After one of the best playoff performances in NFL history, it is very easy to find Giants fans. Some have become fans due to their absolute hatred of the Pats or anything Belichick. Others felt that the bandwagon just was not quite full enough.
Which is perfectly fine. This is not unique to New York's championship run. In '07, these folks loved Peyton, and in '06, it was Hines Ward that had bandwagon fans smitten.
In order to appreciate this newfound position of being on top of the NFL world, one has to have been there from early on. For a majority of the Giants' fans, pain has come with the territory. Every time you became confident in this team’s ability, they would find some way to disappoint. This time is no different.
After such a great ride, orchestrated by the drive of the century (I’m a little biased), the front office at East Rutherford has devised a great fan-appreciation promotion. You will never guess what it is.
By now, many thoughts are entering your mind. What could it be? Discount tickets? Cheaper parking? Reasonable concession-stand prices? All good guesses, but horribly wrong. The Giants felt that the best way to reward their diehard, loyal fans is with PERSONAL SEAT LICENSES.
What is this?
Well, for being such a loyal fan, you get to pay a nice one-time fee to move your current seat into the new stadium. But don’t panic, it will only cost up to $20,000. Did I mention per ticket.
So, after putting $60 in your hybrid to get to the Meadowlands, and forking over another $30 to park, you can rest easy knowing your loyalty is appreciated. That new loyalty tax, $1,000-$20,000 per ticket, will go to help pay for the new stadium.
Now, I wonder, will the future profits trickle back down to the average Joe’s hand. Since season-ticket holders are helping to build this new stadium, shouldn’t they get some compensation? By the way, that whole recession thing the country is going through is just plain hearsay.
If there is one thing Giants fans understand, it is a recession. From 1990 through this last championship, we’ve seen how the numbers in the wins column can recede.
Take 1991 for example. A year removed from a championship, Ray Handley is introduced as head coach. Did we repeat? Or even make the playoffs? No way!
Under Mr. Handley, we went a 14-18 (8-8 in his first season) in two seasons. Did we charge a fee? Did fans ask the Mara’s for a personal waste-of-time refund? No. We stayed true blue. It was chalked up has a fluke. Just a mistake that anyone at human resources could have made.
Then we ushered in the Dan Reeves era. To be fair to Dan, he did a pretty descent job at first. Especially considering the talent he had. Granted, in his first year, Phil Simms and other veterans were here. But his sophomore year as the top guy, the talent level dropped considerably.
(I know this because I remember 1994. Those arguments with my NFC East peers over who has the best quarterback were pure torture. They would have Cunningham and Aikman, while I was countering with Dave Brown. I feel an ulcer flaring up just thinking about those losing debates. I felt like a character witness for Courtney Love, no one wanted to listen.)
Dan Reeves still managed a 9-7 record, but that was the peak. That roster did not allow him to flourish, finishing his tenure with 5-11 and 6-10 records respectively.
Other than the 2000 season, the Jim Fassel years were a mixed bag. While coaches and rosters changed, the team went through its highs and lows, but the one constant was the Giants’ fans. The Giants’ fans came to the games religiously, shelled out everything in their pockets, and most importantly, gave every ounce of emotion to this franchise.
We accepted Dave Brown as our starter. We accepted him and treated him like his jersey read Montana (maybe not all the time).
Even after those dreadful seasons, everyone who is true blue would go into the following season with high hopes. The Giants’ fans were willing to forgive the team for their shortcomings, with the faith that the team would succeed. The type of faith that is second only to a child’s belief in Santa.
And just like that relationship, after maturity, Giants’ fans have realized it is all a fantasy. The fan that has held on to season tickets for years, going to 10-degree games in December when the team was 4-11, deserves better.
There seems to be a lack of reciprocation with the loyalty in this relationship.
I am very proud of the Giants and their accomplishments, but as a loyal fan, I, and a whole legion of others, have paid our dues. We have been faithful in the past, and when this crop of Giants decline, hopefully not for another 10 seasons, we will be there for those 5-11 and 6-10 rebuilding seasons.
Maybe that is the problem.
The new front office has disconnected from their fans. For them, it is no issue to pay $20,000 for a seat. What about the average fan? Should he mortgage his property to retain the seats that they have held for 20 years?
The front office keeps referring to the personal seat license as the “PSL”. They understand that acronym as the "preferred suckers list".
We have shown we will support this team, regardless of how the front office looks at us. Maybe it is time to reevaluate our position in this relationship.