This is for youse knuckle-dragging, nose-picking, mismatched-socks-wearin’,couldn’t-win-a-battle-of-wits-with-a-Pepsi-machine Patriots [team stats] fans who are spitting up your Doritos over Steve DeOssie’s over-the-top passion for the New York Giants: You’ve
become the laughingstock of sporting America.
We’re not talking about all Pats fans. Just the crayon crowd that’s lathered up because DeOssie, a Boston native who gets paid to talk about the Patriots on television and radio, did the sis-boom-bah the other day at a rally celebrating the Giants’ 21-17 victory over New England in Super Bowl XLVI.
Never mind that DeOssie, a onetime linebacker and long-snapper, played four-and-a-half of his 13 NFL seasons with the Giants, or that he was a member of the team’s 20-19 victory over Buffalo in Super Bowl XXV.
(Or that his own son, Zak, plays for the Giants.)
He’s one of us. He rooted for the Giants. Villain!
“I have great respect for the Patriots, for the Kraft family and for coach (Bill) Belichick, but I will forever be indebted to the Giants for getting me the help I needed when I had drug issues,” DeOssie said yesterday.
“That was 21 years ago, and I haven’t touched a drug since. They could have sent me packing. Without that, there’s a possibility I’m not even alive.
“They’re family to me,” he said. “That’s the way I’ll always feel about the Giants, whether my son is there or not. But that he does play for them, that’s a bonus.”
What some people can’t comprehend is the simple reality that professional athletes often form a lifelong bond with the team that made them. It’s why Medford’s Mike Pagliarulo will always root for the hated New York Yankees, and, yep, it’s why West Roxbury’s Chris “Knuckles” Nilan will always root for the hated Montreal Canadiens.
“Listen, I grew up a Bruins [team stats] fan and lived and died with them,” Nilan said yesterday. “But I got drafted by the Canadiens and ended up playing for a team that shows a lot of class and has a lot of tradition. The good things in my career happened with the Canadiens, including a chance to play on a Stanley Cup winner.”
The parallel with DeOssie is even more striking when one takes into account that Nilan, too, has had his share of well-documented substance-abuse issues. In his case, it was booze. He says he’s been cleaned up for a year now, and, guess what, he credits the Canadiens for helping him out. He’s now doing a sports talk show for a Montreal radio station.
“If people don’t like me because I like the Montreal Canadiens, do you know what they can do?” Nilan said. “It doesn’t bother me. And I feel bad for the situation (DeOssie) is in, but he’s a big man with broad shoulders. He can handle himself.”
Nilan’s going to take some heat for that from the brave posting warriors in our audience, but he happens to be right about this one.
Lay off DeOssie, folks. It’s embarrassing. The Pats lost. Get over it.Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1402296