation–it would start all over again.  The questions, the taunts:

Why are you a Giants fan?  Why aren’t you a Patriots fan?  What’s wrong with you?

The question I’ve been asked more than any other in my life is: “Why are you a Giants fan?”

As a kid on the playground, I wanted to scream, because they’re better than the stupid Patriots, but I didn’t (usually).  Even as an adult, I want to scream that sometimes, but I don’t now, I don’t need to it has been proven, emphatically, in 2007, but more so, because, deep down inside, I don’t hate the Patriots.  I don’t even hate the Yankees for that matter (ok maybe a little) but really it’s because I’ve come to realize that the simplest explanation is usually the best–“I was born this way.”

Even in Los Angeles, I get this question from non-Patriots fans and my answer is and has always been the same–I am a Giants fan because my father is a Giants fan.  He is a Giants fan because the Patriots didn’t exist when he was growing up.

That doesn’t seem to satisfy most, usually, but it’s the truth and in the end the truth is all there is.

“We were Giants fans then and Giants fans we’ve remained.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jane Augustine permalink
    November 15, 2013 7:15 am

    Couldnt have said it any better…There are lots of us like you out there…Go Gmen..Go Sox!!!

    • November 15, 2013 9:41 am

      Thanks Jane! I would love to hear your story of how you became a Giants-Red Sox fan. We’ve got a big game coming up this Sunday. Go Giants!

  2. Jane permalink
    November 23, 2013 11:26 am

    Dad a Gmen fan… Stayed true … Married someone big sox fan stayed true.. Yup we were here first..not a fan of any pats fan ever … Four children all Gmen fans…w great passion and that’ll never change … And here we go 1 game at a time… So proud…

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