My sophomore year at Rutgers, I bought a black Nissan Altima. I had been saving up for years to buy that car. Over the winters, I had a job hauling Christmas trees. The money I made went toward the car. Over the summers, I worked on the Rutgers grounds crew. Those paychecks, too, went into the "car account."
On Jan. 1, 1987, a kid named David Clingerman knocked on my door with a surprise. "I've got two tickets for this Sunday's NFC Divisional playoff game at Giants Stadium," he said. "My dad and I can't use them. For $40, they're yours."
HARRISON, N.J. -- It's easy to exaggerate the importance of sports stadiums. The coverage of the new Dallas Cowboys stadium last year made it seem as though Jerry Jones had commissioned a modern-day version of the Egyptian pyramids instead of, you know, a really big place to watch football, eat wings and get lit on a Sunday night.
In an effort to make the most anticlimactic game of the season the slightest bit more relevant, the NFL this year took the unprecedented steps of delaying the unveiling of the Pro Bowl rosters until tonight (7 p.m. ET, NFL Network) -- a full week later than usual -- bumping the all-star game up two weeks to Jan. 31, and moving the contest from Honolulu to Miami, where it will be played in the same stadium as Super Bowl XLIV.
If you're Asante Samuel, it must feel like you're either playing or getting ready to play the New York Giants every 10 minutes or so. For the fifth time in a span of a little more than a year, Samuel looked up early Sunday evening and saw the Giants looming in the distance. This time, as the Philadelphia Eagles opponent in next Sunday's NFC divisional round playoff game at Giants Stadium.
About half an hour before kickoff of the MLS Cup final, New York Red Bulls fans marched en masse into the Home Depot Center, their scarves held high, their voices turned up to 11. They banged their drums and sang their songs, including some anachronistic ones -- "We are the Metros, the mighty, mighty Metros" -- and they didn't stop the entire afternoon, even when they knew the game was lost.
Forgive me if this is a mumbling, disjointed mess. Check that... if this is a column not quite up to its piercing penetration, and uh... folks, it is late at night and I just did the 30-mile number from Giants Stadium west on Route 3, thence US 80, Cherry Hill Road, Rte. 46 and Lakewood Drive, where a candle and holly wreath were waiting in the window. Oh yes, got stopped on good old Rte. 46 in Wayne.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- In the end, it was just a little flick of the hand that said the most. After the final whistle had blown at Sunday's U.S.-Argentina match, Freddy Adu fed off the energy of 78,000 fans at Giants Stadium and dismissed Argentina's Fernando Gago with the simplest of gestures. For me, it was the most vivid moment on a night that had hundreds of them.
The healing began at a blackjack table, of all places, in a banquet room at Giants Stadium in the middle of baseball season. A June minicamp had come to an end, but New York Giants players and coaches were instructed to convene for one last meeting before going their separate ways. Seated at the table, carrying neither a whistle nor his familiar scowl, was coach Tom Coughlin, waiting for face cards. It was a team-only casino night, the first in Coughlin's four-year tenure and an uncharacteristic off-season overture from the coach to his players.
When the Patriots try to finish off an undefeated season tonight, thousands of Pats fans will come out to Giants Stadium and thousands of Giants season ticket holders will be counting the money they collected by selling them the tickets.
Given that he lost both a first-round pick and $500,000 on Thursday night, it sounds a little strange to claim that Bill Belichick got off lightly, in terms of the penalty he received from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for his role in the Patriots' videotaping incident Sunday at Giants Stadium.
If found guilty of violating the NFL's rules against video-taping an opposing team's signals, the New England Patriots could face a fine from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and/or have a 2008 draft pick taken away, league sources said Tuesday.
Last Sept. 9, as evening burned into night, Will Hill III, the do-everything quarterback and free safety from St. Peter's Prep in Jersey City, N.J., sunk his cleats into the Giants Stadium FieldTurf for the second time in nine months.
It must have been early in 1971. The North American Soccer League at last had a team in New York. The Cosmos were in the process of being born, they had a name, and one or two players had been signed. But as far as I could find out, no telephone number. I called information and asked for Cosmos soccer club ... long pause: "I'm sorry, we have no entry for Cosmos supper club."
If you are of delicate sensibilities, or the parent of young urchins, you know that a sports event is not the best place to experience the kinder, gentler side of humanity. The shrieking foul-mouthed drunks, the beer showers, and the melees can make a day at the park feel like a visit to the bowels of Hell -- and those are just the athletes raising Cain.