Congrats, Matt!

February 17, 2012 – Congratulations to the New York Giants on their second Super Bowl championship in the last five NFL seasons.

On December 18, my wife, Tiana, and I were at the Meadowlands when the Giants dropped their seventh game of the season. As we drove home from East Rutherford, New Jersey, the words “Super Bowl” were not part of our conversation.

However, because of our knowledge of the character and determination of the people within the Giants organization, we certainly didn’t count the team out.

Our insight comes from a friendship with Matt Shauger (pictured below with Mariano Rivera and I at Yankee Stadium), who is a pro scout for the Giants, and who was also part of the Big Blue’s 2007 Super Bowl Championship team. Matt has been my closest friend since third grade, and I can confidently say, he is the most loyal and caring friend anyone could ever have.

Matt’s work ethic is inspiring — as are the hours he and his colleagues in the Giants personnel and scouting departments put in — and still he remains a devoted confidant and a wonderful godfather to our son, Alfred.

After the Giants loss to Washington, they won six consecutive elimination games, including road victories against the 15-1 Green Bay Packers and 13-3 San Francisco 49ers.

Of course, the Giants thrilling Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots capped off what will go down as one of the most improbable championship runs of all-time.

A few days before the Super Bowl, the New York Daily News published an article about the Giants’ personnel and scouting departments. In that piece, Wayne Coffey discussed Matt’s work in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.

“Early last week, pro scout Matt Shauger, who scouted the Patriots and Ravens in the AFC Championship Game, delivered a 125-page report to Tom Coughlin and staff that provided the template for the Giants’ game plan on Sunday,” Coffey wrote.

In my opinion, the article recognized the efforts of a group of front office people who played a major — and sometimes unnoticed — role in the triumph that was the 2011 season.

I enjoyed watching football over the last two months of the Giants season more than at any time since my childhood because the team’s play on the field was absolutely captivating, and more importantly, because Matt paved the way for that success.

–Alfred Santasiere III

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