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In The News


Giant Journey

Category: RV News
Source: New York Post
Publish Date: Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Summary: On the road with four Giant fans, RVing our way to Super Bowl XLII just outside Phoenix.

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January 31, 2008 -- BIG BLUE HIGHWAY - The road to the Super Bowl is long. Tom Coughlin and his Giants know that, but I'm finding out just how long, inch by inch ... all 2,456 miles. I'm on the road with four Giant fans, RVing our way to Super Bowl XLII just outside Phoenix.

This is the ultimate trip for Giants fans, but no matter the final score, there is always final victory at the tailgate.

"Why am I doing this?" John Vingara, a 45-year-old schoolteacher says as he steps into his luxurious rented El Monte RV yesterday at Giants Stadium. "Because this is a trip of a lifetime."

Imagine how excited John and his buddies, the men known as the Big Blue BBQ, would be if they actually had tickets to the game. But nothing is going to stop Vingara; Greg Scharfstein, 32; Dave Nyikes, 37; and Fred Torlish, 42.

This isn't about sitting in the stands and watching grown men play a game. This is about living the Super Bowl experience with true-blue Giants fans. These are regular working guys, Giants Stadium barbecue buddies, who are taking a timeout in their busy lives to live a little.

This is a Giant journey of a lifetime. Along the way we'll be channeling Charles Kuralt as we cross America. Instead of "Travels with Charley," this is "Travels with Giant Fans." For those of you old enough to remember the TV show "Then Came Bronson," welcome to "Then Came Giants Fans." Big, hungry Giants fans. The short ribs are marinating.

Motorcycle riding Michael Parks (Bronson) said he was going nowhere special. "Wherever I end up," was his motto. Wherever I end up is sure to be alongside some great food. Did I mention that Vingara is a chef? He teaches culinary arts at Somerset County Vocational and Technical High in Jersey.

Here's how John Steinbeck described the art of traveling across America in his little camper: "One goes not to see, but to tell afterward."

There will be stories to tell on this road less traveled, pictures to take and blogs to write. Most people fly to the Super Bowl, I'm driving my own El Monte RV, a roomy 26-footer. It would be easy to hitch a ride, but I want to fully understand the experience as we eventually will gather with hundreds of RVs from around the NFL in Phoenix. All the amenities of home are at my disposal - including the kitchen sink, a shower, a comfortable bed, and, of course, a range and microwave. No Super-gouging hotel rooms for me.

I didn't have to pack my toothpaste in a clear plastic bag. I even took a nail-clipper and scissors. And best of all, I don't have to take off my belt or shoes unless I want to, since I'm not doing the total NFL reporting thing like my Post colleagues. I don't have to be herded onto a crowded media bus at the break of dawn for the pleasure of standing 20 deep to try to hear what Eli ManningEli Manning has to say about his breakfast.

Our convoy is headed to Tailgate Taj Mahal, SuperGate '08. One person we will link up with has a 52-inch flat screen TV, one of four TVs on his rig. For now, though, as your work week continues and you point to Sunday and your own Super Bowl party, and as we continue to barrel down the blacktop, I have the same advice for you that Bronson had for the frazzled inquisitive driver at the top of the show each week, the fellow who would tell the free-wheeling Bronson: "Pal, I wish I was you."

Well, hang in there.

Sunday will be here before you know it.

kevin.kernan@nypost.com


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