I guess this is the last week to take pictures of the Giants Stadium demolition. All that seems to be left are half the spirals and escalators from Gate C and little from Gate D. I went over on Monday June 28th and today July 1st. There was only one section remaining Monday in front of gate C. Funny how my seats were right in that section too, Section 226. As soon as you went up the Mezzanine escalators it was to the slight right. Took the Section 226/227 entrance to get to Row 8, Seats 7 and 8. Kind of a strange feeling knowing the section I was in was the last section to go. Yes the seats and floors were taken out but the structure was there.
My father Gerald Levy passed in August of 2002. He died at the age of 67 from complications related to smoking, emphysema. Eventually, an aortic aneurysm got him. He may have done better if he was n better health. That is why I hate to see people my age, kids, or anyone for that matter smoking. I know what it can do to someone. It may take pressure off, relax you, but it can also shorten your life. If you are a mother or a father just know what you are doing to your kids. May tell me to F off but I know first hand what smoking can do to someone. I was my father’s caretaker in the end. I did not live with him. But I took him to the doctor’s, hospital, dealt with the doctor’s, his prescriptions, and more. He carried a small oxygen tank with him towards the end. He died two months after I was married. He carried the oxygen tank with him as he and my mother Susan brought me down the aisle.
It is hard not to think about going to games at Giants Stadium without thinking about my father. It has been close to eight years and it still feels like yesterday. I do not think I am over his loss still. I was not prepared for him to go yet. I still have a lot of things I want to talk to him about. As I write this I am fighting the urge to cry. It pains me and makes me so upset to think of his death. I was so not ready to let him go. I miss him so much. I may not get along with my mother all the time but I want her to be around for as long as possible. I can’t fight the tears. Even grown men have to cry now and then, it cleanses the soul.
So many of us have memories of going to any sporting events with our father, or mother depending on your situation. My brother and I split games to go to with my dad every season. We always fought over the Miami Dolphins game, New England Patriots was second. When my brother Ean started driving then he and I would go to games. When I wrestled as a kid in independent tournaments, it was my dad who drove me to them and did what he could coaching from the edge of the mat. He may not have known very much, but it was that encouragement that made me want to keep entering them. It was time like that that made our relationship special. Going to the football games was the same really. Talking about the players, hearing him try to coach all the way up in our section. Every game I would get a new banner to put up on my wall. Tried to collect all the teams.
I am dedicating my documentary to his memory. Without him, the Jets would never have been the only team I have truly loved to watch. Al Toon will always remain my all time favorite player. Took me until high school to get his 88 jersey. I always think of the games we went to. Every time I have gone back to take pictures of Giants Stadium I think of him. I know he would love every second of what I am doing now. He would have been in the car with me several times when I was up and close. He would have tried to talk to the Skanska guys if he was there to get me out of trouble. He would have BS’d for me, he was good at that. He would have taken the heat or anything else to get the situation resolved. Then would would laugh about it in the car after we left.
I have a couple shirts from Belmar, NJ, where my dad was from. I wore them a lot when I would go over to the stadium. My mom is from Queen’s NY. No shirts from there. They met on Fire Island. My brother and I have joked and said the bar must have been dark. That is our family’s sense of humor. When they were married, my father had both New York Jets and New York Rangers season tickets. He was going to keep only one set and asked my mother which ones he should keep He was trying to be fair. My mother says she was a hockey fan and wanted the Rangers tickets. He Kept the Jets tickets instead. One decision I stand behind to this day.
Many of us had the parental figure or are that figure to someone we went to our early games with. In football, the memories stand out if you are a season ticket holder . There are only eight games, 10 with preseason. Easier to remember specific memories to me. Every game was an adventure. We didn’t tailgate but there was the drive from Parsippany I can remember. When an ADP was where Clifton Commons on Route 3 in Clifton is now was standing, traffic was always back to there. I can recall a car of about five guys parking out from by these huge bushes. The place was feet from Route 3. All five in less than a minute were out of the car and self watering the bushes. Hoses attached. We never laughed so hard and anything before. My brother was there too, we went to the 1985 AFC Wild Card game against the Patriots that day.
My father was a great friend to me. We had those father/son moments that I remember like they were yesterday. I do have memories about my mother too. One’s from summer camp, trips to NYC, Holidays, and countless other memorable moments. But those football games was male bonding, a sacred ground to guys. Guess when I saw a piece of the stadium come down each time more memories came back and got harder to see it go. Anyone can pick their own stadium that brings back memories for them. My father and I shared Giants Stadium. Seeing it go just just brings back memories of my dad.
Below are what remains of the old stadium. Best angles I could get. Glad I had the times I did with my dad there. Made being a New York Jets fan that much better. Something we shared for a long time. With everything the team has gone through after he passed it would have made for great conversation. Glad I have those memories to look back on. Going to seem weird to not see anything of the old stadium remaining. Have some great first time and last times memories there. See if I get some in the new stadium. Not looking forward to paying, even on Stub Hub.