For those of us who love to watch the pigskin fly on Sundays, this off-season's NFL labor dispute was frustrating. The endless back and forth between the players and owners, the threat of the season being postponed, or worse, canceled entirely—it was enough to drive a sensible man crazy.
So, to help get you in the proper frame of mind before tonight's season opener between the Saints and Packers at Lambeau Field, we offer an excerpt from our profile on New York Giants defensive end, and fellow cigar lover, Justin Tuck. For the full story, pick up the issue, available on newsstands everywhere. Hopefully, you can now focus on the important things, like whether or not you should go with a Churchill or a Double Corona...
By Michael P. Geffner
Justin Tuck has pulled off a minor miracle: Out of his maddening, big-city sports existence, he has still managed to replicate the remote, tiny-town vibe of his youth, living down a quiet side street of a quiet side street before the road abruptly hits a dead end in Fort Lee, New Jersey. “People don’t even know anything is here,” Tuck says. It’s his pocket of serenity, of much- sought-after normalcy, overlooking the Hudson River, where on a clear day from his backyard, with the leaves off the trees, he has a simply gorgeous view of the George Washington Bridge and Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
It’s a Saturday afternoon in mid March. Tuck, 28, the New York Giants’ Pro Bowl defensive end and one of the National Football League’s most dangerous pass rushers—whose takedown of pretty boy Tom Brady helped produce one of the greatest upsets in Super Bowl history—is nestled into his comfort zone, a decidedly ordinary moment. Dressed in jeans and a mango-colored designer T, he’s sitting at the kitchen table chomping on some Papa John’s pizza, first a slice slathered with extra mozzarella cheese, then one topped with endless slices of pepperoni. He washes it all down with a plastic bottle of purple vitamin water...
... Tuck’s friend Carl Banks, a legendary Giants linebacker who has two Super Bowl rings of his own, has a unique perspective on Tuck: “Justin is one of the most genuine, unassuming guys you’ll ever meet. For a guy of his stature to be so unaffected is rare. He’s, as my mom would say, someone who knows his manners.” Banks, who terrorized quarterbacks in the 1980s and early 1990s, is also responsible for introducing Tuck to the singular bliss of pairing a fine cigar with a good Scotch some five years ago. ...
Justin Tuck isn’t the only gridiron great who loves to kick back with a cigar. Check out these other footballer profiles that have graced the pages of Cigar Aficionado:
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