A Not So Super Opening

Aaron LiebmanAnalyst ISeptember 13, 2008

I was too young to savor the Giants’ first two Super Bowl victories, or even understand what football was.  So when the Giants prepared to open the season at home as Super Bowl winners for the first time in seventeen years, I was all revved up for homecoming worthy of a champion.  Being in the crowd, I was hoping to see a banner raised, or some type of pennant commemorating the championship.

Instead, all we got was a model of the Vince Lombardi trophy and Michael Strahan doing one last stomp out on the field.  Sure, there were some great highlights on the jumbotron, but right when I was ready for the ceremony to begin, the players went back into the locker room.

Patiently I waited.  As it became clearer that there would be no such event, I then began looking forward to the introduction of the Giants’ players on the field.  After hearing so many boos for Eli Manning as he was introduced, I anticipated what the crowd level would be when his name was called.  Before I could think of anything else, the teams lined up for a kickoff.  So not only do the defending Super Bowl champions not do any type of ceremony, but they don’t even introduce the players before?

As the Giants drove down the field on their first possession, it looked like the play that began in last season’s postseason would continue.  But just like New York Giants fashion, they might tough not only on themselves, but us the fans watching.  What could have and should have easily been a blowout by halftime was only a nine point lead.  It seemed that the Redskins could only advance the ball on penalty yardage.  But there were so many stupid and costly and quite frankly, giant Giants penalties that the Skins started to take advantage.

During the game, the jumbotron began to play the top 5 best moments at Giants Stadium.  This was just my kind of thing, history and football.  But the moments shown were far less than super.  I don’t really remember all the highlights, but one I do is a game moment of Tiki Barber.  Even before his name was announced, the fans saw the number 21 and reacted as if it was an opponent up there.  I’ve heard T.O. get fewer boos.

With the Giants moving into a new facility in 2010, this was most likely the last time for glory in Giants Stadium.  The 2001 Patriots opened up their new stadium after a Super Bowl victory.  Last year the Colts commemorated their last season in the Hoosier Dome with opening up with a ceremony.  The Giants have two seasons left in Giants Stadium, and this fan is still waiting for a celebration in the building his grandfather first took him to at eleven years old.