I’ve already introduced you to my oasis, my place of R&R, my home away from home—my STRAYLAND — which is where I keep the really important tangible things I have close to remind me of how hard I’ve worked to get to the wonderful place I’m in today. Strayland holds all of my football memorabilia—and there’s a lot of it. I love thinking back on my career with the Giants and I’m going to start here and now with one of my favorite “conversation pieces”: the pair of seats I was given when the original Giants Stadium was torn down.
Looking at those seats always takes me back to looking up into the stands on practice days. When we would run our drills in the empty stadium, you would see an endless sea of red seats and realize just how huge the place was. Then, Sunday would roll around, and all of the people would file in and fill up every last spot. The emotion of what we were doing would hit me then, witnessing the intensity of the fandom, of the number of people coming to watch you do what you love. Having those seats in my possession now always reminds me of how many people invested in me as a player, how much they invested in our team, and the excitement of playing the great sport of football. And knowing that the old stadium’s gone, but not forgotten because I get to keep a little piece of it here with me is pretty special.
The seats also remind me of the chants—all the things the fans would call down at us on the field. Of course, there was the traditional, “De-fense! De-fense!” and the one the fans do for the Yankees, where they take a player and say his name: “Mi-chael Stra-han.” And then there was one time when we played The Jets. We shared a stadium with them and it was considered their home game, so the place was stocked with Jets fans from top to bottom row. And they started chanting, “Orth-o-dontist.” At me. And I have to say, it was funny. That was the one that always made make me laugh the most.