|New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com|
Giants fans' sick Kat-calls
BY TRACY CONNOR
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Friday, September 23rd, 2005
Shame on you, Giants fans.
Some boorish Big Blue die-hards pelted New Orleans Saints fans with tasteless taunts about deadly Hurricane Katrina during Monday night's game at Giants Stadium, several fans said.
"Where's your swimmies? I hope you have your swimmies!" one ignoramus asked Diane Dias, 46, who splits her time between homes in New Orleans and New Milford, Conn.
"You deserve what you got," another said. "New Orleans people are stupid."
Dias and her husband bought seats on the 50-yard line on eBay so they could publicly show their support for the homeless Saints, who lost 27-10.
The NFL designated the Saints as the home team, and Dias was thrilled to see people in the stands wearing black and gold. But her excitement turned to disgust when she saw a girl from New Orleans crying in a rest room because she'd been harassed.
"We lost all interest in the game," she said. "This is the strangest situation we've ever been in."
The insults rained down even as giant television screens showed the devastation Katrina wrought and players made pitches for donations.
"There were a handful of people who were extremely nice, but overall people were hostile," Dias said.
Many Saints boosters, including some evacuees, were not verbally attacked and reported that Giants fans went out of their way to show support.
But Dias' experience was not an isolated incident. On several Web sites, Saints fans recounted a torrent of abuse.
"After I reported an obnoxious fan for exposing himself to me, my friend and I were kicked out the stadium, apparently for having the nerve to complain," read a Nola.com posting.
"One guy even said he was glad our city was under water. ... I have had to sit here for FOUR YEARS and listen to all the New Yorkers complain and expect sympathy from the world [because] of 9/11 and this is what we get in return?"
Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon said team officials have heard from many Saints fans about what a positive experience they had. "We are still awaiting the final numbers, but a significant amount of money was donated by the people in the stadium to the American Red Cross volunteers who were collecting on behalf of their hurricane relief fund," Hanlon said.