Jared Lorenzen, back-up, rookie quarterback for the New York Giants, is at 288 pounds probably the heaviest NFL quarterback ever (Berger's eyes).Waiting list for season tickets: Jets - 10 years; Giants - 30 years (Berger's observation)."Why those football statistics and not my usual jokes?" you appropriately ask. Well, readers, I am very excited that my long wait for the 2004 Giants football season is over. So excited, in fact, that I forgot that I am a humorous columnist and not a statistical one. But there is an upside to my "remissness." By memorizing these stats, readers, you will expand your football horizon, get a better job, win the lottery and live happily ever after.Be that as it may, I am tickled blue and red (the team colors) that the Giants' regular season finally opens on Sept. 12. As everyone who reads my column knows, I am a fanatic Giants football rooter. I was one since infancy. Let me throw you another stat - I have attended every home game the Giants have played at Yankee Stadium, Yale Bowl, Princeton's Palmer Stadium, Shea Stadium and Giants Stadium since 1958, except for two games.For one, I missed seeing the Giants-Ravens Super Bowl Game on Jan. 25, 2001. As soon as we arrived in Tampa for the game, we were called home because our beloved nephew, Jeffrey, passed away that very day. The other "missed seeing" game is explained below.Every year since forever, the dates on my calendar on football Sunday have been crossed off with blue and red lettering signifying "Giants." And as a rule, not a thing, nothing, nada in the world would prevent me from attending a game or watching one on television. As a young man, I would never date a girl unless she could recite the entire Giants' roster by name, position and number and the score of the last Giants' two games. I held on to this requirement until I met Gloria.Now, Gloria was not a typical date. I liked her, but she knew zilch about the Giants, nor did she care to learn. I was ready to cross her off my dating list when my mother stepped in. "Alex Berger," Mama said (she always called me "Alex Berger" when she wanted to have a mother-to-man talk with me). "Gloria is a very nice girl and I hope you will continue to see her.""But, 'Mom Berger' (I always called her that when I disagreed with her), Gloria knows absolutely nothing about the Giants.""You can teach her.""Hmm. 'M. B.' is right. I could teach her," I said to myself, and five months later Gloria and I were married. However, I never knew that teaching her would be so difficult.During the first month of our marriage I learned that Gloria's girlfriend was getting married on the same day as the Giants-Cleveland game (I can't imagine anyone scheduling a wedding during a Giants' game) and my new bride said that we were going to the wedding. I suddenly became disjointed, shocked and fell into a state of dismay at this jarring news. And, furthermore, I didn't feel too good, either.Nonetheless, I immediately regained my composure, stood tall, rigid and inflexible and looked her straight in the eye. "Gloria," I firmly said, "there is nothing more important to me this Sunday than watching the Giants play the Cleveland Browns. It isn't every day that I can watch their great running back, Jim Brown, play. I simply, positively and absolutely refuse to trade the Giants game for Sandy and Mike's wedding. They can get married without us."To this day I regret not seeing Jim Brown who scored three touchdowns. Grr!Two years later, we had sons. As they grew older, Gloria slowly but surely began to see the light. The boys loved the Giants, just as I do, and they enjoyed going to the games with me. Gloria knew that she either had to join us or forever sit alone on Football Sundays. Happily and faithfully, she did just that and has looked forward to football season ever since.At her first Giants' football game, shivering Gloria was sitting in the stands with the screaming maniacs (like me) around her. "Tell me again how much fun we are having," she said to me. "I keep forgetting."At another game, I went to the men's room and when I returned I asked Gloria the score. "It's now 13 to 10," she said. "Who is winning?" I asked. "The 13."Midway through another football season, Gloria failed to hear the alarm clock's ring on a Sunday, game-day, morning. I went in to wake her up. "Wake up, dear, it is 20 to seven.""In favor of whom?" was her sleepy reply.However, the boys and I trained her well, so well that she often offers suggestions for the team. She once said, "I have a test the Giants can use to test their rookies. I will take them down to Macy's during the January sales and if they can fight their way through the ladies spring dresses counter, they're in."Good advice.Our boys have since married, but they still follow the fortunes of the Giants (Vance in Rockville, Md. and Jon in Princeton, N.J., as the director of statistical operations for the Giants), leaving Gloria and I alone, still wearing our Giants colors proudly at all the Giants' games. Gloria knows all the players' names, numbers and positions and has become as great a fan as I. She has become a perfect "Giants" wife. This season we predict the Giants will go to the Super Bowl. Trust us.Reach columnist Alex Berger at email@example.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 140.
©2004 Community News Group
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