I started dating my husband one month before I graduated from college. Right after graduation I moved and we spent six long months falling in love long distance. Sick of being apart he threw away nearly everything he owned, jumped on an airplane and moved into my 350 square foot "junior one bedroom" apartment. Luckily it had skylights or we would have turned into over sized trolls maneuvering around a hamster cage. That first Superbowl came shortly after he moved and he had no local friends. So I bought chips and dip and Bud Light in the cube and we had our own Superbowl party. It took me a good three years to realize football was so much more than the Superbowl (I was raised by basketball fanatics). And another two to fully accept "football season" as a period of reverence in our home.
Once my boyfriend was my husband of many years I finally understood it was not so much about football as it was about a particular team, the New York Giants. I believe my slow realization was lengthened by the team's lagging performance in the first decade of the new millennium. Starting with losing the Superbowl in 2000 I proceeded to watch my husband meltdown like clockwork every time they lost a game. I started to hate the Giants. They were making my life very complicated. A perfectly good Sunday would be ruined in a matter of minutes as the score flipped and the Giants seemed to forget they were playing football and started playing track and field. After gracing the playoffs with one game in 2002, 2005 and 2006, they went on to break one team's very impressive record breaking record and bring home the grand poobah in 2007. Since then they have been mounting and building, making the playoffs for one game in 2008 and just won our first playoff game for the 2011 season yesterday.
Through all this loss and success my husband remained an ever faithful fan. There were years where people laughed at him and told him to get a new team. But that is not how that man works. Once they started winning the greatness of each victory was oh so much sweeter because he had remained true, rode out the rough years and was now seeing something near and dear to his heart find success. At some point during the last thirteen years we have been together I stopped getting annoyed and started watching. I will admit it, the players can be easy on the eyes. But being the competitive lass that I am I started wanting to know what was going on. And learning the rules. I now watch the game with honest enthusiasm. I have gotten to know a little bit about those boys in red, white and blue. How they can cream a team in the first two quarters only to come back after halftime and lose miserably. How their favorite position seems to be the last two minutes of the 4th quarter down by 8, and they will pull out a victory. You can't get too uppity as a Giants fan. They seem to relish the role of the underdog, it is when they do their best, play the hardest. And achieve the most. There are a lot of ups and downs and quite frankly they are extremely unpredictable. But when they are on it is glorious. Amazing. Spectacular! As I watched an impressive game yesterday I noticed the parallel between the endless grit and strength my husband and I have tirelessly exercised to be successful in our lives is reflected in our team. No we have not always achieved the winning title, but we have not failed either. We keep showing up, day after day, season after season, year after year, and trying with all our might to get it right. One of these days we will...
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