This past Sunday was part of Parents’ Weekend, and the New York Giants were on a bye week. Things couldn’t possibly have worked out more conveniently for my father.

Of course, I know without a doubt that he misses me and, if need be, would forsake anything at a mere moment’s notice on my behalf. But at the same time I’m confident that if he had been sitting in on a “Meet the Georgetown Administration” presentation on Sunday between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., his mind would’ve been just as much on Tom Coughlin as John DeGioia.

And when it comes down to it, that’s something I completely understand.

Where I come from, football and family have always been irrevocably intertwined. Growing up, I learned right away that our family gatherings were routinely scheduled around Giants games. Those that did take place between September and January featured loose “three-hour breaks” and meals that were perfectly timed to be “cooked for halftime.”

Though I rejected the Giants at an early age, I spent many years before the advent of DirecTV and the Internet watching their games with my family, mainly hoping to catch a glimpse of the NFL ticker scrolling across the bottom of the screen.

The ticker was my only lifeline to the Miami Dolphins, but though I didn’t realize it at the time, waiting for it to run across the television screen subjected me to much more than a decade of New York Giants football.

Filling the gaps between Phil Simms, Dan Reeves, Ray Handley and Lawrence Taylor was the familiar presence of my family. Accompanying each game was an afternoon filled with my grandfather’s insightful analysis and my father’s colorful commentary.

Now, at Georgetown, I’m far away from my New York roots, and, consequently, New York football. While I willingly concede the Jets to distance, there will forever in my heart be a soft spot for the Giants.

As strange as it sounds, with the continued absence of many of the comforts that I had in New York, the Giants have become a sort of old friend, if only for the fact that when I manage to catch their games or highlights on television, I know for a fact that my grandfather, father and uncle are all religiously watching them back home.

No matter where I am or what I’m doing, taking a few minutes to watch a bit of a Giants game brings me back home. I am suddenly in my living room, and looking over from the couch, I can see my father’s elation over a big Tiki Barber run, his mystification over the gaping holes in the Giants’ secondary and his growing exasperation with Ron Dayne.

I can hear my grandfather touting the virtues of a franchise left tackle in one ear, while listening to my uncle’s opinion of John Madden in the other.

I feel like I’m home again, with the only thing missing from my full Sunday sensory experience being the taste of my grandmother’s cooking.

Part of what makes this feeling so special is that I know it works both ways. Especially this season, as Dolphins games are sadly becoming more meaningless as the games roll on, I take solace in the fact that I know that perhaps the only reason that my family tunes into them is because they know that many miles away, I’m sitting in my dorm room doing the same thing.

I’m certain that my father and uncle are able to feel the pain that comes with each successive Jay Fiedler interception, and I know how my brother feels about Dave Wannstedt.

But what gets me the most is my mother, because although she knows relatively little about football, she still calls me after each Dolphins loss to find out how I’m holding up. She’ll even send me e-mails with updates regarding the ongoing Ricky Williams saga, because though she’s well aware that I probably know all of the details before she does, it’s gotten to the point where my family can’t think of the Dolphins without thinking of me – the same way I can’t think of the Giants without thinking of them.

As trivial as it might sound on the surface, football has become a link between my life at Georgetown and my family back in New York.

It worked out well that the Giants were on a bye this week, because I know how my father feels about having to miss their games. I also know, however, that had they been playing right at the same time as some important event in my life, my dad certainly would not hesitate to (tape the game and) be there for me.

Gestures like that remind me that when I keep an eye on the Giants, I’m also keeping an eye on my family.

Chris Seneca is a freshman in the School of Foreign Service. He can be reached at Slow Motion appears every other Tuesday.

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