Top 10 Day of My Life

Today was one of the best days of my life. I got to meet and interview my favorite athlete of all time, Eli Manning. Surreal is putting it mildly.

I’ve never felt more of an emotional connection to an athlete than Eli, and I never really thought about why until this weekend when I was writing an introduction for him.

I am a lifelong die-hard Giants and Knicks fan. Over the last twenty years, I might have missed a handful of Giants games due to things that were out of my control. The Knicks have been a joke for a long time, but I never stopped watching. Even during the Isiah years. Literally countless hours of my life spent with teams that “I’m not on” is how some non-fans would view it.

Sometimes I envy non-fans who have all this time to do other things. When you add in the fact that there’s very little joy in watching, you start to wonder what the hell you’re doing wasting all of this time. Being a sports fan is nothing but disappointment, sometimes gut punches, punctuated by brief periods of euphoria, if you’re very lucky.

I haven’t had that euphoric feeling yet with the Knicks, but I’ve had it twice with the Giants, and one of those times I really needed it. 2011 was the worst year of my life. I had no job or anything remotely resembling an opportunity. That summer my mom passed after a long battle with cancer. I was beyond lost. The Giants winning the Super Bowl that season gave me something that’s hard to put into words. And Eli was at the center of it. So yeah, I get emotional about the guy.

I cried my face off after I wrote the intro. Just the culmination of everything I’ve been through, and to be able to have this opportunity, it’s a dream come true. I walked downstairs yesterday to my wife looking at me like, “Now why are you crying?” (I cry pretty often, so she might not have been as shocked as you’re thinking).

I was fully prepared to wipe the tears off my face in front of Eli, but for whatever reason, maybe adrenaline, I was able to keep it together.

I had so much fun recording this. I’m still on cloud nine. Ladies and gentleman, Eli Manning.

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