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Fan Encounters With New York Giants

Published by on December 12, 2012 filed under Articles   ·   Comments (0)
Fan Encounters With New York Giants  | read this item


Anthony Giordano, Long Branch, NJ:  “I went to the Super Bowl in February with my son, Anthony (11). On our first night there we stumbled across the Giants’ hotel. We hung out in the lobby and were able to meet a lot of the players and their families such as Cruz, JPP, Kiwanuka, Tollefson, Pascoe, Beckum, Manningham, Amukamara, Jacobs, and some others. It was a thrill for both of us and a great father/son experience. All of the players couldn’t have been any nicer and took a lot of pictures with my son. Memories forever. We also met Rodney Hampton and Amani Toomer who were both cool too.”  

Bobby Czyz, Landing, NJ:  “I have met ten or eleven of  the New York Giants, over the  years…Lawrence Taylor, Sean Landeta, Ottis Anderson, Carl Banks, Billy Ard and more. Lawrence once joked with me that even being considered as one of the best pound-for-pound athletes in the world, he could NEVER do what I did (Bobby is a former world champion professional boxer and SHOWTIME TV commentator). I thought that was an awesome compliment. He brought up Mark Gastineau and Ed Too Tall Jones, former football players that became fighters and didn’t do so well. He said that it took a unique individual to succeed at the sweet science. I thought that was nice of him, to bestow that gracious compliment upon me. All of the Giants that I have ever encountered, at charities, dinners or public functions have been extremely gracious and gentleman. I cannot find a bad word to say about any single one of  them. All of them were class acts.”  

Richard Pagliaro, Mount Kisco, NY:  “As a kid my first job was delivering newspapers. Ray Rhodes was one of my customers. Very nice and polite guy and always tipped, always talked to you. He seemed like a very good guy and I always followed his career after that. Also, my friend was a bartender at Michael’s Tavern in Pleasantville and for years the Giants trained at Pace University in Pleasantville, so they would all come into the bar.  I remember him telling me LT could drink a pitcher – not a glass, a pitcher – of Kamikazees like you would drink a Gatorade or glass of water. LT would party with regular people too – he was very good about hanging and drinking with regular people. My friend Dom used to see him there and then ran into him at the airport once and said LT couldn’t have been nicer to him when he brought up Michael’s and the fact he used to see him there. I used to cover high school wrestling and Eddie Olivieri was a wrestling guy and worked for the Giants so he introduced me to some Giants. I once saw Joe Morris work out and that guy could and did squat more weight than offensive lineman. His neck was thicker than my entire torso, the guy was so strong.”

 Nancy Gill McShea, Queens, NY:  “I coached Dick’s four daughters – Jennifer, Nancy, Rosalie and Cynthia at St. Mary’s High School in Manhasset. They all posted winning records. Throughout his life tennis was a sport the whole Lynch family enjoyed at the local Douglaston Club. Dick was a very fair and nice person.”  

Gail Koskorelos, Fort Lee, NJ:  “I tried to meet Victor Cruz after the Kelly Ripa Show a few months ago when he was promoting his book but he rushed out of the building to a getaway car and left a lot of fans heartbroken who wanted his autograph…or else I would have tried to get a photo with him too, darn!”  

Christian Koskorelos, Fort Lee, NJ:  “I met Phil Simms after the Giants won the Super Bowl. I was in middle school. I got his autographed picture and a football at a car dealership in West New York. It was a long line but he was very nice and friendly.”  

Michael Pinto, Wayne, NJ:  “Once we befriended an ol’ defensive-lineman from West Virgina – Mike Fox- at the Grasshopper Bar. He was in there alone drinking – believe it or not – and we knew he had to be a lineman or ex-lineman from somewhere. So I just went up and started talking with him. We included him in our rounds and then he got a few rounds. Great guy. Think we ran into him twice there. Maybe consecutive weeks.”  

Dan Weil, West Palm Beach, FL:  “I once met Leonard Marshall. Actually I didn’t really meet him. I saw him at a bar/club in New York City sometime in the late ’80s, I think near Columbia University. And I think it was New Year’s Eve. There was no entourage, and he was just dancing around like everyone else. He seemed very nice and very polite.”   

 John Ciappi, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ:  “I was driving my motorcycle with customized Giants blue artwork and player portraits on north on Route 17 and at a red light Tom Coughlin was next to me.  He waved and gave me a thumbs up.”  

Bill Angresano, Bergenfield, NJ:  “I did three caricatures of Giants, I did of Jim Clack, Brad Van Pelt and Brian Kelly. They appeared in the Giants magazine in those days and you can imagine how proud and excited I was at the game when they were beamed up on the scoreboard. I’m also very good friends with the Giants head strength and conditioning coach, Jerry Palmieri, who is a four-time NJ Golden Gloves Champion and along with Scott Frank fought the Russian alternate Olympic team in Europe in the ’80s when they had those exchange team fights. Anyway, Jerry’s a great guy and was awarded the NFL’s highest coach award I believe twice!”  

Jay Horwitz, Fair Lawn, NJ:  “The Joe Pisarcik game. I was sitting in the stands watching the Giants-Eagles game in the 1970s. Joe handed the ball off to Larry Csonka and  fumbled. Herm Edwards picked it up and ran for a touchdown on the play. I broke my left wrist slamming into the seat, my radio and binoculars. It was a moment I will never forget. The only good thing was it was the start of a new era for the Giants.”  

Nick Anzevino, Howell, NJ:  “I met Keith Elias at a financial seminar in Red Bank about five years ago.”  

George Fay, Nyack, NY:  “I used to play tennis with Ron Johnson, a lot. He loves tennis, very competitive and very quick. We played at Argonne Park in Teaneck and also at St. Peters College and Oritani Field Club in Hackensack. We had a lot of fun.”  

Danny Serratelli, Newark, NJ:  “Tiki Barber came to speak a couple times at Newark/political dinner/events with Cory Booker. Mark Bavaro came to speak at my high school in 9th grade. For 9th grade I went to Seton Hall Prep – only year of all boys school. I remember I thought it was cool, even people who didn’t like the Giants liked Bavaro, but I remember the talk he gave was primarily about abortion which I thought was odd at an all boys school.”  

Joe Jackson, Parsippany, NJ:  “I met Ottis Anderson at a concussion awareness seminar.  He was part of a panel of speakers with a world renowned neurosurgeon.  Very large man.  Very nice and clearly had several concussions in his career.”

George R. Axberg III, Wayne, NJ: ”I’ve had dinner and drinks with Jim Burt a lot lately, he works for a partner of mine with CDI in Teterboro, one of the largest and fastest-growing IT companies in New Jersey. Very professional, knows business development, positive, fun to talk to, have a beer with. Back when I was in high school, I served a giant banana split to Phil Simms at Van Dyke’s once on a Friday, planning his kids’ birthday party, and I remember they were crushed by Chicago I think on Sunday. My dad played golf with LT a few times, he never talked football while playing, just golf.”

Dan Lorenzo, Ramsey, NJ:  “My wife and I were lucky enough to attend ‘Taste of the Giants’ twice. At these events you get to hang out with a handful of Giants. We’ve found that almost all the players we met were down to earth and happy to pose for pictures. Well…all except for Brandon Jacobs. Anyway, when we’re home my wife is not a fan of me eating in front of the TV or over the sink or garbage can. I’ve told her repeatedly, ‘That’s what guys do sometimes.’ Thankfully, at one of these events, my wife and I saw Chris Snee eating his food over a garbage can. My wife is a huge Giants fan and I think finds that his habit is less annoying now. Thanks Chris!”  

Matt Yano, Fair Lawn, NJ:  “I met Brandon Jacobs at Randy & Ike’s Boxing Gym in Paterson, great guy, very down to earth, a total class act. He didn’t act like a big shot with a 30+ million dollar contract. He knew boxing and he truly loves the sport. Otherwise you’d never see an athlete of that stature at an inner city boxing gym on a Saturday afternoon during his off season.”  

Mark Sanders, Randolph, NJ:  “Tiki Barber’s agent Mark Lepselter is in the next door office from me. Tiki used to come in here all the time during his playing days. Very nice guy, used to hand out autographed footballs to people in our building.”  

Dan Burke, Monmouth, NJ:  “Two memories: First, LT was holding out on his contract. He didn’t show for training camp. I was at LT ‘s Bar on route 17 on a Saturday night and saw LT out of his mind drunk picking up chicks. The next day was his first game back and he recorded something like three sacks with no camp. Second, I bumped into Harry Carson when my brother lived in the townhouses there. I asked for his autograph which he signed on my résumé – it was the only thing I had-  and I asked for a job. No luck there, but it sure was funny at the time.”  

John Gatling, New York, NY:  “I met Victor Cruz at Tampa International Airport. We’re both originally from New Jersey and we talked about that and our experiences there, and basically about Eli Manning. He was great. Said Eli Manning made him a much better player and that he’s mentally the toughest person he’s ever been around in his life.”  

Drew Murray, West Milford, NJ:  “I was a neighbor of Sam Garnes for a couple of years.  Our daughters were classmates and very good friends.  Sam and I used to attend Rutgers football games when his scheduled permitted.   Watching a football game with Sam was very educational.  His knowledge of the game details was truly impressive.  It was as if he studied both teams playbooks before the game.  Sam is an exceptional person off the gridiron.  He is a devoted and loving father.  He always found time to work with the local children to improve their football skills.  Sam was just another guy from the community and always enjoyed hanging out with his neighbors.”

(Photo By Kat Vintayen)

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