A timeless tradition for fans young and old

Freddy Powers, 8, and his sister Brianna, 9, strike a pose outside their Syracuse home.

Freddy Powers, 8, and his sister Brianna, 9, strike a pose outside their Syracuse home. Photo by Amanda Seef.

— While the youngsters are just beginning to realize the rivalry, other central New Yorkers are zoned in.

Take Jamie White for instance. The 27-year-old communications director for Syracuse First moved to Syracuse from the Boston area four years ago. He’s very much the consummate New Englander: He loves the Patriots and Red Sox. He also remembers very well the way he felt after the Giants stunned New England in 2007.

“I watched the game at a friend’s house here in Syracuse,” the graduate of UMass-Amherst said. “They were all Giants fans. Needless to say my life was pretty miserable being around them.”

While some Pats fans will tell you there isn’t much in the way of revenge on their minds, White is pretty honest.

“As much as a lot of us say we aren’t thinking about revenge, it’s definitely on our minds,” he said. “I mean, 18-1 is a lot different than 19-0, and that’s not something you can just easily forget.”

Instead of hoping for a blowout Patriots victory, White said he wants something a little more sadistic.

“I want to rip their hearts out like they did to us,” he said. “A blowout wouldn’t be as fun as seeing a close, three-point victory on a late drive.”

On the flip side is Ben Johns, a 24-year-old Syracuse native who currently works as a translator. Johns represents the Giants fandom, and became that way by following in his family’s footsteps. His father and grandfather were both big supporters.

The 2007 game was one that turned into a lasting memory for reasons other than football for Johns.

“I watched the game with my whole family, my dad, mom, grandpa,” he said. “It was such a great night I’ll never forget.”

That’s because it would be the last time he’d get to watch the Giants in the Super Bowl with his father, as he passed away in 2009.

“I can’t even tell you how ballistic we went when that game was over,” he said. “When [Giants receiver David] Tyree made the catch, we went nuts. It was a memorable night.”

Like White, Johns doesn’t want a blowout victory. He also wants to win his bet.

‘I’m betting my buddy who’s a Patriots fan,” he said. “If I lose, I think I’ll have to put a picture of Tom Brady as my Facebook picture, and I definitely don’t want that.”

Neil Benjamin Jr. can be reached at nbenjamin@eaglenewsonline.com.

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