Three generations of fans watch Giants
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Three generations of Golders and a black Labrador named Eli watched the Giants beat the New England Patriots 21-17 in the Super Bowl Sunday night at a Mattituck house, with Giants flags flying outside and 60 blue and red balloons in the living room.
The annual family event goes back decades; Giants football permeates Golder childhood memories.
Dan Golder, 49, the second of Dolores and Dave Golder's five children and an information technology worker from Babylon, said Giants football has been a part of his life as far back as he can remember.
"From the moment I could walk," he said, "I was indoctrinated into it, and I love it. We had Giants pajamas, pillow cases with the helmets on them, the old one with a single bar, like kickers used to wear."
Recalled Laura Kenney, 45, an editor from Connecticut and the fourth of the couple's children, "I remember wondering, when I was a girl, 'Why is everybody walking around the house quietly and gingerly?' It was because we lost."
Middle child Dave Golder, 47, a sales manager who lives in Freeport, marks lifetime milestones by football games. "I remember taking my little brother Joe to the Giants game, 1983-ish. . . . It was my first year to drive."
Joe Golder, 42, the Golders' youngest, who runs operations for a medical supply company and lives in Mattituck, said their father worked long hours as a teacher and coach. So game days on Sundays were times for family bonding. "Still, to this day, I talk to him much more during football season." He brought son Jack, 5, to the festivities.
In a pregame phone call, eldest sister Kate Golder, 50, told her family from New Orleans she was outside the Isidore Newman School, "where the Manning boys played football." She was heading to a friend's house for the game, but without family, "it's not the same."
The roots of family fandom lie a half-century deep, when Dave Golder, 78, returned from the war in Korea and was stationed at Ethan Allen Air Force Base, now the airport in Burlington, Vt. The men in his unit passed time at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in nearby Winooski.
The Giants trained close by and spent time there, too. "Rosey Grier, Alex Webster, Jim Katcavage -- a gritty defensive end," recalled Dave Golder, who made his career teaching English in Five Towns schools. The servicemen bought the Giants a round of drinks; the Giants reciprocated.
It was a casual, friendly encounter. "From then on, we became pretty rabid fans."
Dolores Golder, 73, learned the game, too. "I felt left out, so I said, 'Listen, I want to learn this game.' We sat down to the college games . . . and he taught me."
Sunday night, soon after kickoff, the living room became a front line of armchair quarterbacks as the Giants drove downfield for their first score. "All right, E," Joe Golder shouted to the Giants quarterback. "This is what champions are made of."
But with the Giants down after halftime, doors slammed when someone went outside. Successful Giants plays lightened the moments, and each celebratory cheer was matched by Eli the black Lab, who joined in with earsplitting barks.
"You think this is intense?" asked middle son Dave Golder's son William, 13, an eighth-grader at St. Christopher School in Baldwin. "When it's close in the fourth quarter, then they get intense. Except for my dad -- he stays calm."
Danny Golder, 21, Dan Golder's son, a junior at Boston College who was home for the gathering, summed up his emotions: "I'm so glad I'm home. I'm so glad I'm not in New England."
That's the Golder family for you.