Jul 29, 2014

From Long Beach to Lambeau Field

Local Giants fans headed to Green Bay to watch Big Blue take on the Packers this Sunday.

From Long Beach to Lambeau Field From Long Beach to Lambeau Field From Long Beach to Lambeau Field From Long Beach to Lambeau Field

Some just say they’re going to do it; others walk their talk. Long Beach brothers Rich and Mike Maglione fit the latter category.

After the life-long, die-hard Giants fans sat and watched Big Blue dominate the Atlanta Falcons, 24-2, in a wild card matchup at MetLife Stadium last Sunday, they proclaimed without question that they would fly to Green Bay this weekend to cheer on their team against the Packers in a divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field.

“You’ve got to really want to do it and you have to be able to be spontaneous,” Rich said about their decision to take their first trip to watch a Giants game outside of New Jersey. “You have to look at it like you got to be living in the now. It’s easy to talk yourself out of it. You can say, ‘Ah, I’m going to the Beach House to watch it.’”

The Maglione brothers, who live together on Lafayette Boulevard, found that scoring tickets was much easier than arranging flight, hotel and car rental accommodations. They and their two friends, Jonathan Kadoch of Manhattan and Danny Walsh of Massapequa, easily landed four tickets for lower level seats on the 40-yard-line at $325 each, using Razorgator, a StubHub-like website.

With no direct flights to Green Bay, though, they were unable to book a connecting flight for under $1,000, so they scoured websites of even obscure airlines and finally found a Southwest flight on Saturday at 11 a.m. from LaGuardia to Chicago. From there, they’ll rent a car and drive nearly four hours to a Country Inn suite in Titletown, where they booked a room for $400 a night.  

In January 2008, the Magliones watched from their friend's house in Farmingdale as the Giants, in subzero temperatures at Lambeau Field, defeated the Pack in the NFC Championship game en route to a road playoff run that culminated with a Super Bowl win against the undefeated New England Patriots.

“We looked at it like this: this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Rich said about Sunday’s trek to the Frozen Tundra. “Lambeau is the Mecca of football. When’s the next time this is going to happen? Yeah, it happened in 2008, but you don’t know if it’s going to happen again.”

The Magliones grew up playing football together in Massapequa. Rich, 29, who works for an online advertising company, and Mike, 32, who earns his keep at Memorial Sloan Kettering, try to attend two home Giants games each season. Mike finds it surreal that the second playoff game they’ll attended will be at Lambeau, where legendary coach Vince Lombardi and his Packers won five championships.

“It will continue to keep our brotherly bond strong, add to our tradition of watching big games together, and fulfill our genuine love for the game that we both have competed in and watched since we were kids,” Mike said. “We will remember this for the rest of our lives and that alone to me is priceless.” 

Of course, Mike spoke for Rich when he predicted the Giants will have the edge this weekend: “Defense wins championships, and as long as the Giants defensive pass rush is on, sorry Pack, but come Sunday in cold Green Bay everything else will fall into place and Big Blue will be victorious.”

If his prediction pans out, will he and Rich head to the NFC Championship game, either in San Francisco or New Orleans, next weekend?

“I told my brother if they win and have to play in New Orleans, I would think of going down there,” Rich said. “That’s more do-able than San Francisco. San Francisco is too much.”

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