Has the Giants’ Culture Been Restored?


While it is still early in the season, the Giants have to develop their culture to really be successful. (Courtesy of Twitter)

William F. Grant, Contributing Writer

The last two weeks for New York Giants fans have been nothing short of exciting after completing back-to-back second half comeback wins in weeks one and two. Their recent success marks the first time the G-Men have exceeded an above .500 record in the regular season since 2016. Still, one element of their identity which plays a vital role in their amelioration has yet to be revealed: whether or not they possess culture.

Culture is best defined as the shared beliefs, behaviors or social environment connected with a particular aspect of society. Within the realm of sports, each fan base delivers enthusiasm to their beloved cast of characters dependent on the effort their team exerts, and vice versa. When both parties are mutually satisfied in this facet, trust is earned and culture is present.
After New York’s 21-20 win over the Tennessee Titans on opening day, Giants fans came out from their caves of misery to celebrate the highly anticipated kickoff of the Brian Daboll era. The former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator turned Giants head coach has embraced his role in the locker room as a cheerleader, considering the emphatic celebration dance with his new squad after the win. Reflecting on former Giants head coach Joe Judge’s tame demeanor in the locker room throughout the 2021-22 season left players and fans with a bitter taste in their mouths. However, last Sunday’s thrilling victory over the Carolina Panthers coupled with Daboll’s joviality displayed in week one has assured that the coaching staff and the players share a common goal: winning.

For the players on the Giants to maintain this impactful relationship with Daboll, they must deliver over the course of the ensuing weeks. For starting running back Saquon Barkley, this task will be a tough one considering the impressive 317 rushing yards he’s recorded on the season thus far. Through his first three starts, Barkley has totaled over half as many rushing yards then he did throughout 13 games played a season prior. Questions were raised about how Barkely would fare in week three against a stout Dallas Cowboys defense ranked sixth in yards allowed per-game, but he answered the call with 81 yards rushing and a touchdown. Although the Giants came up short on Monday night against Dallas to fall to 2-1, New York was in the game until the very end.

Barkley and Daboll’s remarkable efforts have galvanized a community branded as losers to appear confident in securing a playoff spot. Any time a sudden strike of electricity proves beneficial for a football club, fans romanticize about the success they once experienced when times were different. Prior to last year’s Super Bowl run, the Cincinnati Bengals had failed to win a playoff game since the 1990 postseason. After winning their division and clinching a playoff berth before the conclusion of last year’s season, Cincinnati fans likened the success of Joe Burrow and Jamar Chase to the glory of Boomer Esiason and Mike Barber during their respective dominance. Some 30 years later, superstars returned to Cincinnati and more importantly their sense of identity and culture.

Each and every tormented Bengal fanatic came out to let their team know that culture had been restored. Flashes of Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin in 2007 and 2011’s postseason run in the last two weeks provide a similar glimpse of hope for the Giants. The last six seasons left Big Blue adherents open to the idea of hopping on the Bill’s Mafia bandwagon, but their rallied passion for the Daboll era along with Barkley’s new look have diminished such impulsions. If blue bleeders on the field and in the crowd operate as a hive mind, then nothing can prevent this community from becoming rich in culture.
Culture in sports is what forces a fan to leave their 12:00 Mass early just to take part in supporting their beloved team unconditionally.