Home NFL The Statman Speaks: Interview with an NFL season ticket holder

The Statman Speaks: Interview with an NFL season ticket holder

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New York Giants

I have quite a few Facebook friends who are die-hard NFL football fans and they always share their words and memes of agreement or disagreement about their favorite football teams.  But, what I enjoy most is seeing football pictures from my cousin Ben who lives in New Jersey and has season tickets for the New York Giants.  How cool is that?   I just knew that one of my NFL articles would have to be an interview with him and here it is:

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A FAN?

I’ve been a Giants fan since the 1960s when I was a kid. 


HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A SEASON TICKET HOLDER?

During the time when the Giants played at Giants Stadium, I signed up for season tickets in October 1986, and was told there was a 35-year waiting list (capacity in the stadium was roughly 70,000 people, and they only turned over 2,000 tickets per year – every seat in the house was a season ticket!), but in the end I waited “only” 24 years; when the new stadium opened in 2010 and they began to charge seat license fees, many people didn’t renew their seats, so I moved up faster on the waiting list. I got three seats for me, Karen (wife) and Rachel (daughter) and we go to almost every home game. 

Last year was tough as NJ had pretty restrictive rules during the pandemic and the stadium was closed to fans, but they just announced that this year (2021) there will be no restrictions and the stadium will be 100% open, so we are all very excited to go back! 

For the first 10 years we had the same mezzanine end-zone seats, but this year we upgraded to mezzanine Club seats in the corner of the end zone behind the Giants sideline; the view will be better and we now will have access to the Club when the weather is horrible.

WHEN YOU CAN’T MAKE IT TO A GAME, WHAT DO YOU DO WITH YOUR TICKETS?

In the first years of the new stadium (say 2010-2015) there was a nice demand for my tickets. On the rare occasions when I couldn’t go; I tried to always sell them (or give them away) to friends and family, not strangers. Later, StubHub and NFL Ticket Exchange became huge and anyone who wanted seats could get tickets those ways, and so I found it more difficult to sell my own tickets locally. But since we almost never miss a game, it’s not such a big deal and if we do have the occasional available seat, the parking lot scalpers will always offer 10-20 bucks for it, which is enough for at least one beer ????

CONCESSIONS OR TAILGATING?

At the stadium, food and drink are very overpriced, so we always set up a good tailgate before the game (we get there roughly 5 hours before game time and always have a nice spread with a BBQ grill and a lot of alcohol) and do most of our eating and drinking in the parking lot. Inside, we get a few beers and maybe a small amount of food, but never very much. Tailgating is a lot of fun, and we make friends with the people around us in the parking lot (different people every game), so if you forgot something or they did, people share freely. Rachel and I throw the football around at least once during the tailgate – she has a hell of an arm – and that’s always a nice father-daughter moment. We tailgate in all weather – hot or cold, sunny or rainy – with all the accoutrements (a tent, tailgate chairs, coolers, the grill, you name it).

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE PLAYER?


My favorite player is QB Phil Simms – that guy had the heart of a lion. No matter how many times he got hit (and he got hit a LOT), he got back up and kept playing, and had a great career with two Super Bowl rings to his name. 

WHAT IS YOUR MOST PRICELESS PIECE OF MEMORABILIA?

My favorite piece of memorabilia is a red seat back from the old Giants Stadium, signed by all three Giants Super Bowl MVP players – Phil Simms, Ottis Anderson and Eli Manning. It’s cool for the signatures, of course, but also because it is a relic from the old stadium. I have a room full of other items and a closet full of Giants clothes, but the red seat back (a present from Karen) is the best.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT?

One of my favorite in-person moments in the old stadium was the 42-0 victory against the Vikings in the NFC Championship game in 2000 that sent the Giants to the Super Bowl. It was a complete blowout, and after the game Wellington Mara (the late Giants owner) gave a great speech to the fans as he got the NFC trophy. 

In the new stadium, I’ve been to the games when they retired numbers and added players to the Ring of Fame (they honored Phil Simms, Lawrence Taylor and many others) and on three separate occasions I participated in the pre-game on-field ceremonies when the enormous American flag is spread across the field and held by season ticket holders during the National Anthem, twice for cancer survivors (me) and once for honoring first responders (Karen; she is a volunteer EMT).

DO YOU HAVE ANY SUPERSTITIONS? 

I don’t have superstitions, other than to always wear at least one piece of clothing (but usually 4-5) with the Giants logo. Boring, I know, but whether I wear “lucky socks” or not won’t bring any victories! I do have a Giants “suit” – pants and a sport coat – that have the Giants logos all over it that I usually wear on opening day every year, but that’s more of a tradition than a superstition.

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