Giants fans still love Jeff Feagles

STAMFORD -- The loyalty of New York Giants football fans has never been in question.

But following a Super Bowl championship year, the fever pitch of Big Blue Nation were readily apparent Saturday during former Giants punter Jeff Feagles' autograph and photo session at the Bedford Street Stop & Shop Supermarket.

"It's fun to go out to these events," said Feagles, who does work with the community service wing of the Giants as well as pre and post-game work on game days with both WFAN radio and MY-9 TV. "It's always a good time to give back to the fans. The support of Giants fans in the tri-state area is tremendous."

As an added incentive for those on line waiting patiently for autographs and pictures with Feagles for their I-Phones, Stop & Shop held a raffle giving out 10 pairs of VIP Experience (Suite) tickets to Giants home games. Five sets for the Sept 16 clash with Tampa Bay and five sets for the Oct 7 meeting with the Cleveland Browns.

Giants fans came from all directions (Bethel, Wallingford, Long Island) with items for Feagles to sign.

There were commemorative Super Bowl footballs from 2007 (Super Bowl XLII, 40 players signatures thus far) and 2011 (Super Bowl XLVI, 30 players signatures).

There were those rare Jeff Feagles No. 18 jerseys. That gentleman proudly sported a Super Bowl XLVI tatoo on his left shoulder.

There were Super Bowl XLII programs, giant photos of old Giants Stadium. And the dad who drove home and returned with a football for Feagles to sign.

What was clear is that people need to practice taking photos with their I-Phones before coming to autograph sessions.

Feagles, a veteran of these get togethers, never leaves home without one special item.

His Super Bowl XLII ring from the Giants.

"I can't bring the Super Bowl trophy (Vince Lombardi Trophy). So my Super Bowl ring is a great icebreaker and conversation piece," Feagles said. "The kids really love it."

A photo wearing a Super Bowl ring is a priceless keepsake for any NFL fan, young or old.

Feagles punted for 22 NFL seasons covering 352 consecutive games before retiring at age 44 before the 2010-11 campaign. After stops in New England, Philadelphia, Arizona and Seattle, Feagles punted his last seven years for the Giants.

"Punting in the old Giants Stadium was an advantage for me," Feagles said. "Because I knew that whatever direction the winds were blowing on the flags at the top of the stadium, they were blowing in the opposite direction on the field. Not many opposing punters knew that. I haven't kicked a lot in new MetLife Stadium. But the wind is much easier to deal with there."

Feagles was a master of coffin-corner punting, sending the ball out of bounds inside the opponent's 10-yard line. In fact, 554 of his 1,713 NFL punts went out of bounds inside the opposition 20-yardline.

"Coffin-corner punting is becoming a lost art," Feagles said. "There's a lot of precision to the process. It's not taught in college football. And the number of warm weather teams and dome stadiums are a factor as well. The Aussie kick method from Australian Rules Football is the big thing now. It works on the same principles but is easier to learn."

Not surprisingly, punting remains the family business in the Feagles household.

"My oldest son punted for three seasons at North Carolina but took this season off. My second oldest son kicks at Avon Old Farms in Connecticut," Feagles said. "They were by my side during my prime punting years so I'm not surprised."

As for the 2012-13 New York Giants, Feagles isn't panicked despite last Wednesday's 24-17 season-opening home loss to the dreaded Dallas Cowboys.

"Everybody is out to get the Super Bowl champions the next season. Our 2007-08 Super Bowl champs went 11-1 the next year before Plaxico (Burgess) got hurt. We'll see what happens with the current Giants," Feagles said. "It was clear Wednesday that (injured) cornerback Prince Amukamara (high ankle sprain) needs to get healthy. Michael Coe did a good job at corner before he left in the fourth quarter (hamstring). When you're down to your 4th string cornerback (Justin Tryon) late in the game, that's trouble."

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