As detailed in my book, I’ve been “evolving” spiritually in my Christian faith. My prayer life finally became serious and practicing what I preach (or am preached to about), has become serious after decades of neglect or lip service.
Last night, these practices were put to good usage when my daughter Tara Grandich, won the Philadelphia Rose of Tralee contest. For years, Tara would sit with her Granny in Ireland, watch the Rose of Tralee, and tell Granny someday she would be in it and wave to her on the television. Granny’s favorite flower was a rose and that was her first name. Tara now goes to Ireland in August for that contest and it’s a huge event for a week (Mom and Dad go too).
Having worked with the NY Giants for 13 years and deeply involved with mostly NY area professional athletes in my business, let’s just say that I had no love for the “City of Brotherly Love.” In fact, I took personal pleasure in ripping Philly sports fans, their behavior, and of course, their teams. Never did I think that would come to an end in my lifetime – but last night it did!
I should have known that this day would come when I embraced one of their most beloved hockey players, Brian Propp, into our company organization and found no other member of our Trinity team more of a gentleman. Having once swore that “nothing Philly” would ever hang in my office, Brian’s jersey now is proudly shown for all to see.
My sister and nieces moved to the Philly area and the handwriting was on the wall (now that I think about it), when my greatest blessing in life, Tara, did also. Tara has been a big part of my life and my prayers, especially since she is our only child and the fact, I turn 61 tomorrow. Mortality has become as clear as day for both of us so our daughter’s future has been paramount in our conversations with Almighty God.
Tara now will be very active in the Philadelphia Tralee group and I suspect her parents will be also.
I can’t begin to describe how kind and gracious everyone was last night. And as He always does, God used the events that unfolded to take yet again my spiritual life to another level.
We were of course taken back by the announcement of Tara’s choice. The young ladies that Tara competed with, all looked great and seemed to carry themselves very well. When I looked at them a few minutes afterwards, I felt the Holy Spirit urge me to go over to each one of them to shake their hands and let them know they did a great job.
But NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Almighty God couldn’t let it end there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As all the many folks expressed their congratulations, hundreds of photos being taken and all sorts of chatter going on, the Holy Spirit (as only the Holy Spirit can do), grabs my soul and mind and I found myself speaking to the entire crowd with a microphone.
I spoke some more to the other contestants and how despite any disappointed in their hearts now, with God, this experience will lead to even bigger and more rewarding ones in their lives. And then it happened!!!!!!!!!!! I shared about my experience of working with the NY Giants and the knowledge of all my trips to Philly (where I did more Giants Chapels than all other places combined during my time with them). Philly is where I got to watch one of my two games ever from the field, and I was there when the Giants came back from something like 27 points down and Plexico catches a TD with almost no time left to win. All through my mind in those couple of minutes standing there, so many of my “exchanges” with Philly fans and countless jokes about them sent via the Internet, flashed before me.
And then it happened. And as I share what I did, I asked Giants players, coaches, team personnel and fans, to forgive me for what I was about to do … I sang this song to the crowd.
To all my NY Giants friends and fans, if you wish to exile me or worse, make me sit in the Philly fan section at Lincoln field or ban me from MetLife games, I understand. But in my heart of hearts, I can no longer carry any hatred toward Philly sports teams and their fans.
My many great NY Giants interactions over the years:
P.S. This would be a great Aprils Fools’ Day prank if it weren’t so true.
P.S.S. Tara, when I next see Eli, I will tell him to look for you on the Eagle’s side of the field this year… and me hiding behind you-lol