EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The guy wearing tan slacks and a black dress shirt in the "M" lot outside MetLife Stadium -- me -- stood out more than the St. Louis Rams fan I was tracking down Monday night.
I kept scanning the crowd for a Sam Bradford jersey or blue-and-gold Rams face paint. No luck. A few glances at Ray Giasullo's Facebook profile provided helpful clues, and once I spotted a somewhat familiar visage, I approached the large group with some confidence.
Yep, found him, as planned.
There was a Rams logo on the front of his T-shirt, but nothing on the back. The 19 Giants fans tailgating with him give him enough grief as it is without any over-the-top getup to incite them. They said Giants fans are friendlier than Eagles fans and generally not looking for a fight, but wearing too much enemy garb into any NFL stadium carries some risk.
Most impressive: Those 19 Giants fans, including season-ticket holders dating to the 1970s, knew quite a bit about their team's Week 2 opponent. These are knowledgeable fans. They rattled off names from the Rams' depth chart the way a fan at training camp in Earth City, Mo., might do: Danny Amendola, James Laurinaitis and, of course, the ex-Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo brought over to the Rams, from Craig Dahl to Fred Robbins to James Butler, plus all the long-retired greats.
The Giants fans had great things to say about Spagnuolo, and not-so-great things to say about former Rams receiver Flipper Anderson, whose overtime touchdown catch at the old Giants Stadium knocked the Giants from the playoffs following the 1989 season. Anderson famously ran through the end zone and into the tunnel to the locker room, leaving Giants fans in agony.
Ray smiled at the memory. His friends, not so much. I was remiss in not writing down all their names. We were having too much fun talking football and enjoying the perfect weather.
I shot some video from the parking lot capturing the scene. It'll need some editing, though, as one of Ray's buddies got a little carried away with his commentary. I hope to post it at some point in the not-too-distant future.