I. Indignities

Depending on how one looks at it, there’s either a lot or not very much I can say about this game. The problem – and by “problem” I mean “defense” – has been pretty well documented in the papers the past couple days.

I’ll get to all that, but first, I want to share with you some observations from my depressing-ass day at Giants Stadium. I’ve been to the past three Giants home games; Sunday was my third consecutive dismal trip to the swamp.

Between the Eagles game last year (best remembered for the Trent Cole pick-six, and which should have been the coup de grace on our season if the NFC wasn’t such a complete mockery), the Saints game (um… which should have been the coup de grace on our season if the NFC wasn’t such a complete mockery), and this Packers game, it’s hard to say which was the worst: it’s like comparing slavery, the holocaust and Darfur: Each was uniquely awful in its own way.

An aggravating circumstance this past Sunday was the outrageous parking situation. Basically, because of the Xanadu complex and the groundbreaking for the new stadium, parking is scarce and only available to those with passes. Having gotten our tickets from Craigslist, my friend Wong and I didn’t have a pass, so we were directed out of the parking lot and handed a budget little xeroxed map that was supposed to lead us to supplementary parking.

I’m not sure if 1) the supplementary parking simply didn’t exist; or 2) the map was too unintelligible to make much sense of – it was basically a map of all the highways surrounding the Meadowlands with a confusing set of directions and no real destination – but after a frustrating and nerve-wracking 20 minutes of driving around, Wong and I spotted some people in Giants jerseys walking like refugees on the side of Route 120.

We passed by a hotel parking lot and saw a bunch of jersey-clad people get out of the car, so we came to the conclusion that no, there was no designated parking lot, but was rather an everybody-fending-for-themselves situation in parking lots of various roadside establishments.

A couple-hundred feet later, Wong and I spotted a Bank of America, and though there were no spots in the lot-proper, there was a little unused area adjacent to the parking lot – weedy grass, tire fragments, broken bottles – where other cars were parked, so we figured it was probably ok. We parked, contemplated how far away we were from the stadium, and hoped we wouldn’t get towed.

And then we walked. On the side of a highway, single-file through the contaminated New Jersey roadside grass, with cars whizzing by us, for around 25 minutes, we walked. At least there were other people walking with us to let us know that we were in the right place, and at least we got to the game on time, but the whole episode was the first of many indignities we Giants fans had to swallow. It sucked.

So, along with a lot of other shit, this organization needs to address the parking situation.


II. The Meadowlands Crowd is Dead

When I was a kid, I fell in love with this image of the Meadowlands as this cold, raw, raucous joint, the quintessential tough-place-to-play. But last Sunday, even before the game got out of hand, the place was completely dead, as it has been on many other of my trips to the Meadowlands.

It was a strangely laid-back, apathetic atmosphere, as if was inappropriate to get rowdy for a 1 o’clock game, and the game itself was secondary to enjoying a calm, sunny Sunday. Whatever a “college atmosphere” is, Giants Stadium on Sunday was the opposite of that.

And that’s when things were going well. After the Driver touchdown following Bradshaw’s fumble, the place rapidly and silently cleared out. By the end of the game, there were probably more Packer fans than Giant fans – when DeShawn Wynn scored his second touchdown with 4:22 remaining, the pro-Pack crowd produced a disturbingly loud roar. We were 0-2 and the Packer fans had taken over our place.