Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I'm not really one of those teary guys, except when it comes to babies, puppies, Christmas Eve dinner, pizza, slasher films, and well-pitched baseball games, among other things. I prefer to consider myself a man's man.

But, hey, it's the holiday season, and the Giants will wrap up their era at Giants Stadium Sunday against Carolina. The Giants are printing up 60,000 special programs and charging $1 a throw, the same price programs went for that opening season in 1976. There will be festivities at halftime.

What I want from you -- from now until gametime -- is your favorite top-3 moments from Giants Stadium. You might have only watched it on TV, or maybe you were there. Just share.

I'll start us off.

1. The Painted Mud Speech: One of my favorite moments of all time, any stadium. It was in the moments after the 2000 NFC championship game, a 41-0 romp over Minnesota, that venerable co-owner Wellington Mara stepped to the mike in the middle of the field and basically laid out the broadcasters who spent half a game criticizing the field conditions and the Giants' record. "This team was referred to as the worst team ever to win the home–field advantage in the National Football League," Mara began. "And today, on our field of painted mud, we proved we're the worst team ever to win the NFC championship. In two weeks, we're going to try to become the worst team ever to win the Super Bowl." Pure Wellington. Succinct, polite, yet utterly biting. Too bad Jim Fassel's team couldn't have capped it with a Super Bowl victory.

2. Flipper Anderson: Sorry, guys. But the image of Rams wide receiver Flipper Anderson racing into the end zone and then disappearing into the tunnel, ball held aloft, after his overtime catch in the 1989 divisonal playoff game just sticks with me. I also remember seeing Bill Parcells utterly stunned on the sideline, a rare sight in the two seasons I covered him.

3. Lawrence Taylor: Not my favorite human being, but what a player. I'll take any instance where he chased down a running back from behind, three quarters of the way to the far sideline, after fighting off a block. Stupendous athlete.



  1. Hey Ernie, great idea.

    I'm pretty young, just shy of 30, so I'm not quite as old as the stadium. And while I liked your three selections, I'm going to try and keep it to games/players I remember vividly and I attended.

    1. You got that one right Ern. I was agape for about three quarters before I realized I wasn't dreaming and the Giants were completely dominating the Vikings. And then when Wellington went onto the field and, well you have the quote up top. I still get chills thinking about that. No, the Giants didn't win the Super Bowl, but it was one great speech.

    2. I don't know how many people were there -- not many -- but after the Giants won their last Super Bowl in 2007 they had their parade. After calling out of work I went down to the parade. But unless you were there at the crack of dawn it was impossible to see anything. So, I left - went to the stadium and watched the festivities get under way once the players arrived. They showed highlights on the screen of the victory. And the players and coaches talked to the few thousand that were there. It was the perfect way to end that season. And like you Ernie, I don't get emotional. I've shed a tear three times in my life -- the death of my grandmother, the birth of my son and when the Giants won the Super Bowl.

    t3. I can't fit all the memories I have, so this spot is a tie. When the Giants played the Eagles at the start of the third quarter they would always play the scene in Rocky when Stallone is running up the steps and then when he reaches the top, there was a giant Giant that steps on him. It was the greatest thing I ever saw.

    t3. When the fans in front of the luxury boxes turn and give Jerry Jones the finger -- classic.

    t3. Sehorn's interception and return for a touchdown in the 2000 playoffs.

    t3. The halftime shows -- how many stadiums have a halftime show of a man throwing a frisbee to a dog?

    t3. '97 loss to the Vikings -- hold on to the ball Calloway!

    t3. Giants led by the immortal Kent Graham end the Broncos bid for an undefeated season.

    t3. The first home game after 9/11.

    t3. This is the last one (I promise) -- When fans dropped dollar bills into the bottom of the circular ramps. And then when the unsuspecting fans on the bottom went to pick up the dollar bills the people up top would fire coins at them. Too bad they put up those barracades.

    This is closer to a top 10, but hell I grew up in that place. I started going when I was in middle school, and now I'm married with a son. The people in my section saw my grow up and I saw their kids grow up. That idea is the only redeeming quality of the movie Fever Pitch with Jimmy Fallon.

  2. My favorite moment in Giants Stadium is an easy one for me. 1986 NFC Championship 17-0 win over the Redskins. The first time we will actually play in a Super Bowl. Paper was flying everwhere, Jim Burt jumping into the stands high-fiving everyone. Harry Carson pouring Gatorade on Parcells. I never ever thought I would see this day become a reality.

  3. I once saw a guy throw up in the parking lot, then dip his sausage in his barf and eat it.

    Hi. I'm Bob Glauber.

  4. Opening Game 1990 when Dave Meggett returned a punt for a touchdown against the Eagles.

  5. Phill Simms throwing the ball to LT the night that Simms' jersey was retired. Did anyone doubt for a second that LT would catch that ball?

  6. I'm with Mitch on this one; until then the Super Bowl was a game other teams went today and I remember sitting there for the longest time just repeating 'we're going to the f-ing Super Bowl' It really did almost seem surreal at the time.

  7. Ha can I tell you my favorite Giant Stadium memory after Sundays game? It'll be my first (and obviously last) time ever seeing a game there live. I'm 22, been a fan since age 4 (Giants won the SB just a month before I was born) and haven't missed seeing a Giants game in over the past 9 years.

    I was in Denver for thanksgiving to see the Giants play in person for the first time ever. What a horrible loss but I enjoyed it just the same. I can't wait for this Sunday. 9 rows behind the Giants bench. I'm positive I'll cry.

  8. I used to love seeing the Giant stomp on rocky when the Giants would play the Eagles. Ernie, you need to talk to someone about bringing that back.

    In no particular order, my 3 biggest memories from attending games at giants stadium...

    1-Simms throwing to LT at halftime
    2-Beating the undefeated Broncos
    3-Strahan coming out of the trophy

  9. Far and away for me was '86 NFC Championship game v. Redskins. Shut them out, for the third victory over them (back when they were a team to beat) that season. And the unbelievable reality that the Giants were headed to the Super Bowl. What made it ever so sweeter, was the fact that I was out of high school before the Giants had ever even gone to the playoffs. And now the Super Bowl.

    Of course opening day was a great memory. My father would always park as far from the stadium as possible, so we could get out quickly when the game was over-- even though we lived 10 minutes from the stadium in zero traffic. We parked all the way over on Paterson Plank Rd and walked all the way to the stadium. Seemed like we hiked 100 miles that day.

    The Fumble. Didn't see it, as I, like everyone else, was walking up the steps on the way out. Heard the collective groan, turned around to see Edwards and the rest of the Eagles dancing in the end zone, looked up at the scoreboard, scoured the field for penalty flags, and then faced the fact that we actually lost the game.

    Many, many others, good and bad.

  10. Well if I've got to pick 3.

    1 - 2000 NFC Championship Game

    Simply for the improbability of it and the sorry look on the faces of the 2 Viking fans sitting next to me.

    2 - 1981 Giants vs. Cowboys

    I remember the frigid temperature and the don't quit attitude the team had.

    3 - Opening Day 2009

    The first game I took my son to.