Posts

Tailgate 4 The TriState To Raise Funds For Hurricane Sandy Relief Before Jets & Giants Games

Last Monday was the worst hurricane or “superstorm” to be seen by the east coast.  New Jersey’s shore line devastated.  Fires rage in New York City boros and burn homes to the ground.  Manhattan darkened.  Possessions lost, homes destroyed, and lives changed forever.

A recovery and clean up seems eternal.  Gas lines may be getting shorter but so are people’s patience.  Power has yet to be restored in many locations while families suffering their worst heart break have yet to receive help of any kind.

My family has roots in Belmar, NJ.  One of the shore towns hit hard by Sandy.  My grandparents ran Levy’s Bakery on F Street for many years.  My Aunt Norma and Uncle Herbie lived down there until the mid 90’s.

I practically grew up in Belmar.  I can remember not just being on the beach and enjoying the ocean, but the holidays with family, spending hours upon hours at Rooftop Golf and Arcade, Zelbe’s, Siderhoff’s hot dogs, Klein’s, Djai’s, Bar A, and so much more of my life happened in Belmar.

Sandy removed the entire boardwalk and dropped it off three blocks from the beach.  A town devastated along with many communities that seek assistance in rebuilding the Jersey shore.

Like many Jersey natives my heart sank lower and lower watching the destruction.  Not just here in New Jersey, but Staten Island, Long Island, and every area in new York ravaged by Sandy.

I felt the need to do something.  I am not sure what exactly, but I wanted to do something for those that had their lives disrupted and still looking for the pieces to get it back together.

So many individuals, companies, Government groups, and so many more are doing what they can to raise funds and material items for those displaced by Hurricane Sandy.  I did not want to carbon copy anyone and wanted an effort to be fun and unique while supporting a great cause.

I thought about the Jets fans I had met while filming my documentary about the Jets and their fans.  Here you have thousands upon thousands already in one location and many would be willing to support a great cause.

But why just limit it to the Jets?

Giants fans are very passionate and dedicated.  They bleed red and blue as much as a Jets fan bleeds green.  So extending an opportunity to donate to a cause that affected us all seemed only natural.

But the catalyst.  The concept to bring it all together to make it a worthy event where fans could give their time and donate to Hurricane Sandy relief.  Then it hit me.

Tailgating!

Every Jets and Giants fan likes to party and celebrate before any game.  Getting friends and family together to throw back some cold ones, grill up our meaty feast, and yell at those fans who wear the jerseys of the opposing team.  Ahh, yes….tailgating!

On behalf of Football Reporters Online, I am organizing Tailgate 4 The Tri-State.  We are looking for any and all New York Jets and Giants tailgaters to support T4T as all proceeds will go to The Mayor’s Fund for NYC Hurricane Relief and the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.

Myself and others not just lost power, but many lost food, belongings, and homes as well.  As New York area fans, we want to provide support for those who need to start over.  That is why we are organizing this relief effort to cover both the Jets and Giants tailgating.

Tailgate 4 The Tri-State will take place Sunday, November 25th at the
Giants/Green Bay Packers game & Sunday, December 2nd at the Jets/Arizona Cardinals game.

It is very easy to participate.  Just do what one normally does before any home game, tailgate!!  Have fun!  Invite friends and family to make it a t rue game worth remembering.  That is 90% of what we would like to accomplish.  There are three options to do your part for Tailgate 4 The TriState:

1-Many tailgating groups charge a fee to be able to partake in their tailgate.  We ask if these tailgate groups could donate a portion of those fees towards the Tailgate 4 The Tri-State effort.

2-A group could also make one lump sum donation from everyone in that tailgate as well.

3-The CELEBRITY APPRENTICE donation.  This is for very few willing to make the kind of donation that speaks volumes.

Many will laugh at Number 3, but you never know how generous someone will be.

The Giants & Jets have already given $500,000eacg for Hurricane Sandy relief.  We as Jets and Giants fans have a chance to show our support and make our contribution.  We have an opportunity to be heard loud and clear.

As of now the Jets tailgate on December 2nd will get loud as Fireman Ed Anzalone is on board with T4T.  Fireman Ed will be offering his time at where we designate the central tailgate to be.

We will designate a flagship tailgating location at both games once we hear back from those wanting to participate.

We just started reaching out to fans, other companies, and former players to get involved with T4T, so updates will be coming.  They can be found on our Facebook page.

When I contacted the Jets on Monday, I added this in my letter:

I am sure you know time is of the utmost importance on this (organizing this project).  I hope the Jets organization would want to support their fans efforts in coordinating a program to raise funds for Sandy relief.  Please contact me with any questions or when a decision is reached.  Thank you for taking the time to consider this for your next home game.

After hearing back from the Jets, they regretfully can not get behind and endorse a cause that is being held on the MetLife Stadium property due to other contractual obligations.

They will be announcing their own efforts where fans can help raise funds during the New England Patriots game on Thanksgiving.  So for our effort during tailgating, we will not have the Jets support. The Jets can only support fans efforts away from MetLife Stadium.

For those Jets or Giants tailgaters looking to have their tailgate participate in Tailgate 4 The Tri-State can e mail us at Tailgate4TriState@gmail.com or visit our Facebook page where there is additional contact information.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Giants Stadium Demolition: Stairway To Heaven

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.

June 28
DSC06100DSC06114

DSC06118DSC06125

July1
DSC06132DSC06141

DSC06150DSC06148