The 2012 NFL season is getting closer to coming back.
As of right now, the Giants are all up at the University of Albany, getting themselves prepared at training camp.
If any of you have never been to the site of training camp, trust me, go see it. For me, two years ago, I went with two friends of mine and took the four-hour drive from the Jersey Shore all the way up to Albany, stayed overnight and experienced camp.
I even got to meet and shake hands with Giants owner John Mara, who was walking around with a couple of his family members, and he truly is a nice guy.
For those interested, it costs about $5 to park on campus for the day, and you can attend both practices, even if you leave after the first session. Sports Authority or Dick's Sporting Goods usually sets up a tent on the concourse for fans to buy t-shirts, jerseys and other memorabilia.
Part of the schedule of training camp is the preseason and the four games involved. For most of the starters, preseason is just a tune-up to work out the kinks and the rust.
But for the rookies, backups practice squad players and undrafted free agents, preseason is a way to catch the attention of the coaches and fight for a spot.
Lets take a look at the Giants' upcoming 2012 preseason schedule with the dates, broadcast times and television schedule.
New York Giants at Jacksonville Jaguars
Friday, August 10, 2012
7:30p.m., Everbank Field, MY9
In a little over a week, the Giants will kick off their preseason schedule on the road against a team that head coach Tom Coughlin is very familiar with.
The Giants will be playing against the team he made his NFL head coaching debut with, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Coughlin coached Jacksonville from 1995 until 2002 and had a 68-60 record with the team and a 4-4 playoff record.
Against the Giants, it will be the first game under new Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey, who took over after they fired Jack Del Rio.
New York Giants at New York Jets
Saturday, August 18, 2012
7:00 p.m., MetLife Stadium, CBS
These two teams always meet annually during the preseason.
In 2011, they had their regular season meeting on Christmas Eve, and it was really a turning point in the Giants' season.
The Giants really broke out of their shell, and Victor Cruz set the tone in the game when he scored on a 99-yard touchdown pass, making Antonio Cromartie look foolish on the play.
The Giants ended up winning, 29-14, went to 8-7 and it was the start of their six-game winning streak that finished with a Super Bowl championship.
The Jets players and coaches all remember getting their faces kicked in the dirt on Christmas Eve.
The Giants players didn't appreciate the Jets covering up the Giants Super Bowl banners inside the stadium, which I think has now caused a little bit of a rivalry now between the two, even if it is during the preseason.
New York Giants vs Chicago Bears
Friday, August 24, 2012
8:00 p.m., MetLife Stadium, CBS
For the second year in a row, the Giants will play the Bears at home in the preseason.
The only thing I really remember from last year's battle between the Giants and the Bears was the collision between Jason Pierre-Paul and Terrell Thomas, which caused Thomas to tear his ACL and miss the entire 2011 season.
Thomas' 2012 season is in jeopardy after hurting his surgically-repaired ACL again in training camp; some have said Thomas may have a partial tear and not a full tear.
Even if it's for the first quarter, maybe even the first two, the Giants defenders will be put to the test by Marshall.
New York Giants vs New England Patriots
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
7:30 p.m., MetLife Stadium, NFL Network/NBC
The Super Bowl XLVI rematch.
Sure, it's only preseason, but the two teams who saw each other on February 5 back in Indianapolis will face off in their final preparation for 2012 at MetLife Stadium.
We all remember how the game went back in February.
Trailing 17-15 with less than four minutes left, Eli Manning leads the Giants down-field, similar to how he did four years prior against the Patriots defense, and engineers another game-winning drive, which ended with a touchdown run by Ahmad Bradshaw.
In the picture above, the Giants defenders broke up an attempted Hail Mary into the end-zone, which was knocked away, and the Giants prevailed, 21-17, to capture Super Bowl XLVI.
When the Giants and Patriots play on August 29, the Giants will be a week away from the 2012 season officially kicking off when they face Dallas on NBC, and it will be their final tune-up and test against competition before they are set to defend their championship.