Giants/Cowboys with IAVA & Abboud
As if Veteran’s week couldn’t get any better, we were asked to join Joseph Abboud in their suite for the giants v. the Cowboys.
We showed up to IAVA HQ in NYC and were shuttled by Escalades to the Meadowlands. (Ride like a baller to a sporting event, check that off my life list.) We hit the Meadowlands around noon and walked to our tailgate. At first we all thought we might be list because there was black tie security, a double-decker limo bus, a step and repeat, and other craziness. We met with Kelly from Abboud and she assured us we were in the right place. I would like to deem that portion of the stadium parking lot heaven if I may. Full bar, full catered spread, unbelievable sports memorabilia for raffle, and to top it all off, a guy hand rolling cigars. DEAD! Have you ever even heard of such a things?!!? Neither have I, but I witnessed it and of course I partook.
The tailgate was put on by “Tailgate for a Cause” and this year’s beneficiary was Autism Speaks. We played kickballfor Autism Speaks so this was another great tie in to the charities our friends support. The whole IAVA crew was stunned at the presentation laid before us. We laughed and stuffed chicken wings down our throats and repeated the phrase, “can you believe this?” over and over.
245 rolls around and we are hustled over to the stadium so that we can get on the field. ON THE FIELD! Yes, on the field for pre-game. Our whole crew stepped out onto the green carpet and immediately everyone’s faced lit up. It could have been the beers, but I’m pretty sure it was like Christmas for all of us. Looking up into that brand new monstrosity of a stadium and getting tobriefly feel what these players feel each week was awe-inspiring. We took pics to prove we were there, shared amused glances and cheesy smiles and I even stuck my face in the Instant Replay booth. I mean, really. When would I ever get the chance to do that again? That wasnt even the craziest part. They happened to play the “Dougie” for warm ups. As I nodded my head, a random man challenged me by saying I didn’t know the dance. I immediately obliged and placed shame on his family. Brandon Jacobs, that beast of a running back the Giants have, even jumped in behind me to show I was doing it right. (Do the “Dougie” on the field in Giants Stadium, check that off my life list) Up to the Abboud suite for the game where we were treated to a fully catered spread and some beverages. Watching a football game like this is really the only way to do it besides being on the field. What an experience? We all laughed again at where we were and what we were privy too, then celebrated as they streamed in some Marines from Afghanistan! The patriotism flowed throughout the stadium and it was yet another unbelievable experience supplied by IAVA.
I know I probably sound like I preach, but believe me this is not the case. It’s the first time since I separated from the military where I feel like I just belong. Like I amaccepted for my dougie-ing, my lack of karaoke skills, my service, for just being me. I know my friends accept me, but this is just different. It’s a vibe unlike I have had in years and that is why I am so ecstatic about having this as part of my life. We (Giants) lost that night, but the awesomeness of IAVA and the veterans in attendance and watching from all over the globe caused a blackout. That’s what military folk bring to the table when we put our minds to it…freak blackouts in new stadiums.