There’s no denying that just about every sports fan throughout the globe has at least one team which the call their own. For some fans, their relationship with their team comes to fruition namely because the city or state which that teams represents falls into the jurisdiction of that given fan.
For others, the fan—team relationship begins as part of the due course of family tradition, as parents or older family members undoubtedly play a large role in developing the sporting interests of their children.
For yet others, a favorite team is selected due to the presence of a particular player on that squad, thereby attracting the given fan to the team as a whole. So which of these paths to fan hood best describe my own? Actually, my story and circumstances are quite different. Every fan has a story; here’s mine.
It all started at approximately eight years old with a very inauspicious beginning. Being a skinny and short kid from Brooklyn, football simply wasn’t a sport that I felt I had much ability to relate to.
While I had already developed a passion for baseball and soccer at the time, I had trouble understanding what I had in common with 300-pound men who annihilate each other on just about every play, and then get up and do it all over again.
As a result, I had lived my life up to that point without truly selecting a football team to call my own. However, the day would soon come when I would be forced to make a choice.
One summer day on a camp field trip, my friends and I were taken to Fun Time USA in Brooklyn. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the place, it is best comparable to a mini indoors theme park. Soon after entering the building, my friends had unanimously selected to ride the bumper cars. However, there was something different about these cars.
After approaching the ride, my friends and I soon realized that the bumper cars had an NFL theme. Half of the cars were representative of the New York Giants, while the other half represented the New York Jets.
Right then and there, I was forced to make a choice that would inheritably change the rest of my life. I thought about it, assessed the colors of the cars, and in the end determined that I belonged with Big Blue. This moment was the birth of a Giants fan.
In the days that ensued, I still found that I new very little about the game of football. While I now made an effort to watch all of the New York Giants’ games, little made sense to me except that the quarterback throws to a wide receiver.
After all, backyard football really consists of little more than a quarterback and receivers anyway, so that was the aspect of the game that became most clear to me at the time.
As I reached high school, my football knowledge steadily began to increase. However, I believe that my interest in the New York Giants was propelled forward the day that I saw Tiki Barber first play.
While Tiki wasn’t considered to be anything special at the time, I saw several qualities in him that I was really able to relate to. He was small for his position, short, well- spoken, and always determined to prove his critiques wrong.
Furthermore, Tiki showed a great willingness to improve his game, losing his fumbling reputation and replacing it with one of a solid ball carrier. For the first time, I witnessed a player on the New York Giants who I could truly relate to. This inspired me to take a greater interest in the sport, as well as to begin competing in it myself.
As my interest in the New York Giants’ increased, so did my interest in the sport itself. I would begin working out more and studying why certain plays work in the game of football.
Little by little, I was transforming from the eight year old skinny Brooklyn boy who didn’t know a thing about the game into a defensive back with a great understanding for the game.
In the years that have since followed, I have become as passionate a Giants fan as there ever will be. I watch every single game that I can, and I attend as many of the games as possible in person.
Even though Tiki Barber has since moved on from the New York Giants, I was lucky enough to attend the game in which he broke the New York Giants’ rushing record against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Furthermore, I have since developed a great appreciation for the New York Giants roster in whole, as I can now break down the game of just about every player from Eli Manning to Rashad Barksdale.
In fact, Rashad was a recent classmate of mine at the University at Albany, and the New York Giants team as a whole trains at the school amongst me and my contemporaries.
This coincidental happening was almost like a dream to me, as having one’s favorite team getting ready for the NFL season at your school and staying in your dorms is quite surreal. However, maybe it was simply meant to be.
My name is Jeremy Kaufman, this is the story of a New York Giants fan.