Fans were finally back at MetLife Stadium for the first time in over a year and a half to attend the highly anticipated Giants Fan Fest. Over 29,000 people were in attendance for the open practice, which replaced the usual fan attendance at training camp. The event began at six o'clock in the evening with fans allowed into the parking lot at three to tailgate and prepare to see many of these Giants players for the very first time in person. There was a practice that lasted around an hour and forty-five minutes followed by a fireworks show.
Pre-Fan Fest Tailgate
During the pre-fest tailgate, thousands gathered in the parking lot of MetLife Stadium. A few hundred people attended an event organized by License Plate Guy, Giants superfan, the Talkin' Giants hosts, and the Entertainah Talkin Sports, a Giants youtuber. Loads of special guests appeared including beat reporters Jordan Raanan and Art Stapleton as well as former Giants player and Giant TV host Brandon London. As shown in the clip above, many Giants fans ran a lap around parking lot G for Giants Head Coach Joe Judge. For those who don't know, Coach Judge makes his players run a lap if a mistake is made on the practice field. This lap was completed due to the faith in their second-year head coach. It is especially important to note that these "disciplinary coaching tactics" used by Judge have come under criticism by many people. One player recently who put Joe Judge under fire was former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. Before the lap was ran, License Plate Guy had a remark about the player saying, "Let's run a lap for Kelvin Benjamin...once a giant always a giant." Benjamin was cut earlier in the offseason due to issues about his weight. After the lap around the parking lot was completed, fans gathered around Joe (License Plate Guy) for a passionate pep talk.
Fans Begin to Enter the Stadium
As fans begin to enter the stadium, autographs were being given out by former Super Bowl champions, Mario Mannigham and Ahmad Bradshaw by the SAP Gate of MetLife Stadium. The scenes tailgating and entering the stadium felt like a sense of relief. The New York Football Giants were the last of every NFL team to host an event with fans. So having many Giants fans being able to celebrate a moment of togetherness and friendship when entering MetLife was a very satisfying feeling. Prior to arriving on Wednesday, the Fan Fest was already sold out. Only the lower bowl was being used for seating but once sitting down, some fans were seen sitting in the 200s. This was most likely because the entire lower bowl was filled to the brink with Giants fans.
As the players took the field, they were greeted by the thousands of excited Giants fans. In particular, Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones attracted loud cheers. Key free agency acquisition Kenny Golladay and first round draft pick Kadarius Toney were mostly working separately from the rest of the team coming off injuries/covid list. Both wide receivers exchanged a few passes with fans in the first few rows. Devontae Booker fumbled on his first carry during an 11 v 11 drill which followed with many boos from the fans at MetLife. A few minutes later, guard Kenny Wiggins came off with what appeared to be a head injury. Besides a wacky throw to a linebacker during a short scrimmage, Daniel Jones had a pretty decent night in front of the home fans. Evan Engram received numerous boos after he dropped a pass during a 7 on 7 drill towards the end of practice. Lots of special teams drills took place during the practice and a solid performance from Ryan Santoso, the backup kicker, nailing all but one of his kicks.
The host of the event, Eli Manning along with Ahmad Bradshaw and Mario Mannigham made guest appearances throughout the breaks at practice. At the end of the event, Joe Judge gave a quick interview thanking the fans and shortly after that the fireworks began to close out this extremely fun night for the loyal Giants fanbase.