The New York Giants will hold their 2013 training camp at the Timex Performance Center, opting not to return to Albany for just the second time in the last 18 seasons. Giants training camp has consistently been one of the NFL's most attended preseason events, with attendance nearing 50,000 fans each summer. However, this time, it appears as if the location change will be permanent.
Last offseason, several players on the roster complained of bad backs from poor mattress quality (the mattresses were supplied by the team, not UAlbany). Will Beatty, Marvin Austin and James Brewer all missed time with back issues during training camp. Martellus Bennett had some colorful comments on the mattress situation back in July.
“We’re big humans. Every bed is small,” Bennett said. “You can’t put a damn dinosaur in a twin-sized bed. … A normal-sized human jumps into a regular-sized bed and it fits perfectly. Large, big humans jump in a regular-sized bed, the bed’s too small."
However, the new collective bargaining agreement may be more to blame for the change rather than the accommodations at UAlbany.Without any more two-a-day practices, the Giants probably don't see a reason to travel all the way upstate when they could just stay at their state of the art practice facilities in East Rutherford. Not only does it save the team the trouble of transporting all the necessary equipment and staff to UAlbany, but it eliminates the need for multi-million dollar athletes to deal with less than ideal living conditions. Team owners John Mara and Steve Tisch released a joint-statement regarding the change.
“The University at Albany and the Capital Region have been great hosts for us during our training camps,” Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch said. “UAlbany truly has been the summer home of the Giants. We are grateful to Mayor (Jerry) Jennings and to (UA Athletic Director) Dr. (Lee) McElroy and his staff in the athletic department for making us feel welcome and providing the resources we needed to prepare for the season.
"We are fortunate to have a facility in the Timex Performance Center that allows us to hold training camp here. We have told Mayor Jennings and Dr. McElroy that we will evaluate our training camp situation on an ongoing basis and certainly would not rule out a return to Albany in the future if it makes sense for both parties.”
The Giants have been hit hard by injuries in recent training camps. Although the living quarters at UAlbany were in no way attempting to replicate a luxury hotel, one can not rule out the possibility that the environment contributed to the onslaught of serious injures players have sustained in recent years. It's a sad day for fans that grew up attending Giants training camp every summer, but it's a change that had to be made to adapt to the new rules of today's NFL.
Also…Collective Bargaining Agreement, Football, Giants Training Camp, James Brewer, Martellus Bennett, Marvin Austin, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Will Beatty