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Giant Party!

Category: RV News
Source: New York Post
Publish Date: Monday, February 4, 2008
Summary: Super ending for local tailgaters.

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GLENDALE, Ariz. - For New York fans here in the desert this truly was a Giants Journey of a Lifetime.

"Unbelievable," yelled Mike Brachlow of Harrison at SuperGate08 after the biggest Super bowl upset of them all, the GiantsNew York Giants 17-14 victory over the Patriots last night in Super Bowl XLII. "How good is Archie Manning feeling now. Peyton wins one Super Bowl and Eli wins the next."

There were hugs and cheers and high-fives all around at the biggest Super Bowl tailgate party, including all the Raiders Nation superfans here that were pulling for the Giants.

"New York, New York, New York," screamed Don Schuck, of Yorktown. "This team stuck together until the end and got it done."

This was not your father's tailgate. Not with 52-inch flat-screen TVs, food that would make Emeril envious and all kinds of specialty drinks, including Dallas chef and ex-New Yorker Bart Beaudry's margarita machine, churning up a good time.

"New York can bounce back from anything," Beaudry said.

Meanwhile, the boys from Green Bay grilled up a batch of venison sausage; Raiders Nation rolled out another feast with prawns the size of footballs and a jamming jambalaya was served by Washington wizard, Pat Murphy.

On Saturday night I judged a cook-off between these Super cooking teams. All the dishes were winners with Raiders Nation taking top prize.

Giants fans were out in force at SuperGate08 all weekend.

One group offering toasts four hours before the game included baseball power brokers Sam and Seth Levinson, whose client list includes David Wright. The Levinsons were decked out in Giant blue. Their family has had Giants season tickets for generations. This is their time to be regular fans and not have to worry about the business of sports.

"We did not invite David Wright," Seth said with a smile, "because they were blown out the two games he came to at Giants Stadium."

The Giants are the greatest of road warriors and so are their fans. After making like Plaxico BurressPlaxico Burress by catching long passes from his dad, Seth's 12-year-old son Zack sounded like Burress, telling me that for the Patriots, "It's time to go 18-1."

And that's exactly what happened.

The Big Blue BBQ, who made the monster trek from Giants Stadium in an El Monte RV here just like I did, managed to score tickets yesterday afternoon, making their journey complete.

"This was a trip of a lifetime," proclaimed John Vingara.

Greg Scharfstein, 32, said this journey was special in many ways. Scharfstein is an EMT in West Orange, N.J. and responded to 9-11, beginning with that first dreadful day. It has taken years to get over the emotional impact of that terrible time. This journey has helped.

"After going through two years of therapy and depression and stuff, for the first time in a long time, I'm happy," said Scharfstein, who co-owns a small glass company called Cutting Edge Glass. "Through that whole time I still worked and volunteered for the ambulance company and everybody in my family was supportive, but being out here and tailgating makes me happy. It's something I look forward to beginning on every Tuesday."

In a way, he said, he has found some closure regarding his 9-11 experience and for that he is grateful. His company recently completed a 9-11 glass memorial for the town of Westfield, N.J. "It's 14-feet tall and has all 3,009 names etched on it," Scharfstein said. "It was an honor to be able to make the memorial."

Yes, this is just a football game and a big blacktop party but in many ways this is about living life to the fullest. Fans from all walks of life bonded on the blacktop. This became a community of fans. This was a celebration. Across the blacktop, the Boys from Green Bay, Todd Davis and Steve Muck were telling Giants fans to make sure they thank them for this Super experience, considering the road went directly through Lambeau Field.

Muck always offers up a saying of the day. "People who live in glass houses," he said, "make the most interesting neighbors."

At this Giant party there were interesting neighbors everywhere.

kevin.kernan@nypost.com


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