The New York Giants‘ first official day of training camp was yesterday, July 25th. I live in Florida, but am currently on vacation visiting family in New York, so I was able to make it to the opening day of New York Giants training camp.
I was born and raised in New York, but I have been living in Florida for almost ten years now. I always have been and always will be a die-hard New York Giants fan, so it was a really exciting opportunity for me to go to training camp.
This was my first time ever going to the New York Giants’ training camp, and it was fantastic. Rather than breaking down day one of practice today, I’ve decided that I’m going to share what this experience was like for me, a Floridian.
Feeling Giants Pride
There truly is no fan base in the world like Giants Nation. I live about an hour from the Miami Dolphins’ training camp, so I went to one practice last summer. Let me tell you, the fan representation was nothing compared to that of New York’s.
The line to get into the New York Giants’ training camp went out through the entire parking lot. It moved quickly, but I was still in line for about half an hour. Believe it or not, I showed up an hour early and the line was already that long.
Once I got inside the practice, I made my way to an already packed seating area and sat down to watch the Gmen get to work. Throughout the practice, Giants fans were loud and energetic and so excited to see their team back in action.
Giants fans received some unwarranted criticism last week from Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. Mayfield subliminally said that Giants fans don’t show up to games, don’t care about the team, and don’t pack the stadium. This couldn’t be further from the truth. This was not a game, it was training camp, and it was absolutely packed with fans happy to be there and full of care.
When Daniel Jones made a completion, you heard fans cheer like it was a touchdown pass on Sundays. When Lorenzo Carter made an incredible interception on a screen pass, Giants fans broke out into chants. As Saquon Barkley warmed up on the sideline, all you could hear was M-V-P chants for the best running back in the NFL.
Giants fans care. They care a lot. If you think any different, you are wrong. The Giants may not be one of the best teams in the league right now, but Giants Nation always has been and always will be absolutely filled with Giants Pride.
It Can Be Difficult To Interact With The Players
The players truly care about and appreciate all of the fans. The players are happy to wave at the fans and sign autographs. Unfortunately, the Quest Diagnostics Training Center does not make it too easy to do this.
This is the one area I would have to say that Miami does better than New York. Miami’s training camp allows you to get right up to the action with only one fence in the way. It gives fans the opportunity to chat with players and take selfies before and after practice. I was under the impression that New York would have a similar setup, but they, unfortunately, did not.
New York has the same type of single fence/gate around the practice field. But on top of that, they have a second set of fencing making it impossible for fans to get close enough to the players for a selfie. If you want to meet the players, you have to bring along a kid and head to the autograph zone.
They have an autograph zone in Miami, too, but not every player chose to go there or inside. Many of the players walked around the fencing and conversed with the fans. I wish that the Giants had the same opportunity, but the way that Quest Diagnostics is set up takes that opportunity away from the fans.
The Players Are Very Friendly
When you can finally manage to get near the players, they are so friendly. They are more than willing to sign autographs for every fan in the section. I managed to get into the autograph zone and meet multiple players who were all so appreciative of the fans.
Eli Manning must’ve signed 500 autographs today. He is a true class act. This is his 16th season in the league and he still takes the time to make sure every young fan has gotten his signature. Gotta love Eli.
His future successor, Daniel Jones, has continued to basically be a second-coming of Eli Manning. Daniel went through and signed autographs for every fan in the autograph section. He also took some time to chit chat with select fans and take pictures with whoever asked.
I was able to get a picture with Daniel Jones who was super kind and more than willing:
Overall, I had a great time at Giants’ training camp. It was a real treat for me, being that I live in Florida and only get to see the Giants every so often when they play in Tampa or Miami (luckily, they will be in Tampa this year, so I actually will get to see them again). It was great being surrounded by Giants fans and collectively watching our team sharpen iron with iron.
The team had a solid day of practice on both sides of the ball. I’m so happy that football is back and I can’t wait to watch Big Blue in action this season! Go, Giants!