Gary From The East End

Sep 102013
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MetLife Stadium

MetLife Stadium

When Billy Taylor was at our office for a Google hangout with BBI readers, the former running back was confident about February’s Super Bowl.

Not that the Giants would be there, but that organizers would throw one of the best events in the history of the city. The much-maligned festival by critics of cold weather football could be our community’s finest hour.

We have five reasons why New York / New Jersey will host the best ‘Big Game’ of all-time, not accounting for what actually happens on the field.

1) Everyone is already here
The Giants season ticket holder waiting list is estimated to be 135,000 people. Greater than the population of most towns in the United States. There are more than a quarter-billion businesses in the Tri-State area, including 50+ Fortune 500 companies.

The inbound corporate interest is through the roof and everyone’s booking now,” said Thuzio CEO Jared Augustine. “Big time clients are on the line.”

So what does this have to do with your average football fan?

2) Well, it’s more than a game
Even if the Giants aren’t playing on February 2nd, those fans who attended games in Glendale and Indianapolis will tell you that the real action is off the field.

It’s the party scene, media day, the celebrities, corporate schmoozing, walking down the street and bumping into a Super Bowl MVP, or even having one at your event.

As part of the festivities, Broadway will transform into Super Bowl Boulevard, including a 180-foot long, 58-foot high toboggan run able to handle up to 1,000 riders an hour. Throw in events like the Taste of the NFL, free concerts and VIP parties from PLAYBOY and DirectTV and you’ve got something for everyone.

“The price tag to host these affairs is astronomical, with some parties costing more than a million dollars. But the payoff, party hosts say, is insurmountable,” writes Kelley L. Carter of

3) The city is already buzzing
You’ve seen the signs, like the countdown clock in Times Square, the commercials on FOX, and hotels like the Loews Regency, undergoing millions in renovations to prepare for VIP guests. And while the Giants were allocated a few thousand seats for the game itself, packages through the National Football League’s ‘On Location’ program, with prices in excess of $8,000 per ticket, are already selling out.

Just getting into the game will cost fans upwards of $2,500 a ticket.

Or you could …

4) NYC’s Roster of Legends
Thuzio connects fans with nearly 400 NFL legends past and present, including many Giants Super Bowl heroes. You can take one to the game, take them to dinner, even invite them into your home for a Super Bowl watch party.

Here’s the thing. You can’t wait to book this kind of talent.

Compare it to booking a flight from LGA to Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI during Thanksgiving weekend vs. doing so after the Giants won the NFC Championship Game. The more you wait. The more you’ll pay in the long run.

Giants on Thuzio Who Have Played In The Super Bowl
Super Bowl XXI – Harry Carson, Bart Oates, Karl Nelson, Mark Collins, Lawrence Taylor

Super Bowl XXV – Ottis Anderson, Stephen Baker, Rodney Hampton, Howard Cross
Super Bowl XXXV – Tiki Barber, Keith Hamilton, Shaun Williams
Super Bowl XLII – Jeff Feagles, Shaun O’Hara
Super Bowl XLVI – Jonathan Goff, Michael Clayton

5) It may snow
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told Boomer and Carton that he was rooting for a “blinding snowstorm” to cap off a perfect week of festivities. If that happens, regardless of the score, everyone will remember the game for a lifetime.

Sep 102013
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Jeff Feagles chatted with Gary, BBI’s webmaster, on September 10, 2013. Jeff and Gary discussed the Sunday night Giants-Dallas game including the Steve Weatherford non-call and the punt turnover, as well as issues and opportunities for the New York Giants in the 2013 season and prospects for the upcoming Denver game. The video chat was streamed live via Google+ Hangout on Air on BBI’s front page and is now available on YouTube.

Follow Jeff Feagles on twitter at @jfeagles

Jeff Feagles is being made available to Big Blue Interactive courtesy of Thuzio.Com.


Aug 302013
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Billy Taylor chatted with Gary, BBI’s webmaster, on August 30, 2013, and answered questions submitted by BBI Corner Forum members. The video chat was streamed live via Google+ Hangout on Air on BBI’s front page and is now available on YouTube.

Billy Taylor is being made available to Big Blue Interactive courtesy of Thuzio.Com.

Aug 272013
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Hello Giants fans. The New BBI Front Page went live nearly two months ago. Since that time, we’ve had a lot of feedback, both positive and negative. We’ve made some changes based on that feedback with more tweaks and adjustments coming in the future.

However, it’s become clear to me that some people are still not quite sure how the new front page works and how to find the stuff they want to find. To that end, I’ve prepared this little primer to go over the various elements of the new BBI and how they work.

Broadly, the site consists of two areas, the main area and the sidebars. The main area is the large section on the left side with all the pictures and text. The sidebars are the long, skinny areas on the right with the ads and such. First, we’ll discuss the various sections of the main area, starting from top to bottom.

The Slider

The first section, the one with changing pictures at the very top of the site, is called The Slider. The Slider rotates through the last six items posted to BBI, including Articles and News & Notes. You’ll see a picture and the title. If you’re interested in reading it, just click on the picture. Below the pictures are the controls. You can use these controls to pause The Slider, go back and forward or go to a specific slide.

News & Notes

BBI’s old reliable News & Notes can be found just under The Slider. This section contains links to the last four News & Notes posts. The four titles of the News & Notes are on the right while the picture associated with each title is on the left. Mouse over the title to see the picture that goes with that post. Click on the title to go to the post.

Latest Articles

In this section are the last four articles posted to BBI that aren’t News & Notes. Here you’ll find things like Game Previews and Reviews, Roster Articles, Salary Cap discussions and other writings. Scroll down to this section to get a quick overview of what’s been going on in the last few days on BBI. Click on the article title or read more button to see the whole thing.

Featured Content

Bored at work? This is the section for you. The Featured Content area has the three most recent articles in each of six content categories. Those categories will change throughout the year. A draft section will show up around draft time and go away when training camp starts. Game Previews/Reviews will show up before the first pre-season game and go away some time after the last game is played. And so on.

If you missed something on BBI in the past couple weeks or are just looking for some good Giants stuff to kill your productivity, this is the place to find it. Click on the title of the article to see that article or click on the See All Posts button to read all the posts in that category.


The sidebars are mostly self-explanatory, but I’ll briefly go over the content-oriented elements.

First, of course, we have the ads. Ads make BBI go. We have made a concerted effort to eliminate malware from our ad networks and curate the ads so that their impact on you is minimized. Please exclude BBI from your ad blocking software, if you have any. Look at the ads and click on them if anything interests you. This has been a paid announcement.

Under the top ad is the Corner Forum Highlights. This is a small selection of the most important, interesting or relevant Corner Forum threads as selected by the BBI admins. If you live on the Corner Forum, you’ve probably seen these. But if you’re only an occasional Corner Forum visitor, you might want to peek at this box when you visit the site and see if anything piques your interest.

Further down is the Content Sections dropdown. This is just a quick list of all the content areas on BBI with post counts for each one. Click on a content area to be taken to a page with just that content on it.

And way down at the bottom of the sidebar is the Posts By Month dropdown which lists month and year and the number of posts in that month. Select one to be taken to a page with posts from just that month. This is a great way to explore BBI and Giants history in a time machine fashion. Did you know that Dorsey Levens was once impressive vs the Eagles? True story.

Can I Have The Old BBI Back?

If none of this makes you happy and you just want your old, News & Notes and nothing else, BBI back, there is a partial solution. Bookmark this link, This page mostly replicates the functionality of the old BBI, showing you the full News & Notes posts and nothing else.

Any questions? You can ask them in this Corner Forum Thread

Aug 152013
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As part of a partnership with Thuzio, Tiki Barber offers his thoughts on the New York Giants running backs and their fantasy value.

Quick Take:

Tiki Barber Headshot

“The Giants appear to have two really good options at RB for the 2013 season, though early indications are that they will be splitting carries, as has been the trend across the league.

The days of the workhouse back in the NFL are over, which is both good and bad.  Good because backs will stay healthier throughout the season; however, I have always thought that there was a competitive disadvantage to substituting backs situationally.”

On David Wilson:

“David Wilson is the runner that everyone is anxious to see. Last season, in limited action (71 carries), he averaged five yards per carry with four touchdowns. He also averaged 8.5 yards per reception and returned a kick for a touchdown, showing dynamic versatility.

He has superb breakaway speed, agility and athleticism, a flair for showmanship which sometimes goes too far and the rare ability to go the distance on any given play.

I’m curious to see if he can handle the running back responsibilities when the ball isn’t in his hands. Can he identify and pick up dogging linebackers and blitzing safeties? Can he learn to play above the X&Os? Can he stop back flipping and risking injury just for the sake of back flipping? That’s obviously a joke, but the point is, sometimes showmanship can be detrimental, especially with officials cracking down on that type of thing.”

On Andre Brown:

“Much was made of the fact that Andre Brown was cut five times, but it was more circumstance than lack of skill. The Giants were high on him in 2009, but he tore his achilles and was cut the next season after not getting healthy enough. With the departure of Brandon Jacobs and the injury to Ahmed Bradshaw last season, he was finally given his opportunity and ran with it.

Brown is a straight line runner, who is deceptively fast for someone who is 230 pounds. He will likely also be the goal line back, so he could top the eight TD’s he had last season. I also like the fact that he plays with a chip on his shoulder.

The main concern is that he has to be able to stay ‘off the shelf’ this season, otherwise he’ll be viewed as a talented, yet injury prone guy who is out of the league.”

Fantasy Spin:

“It’s hard to know how Wilson and Brown’s carries will be split during the regular season. From a fantasy standpoint, they could both be a solid #2 back, but not likely a great starter. In the Giants offense over the last few years, the running game has become secondary to the passing game.

Interestingly, I think that Brown is more of the situational guy because he is a better pass protector; therefore, will be in on passing situations, and get a lot of carries on draws, which have big play potential. Wilson will be a big play player, and has the chance to lead the team in +20 yard plays.

Both of these guys will give you moments of excitement and be complimentary to Eli Manning’s down field attack, but don’t expect a 1,200 yard season unless one of them goes down.”

Did You Know:

“If you’ve ever wanted to spice up your Fantasy Football experience, Thuzio is the place to look. You can book a football legend to moderate the draft festivities, or even record a personalized video message to smack talk your league.

Here’s an example of how a ‘Game of Thrones’ themed league used Ronde and myself to tease the upcoming season. I love seeing the creativity.

Jul 162013
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Jeff Feagles chatted with Gary, BBI’s webmaster, on July 16, 2013, and answered questions submitted by BBI Corner Forum members. The video chat was streamed live via Google+ Hangout on Air on BBI’s front page and is now available on YouTube.

Jeff Feagles is being made available to Big Blue Interactive courtesy of Thuzio.Com.


Jul 082013
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I’ve been a member and reader of BBI for over 15 years and its webmaster and programmer for nearly six. If there’s one thing that I know that BBIers don’t like, it’s change. In fact, one of my main objectives when I took over this gig was to change as little as possible.

Well, here it is, change. I’d like to talk a little bit about the the reasons for the change and what it’s going to mean to you, now and down the road.

First, from a technical standpoint, the update was well overdue. The template on which the 2007 design of the BBI front page was based hasn’t been updated in over four years. This really limited our ability to use the latest features of WordPress, the software that runs this site’s back end, and made staying up to date with the latest security patches a bit of an adventure. Not to mention that I worried someone would find a security hole in that old code and I would wake up one day to find BBI serving up trojans and malware from some place deep behind the former iron curtain.

From a design standpoint, the look of 2007 BBI could be most charitably described as “dated”. In my opinion, the new design preserves some of the funky, old school vibe that is BBI’s hallmark with a slicker, more modern layout.

But maybe the most important reason for the change is content. Except for the News & Notes posts, most of BBI’s great content was buried two or three clicks deep in the bowels of the page structure. Even on Mondays after game days, the percentage of front page viewers who would bother to click though for a game review or other article was shockingly low. In the past few weeks we’ve tried to remedy this by posting content directly on the front page. But this was a half measure at best. The new design brings the content bubbling up to the front where people can see it.

I’ll have a new post up later in the day explaining the layout, the new content sections and how everything works. Right now it’s three in the morning and the bed is calling to me. If you have a question about the new design, e-mail me at webguy (at) and I’ll answer either by e-mail or in my next post.

Goodnight all.

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Jun 112013
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Tiki Barber chatted with Gary, BBI’s webmaster, on June 11, 2013, and answered questions submitted by BBI Corner Forum members. The video chat was streamed live via Google+ Hangout on Air on BBI’s front page and is now available on YouTube.

Tiki Barber is being made available to Big Blue Interactive courtesy of Thuzio.Com.