Here is the second part of my conversation with Mike Garafolo, New York Giants beat writer for the Star-Ledger. We strayed away from pure football topics toward the end of our chat, but I still found it worthwhile. I hope you do as well.
Ed: So ... a sort of selfish question for you here. This is the first time that I've been able to get credentials to be here. I looked around, I saw guys from Bleacher Report here. I saw guys from Big Blue Interactive. I've seen all sorts of non-traditional media here. Does that bother you at all, or make it even more difficult for you, or are you OK with it?
Mike: Oh no, believe me, I'm very much OK with it because I think it actually helps us. I think it actually ... if we choose to recognize that there are a lot of people out there that have have passion for the game, passion to understand the game, and that in many ways we're being taught again -- if we are willing to listen -- that the old way of doing things is gone. By that I mean, you know, you had one story in the paper every day and if wasn't about the quarterback or the wide receiver or whoever it wasn't gonna get any play and the editors weren't interested in it. I think in my place it was a little different, so I'm speaking in generalities here. But, I think what you're seeing now is people have a hunger for news about 1-80 on this roster, every single guy. For good information, and we're getting guys that are coming in and doing this for their own Web sites, like you. For other Web sites that are not paying them a lot of money. So, it's not about keeping their job, it's about the love of information and I think that's great because that reminds us what we're here for and what people really want from us. So, by no means is it a threat or is it anything that I worry about. I welcome ... the more the merrier.
Ed: One more thing and we'll wrap this up. You're here for a couple more days. Looking forward to getting out of Albany and getting yourself back home?
Mike: Yeah. I'll be honest with you, coming back after the first pre-season game. Albany, number one, has grown on me as I've kinda had a chance to figure out the best things to do and the best restaurants and that kind of stuff.
Another thing is when you get up here you're able to put the blinders on. You're able to ... it's just about the work. You don't have bills to pay and, well, you have laundry to do but you kinda just let it pile up in a bag and do it when you get home. So, I kinda like being up here and ... I can see now why the coaches want it for the players 'cause it's very similar for them because they're able to just put those blinders on and just focus on football. So, I'm hoping that we come back next year at least for the two weeks.
Ed: We talked about Albany a little bit. Gut feeling on whether they come back here at all, even for a shortened stay?
Mike: Such a tough call. I will tell you one thing. It doesn't sound like that it's a big deal for the coach to be away because he's done it before in Jacksonville and hasn't had to go away. I thought that really the best shot for them to come back would be if Coughlin was really pushing for it, and I don't that it's that big of a deal to him, so that kind of changed my opinion as to whether or not they'll come back. We're gonna have to see how this plays out. I'd say I'm leaning more toward them just staying home, but I think we're a ways away from that."
-- Many thanks to Mike for spending the time to chat. If you aren't regularly reading his stuff then you are missing out.