This Giants fan made a life-long commitment to his team

02/03/2012 9:00 AM |

GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Mike Giangreco poses with his son Dominick, 6, and daughter Sophia, 2, at their Shoreham home.

A blue Eli Manning No. 10 jersey drapes Mike Giangreco’s chair in his East Wind office. An old-school New York Giants Starter jacket hangs behind him, and a miniature blue football rests on a counter.

One of his most prized possessions hugs the corner of his desk — a Manning autographed Giants helmet, with “SB XLII MVP” inscribed below his signature.

But Mr. Giangreco’s devotion to his favorite team goes well beyond jerseys and memorabilia.

COURTESY PHOTO | Mike Giangreco is anxious to add to his new Giants tattoo

After New York’s NFC Championship victory over San Francisco last month, Mr. Giangreco, 35, made the lifelong commitment to his beloved team with an “NY” Giants logo tattooed on his right bicep. Above the logo are Roman numerals for the Giants’ first two Super Bowl victories and “XLII” is inked below it to commemorate their most recent championship in 2008.

Only one number remains missing to complete the tattoo: XLVI.

If Sunday’s Super Bowl rematch against New England ends in another Giants victory, he’ll be back in the tattoo parlor next week.

“I already got my appointment made,” said Mr. Giangreco, who lives in Shoreham with his wife, Christine, and children, Dominick, 6, and Sophia, 2.

A lifelong Giants fan who grew up during the heyday of linebacker Lawrence Taylor, Mr. Giangreco first thought about a Giants tattoo after their 2008 Super Bowl victory.

“This year I said to my wife, ‘If they win the [NFC] championship game, I’m going down and getting it,’” he said. “They won, Tuesday came along, I was off and I just went down and got it done.”

It took two hours at Top Hat Tattoo in Rocky Point to have it completed.

Football Sundays have become a family tradition in the Giangreco house. They’ve hosted parties for the past four weeks, a tradition they’ll continue this weekend for the Super Bowl.

They decorate the house with Giants gear the way most people decorate for Christmas. Outside their house two huge inflatable Giants players occupy the front lawn. One is nearly eight feet tall and features a Giants player standing straight, wearing an away-jersey with both arms outstretched. The other features a player in a blue home-jersey crouched in a three-point stance.

Ms. Giangreco prepares the food, which for the NFC Championship game included pulled pork sandwiches, a hero, wings and plenty of drinks.

Even the kids get dressed up in Giants apparel.

“They go crazy, too,” Mr. Giangreco said. “They look at me funny sometimes when I’m yelling at the TV.”

Like many fans, he has plenty of superstitions. He has footballs he holds throughout each game. Everyone who attended during the playoffs so far is expected to wear the same apparel for the Super Bowl.

At one point when the Giants were losing during the 49ers game, Mr. Giangreco got reprimanded for wearing a Giants key chain around his neck.

He had never worn it before.

“I took it off then the last four minutes they pulled it out,” he said. “You got to do the same routine.”

The Giants tattoo isn’t his first. On his left forearm he has the words “Never give up” inked, a message that fits well with his Giants, who were in danger of missing the playoffs after a four-game losing skid late in the season.

“With anything you do, not just with sports but in life, keep trying until you get it done,” he said.

Mr. Giangreco has spent the last 12 years working at East Wind, where he’s director of sales. Most of his co-workers are Giants fans as well, one lonely Jets fan notwithstanding.

When he meets with clients, they’re often surprised to see a sports-enthused environment; he’s also a big Mets fan and has a pair of Shea Stadium seats on display.

“Being in sales, that’s something that helps me click with people,” he said. “I meet people here every day and it’s usually young brides and grooms. The grooms are usually surprised when they come here. We get into it and it helps.”

When it comes to Sunday’s game, Mr. Giangreco has all the confidence in the world Big Blue will be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

“We’re going to crush them,” he said. “I’m thinking 21-7 Giants. Our defense is much better than theirs.”

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