GMEN HQ: Talk to me about some of your favorite memories with some Giants players OFF the field?
LPG: It all started back when I was 15.
My dad would take me to the Woodcliff Lake Hilton in Woodcliff Lakes, New Jersey. The NY Giants were staying there every Saturday night before their home games. I was going every Saturday with my pops. I could tell you players’ names as they walked in the door by the back of their head even back then.
It was really cool back then. There weren’t a lot of people, weren’t a lot of fans. When I was 15, I was actually babysitting for Otis Birdsong (A NJ Nets basketball player from 1981-1988). He came home one day and he’s like, “Hey, Joe Morris moved in next door.”
Joe was really cool and we became friends and I was just a teenager. He helped me with my college selection where I was going to play football, and then he became a lifelong friend after that. As I became an adult, I had an adult friendship with him whether it was going to dinner or hanging out at his house, or just chatting about life after football with him.
Fast forward back to the 2000s and I see Brandon Jacobs at the team hotel during an away game. I was walking through the hotel and he said, “Hey you”. I turned and he says to me, “Yeah, you. Who the F are you?”
I asked him, “What do you mean who am I?” He asked again, “Who the F are you?”
And then we started talking, it must’ve been over an hour in the lobby. Then, Danny Ware was there with Ahmad Bradshaw, Blackburn, and Zak DeOssie. Then a friendship was born and it took off after that.
GMEN HQ: You have a seemingly endless collection of custom NY Giants jerseys and gear paying respect and homage to the many great men that have represented the Giants and the areas of NY and NJ. What do these jerseys mean to you? Any favorites besides the Eagles “0” Super Bowls?
LPG: You know that Eagles jersey is special to me.
One jersey raised $10,300 for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund. That’ll always be my favorite jersey because I tormented that team for 13 years with it.
I also have a pretty cool breast cancer jersey. It’s one with just a bra with two giant footballs in it. I was spending stupid amounts of money on these custom jerseys. In this free agency-driven day in age, I go make a jersey and the guy is off the team the next year. It’s really frustrating.
However, how do you not make one of a Saquon Barkley or a Daniel Jones or somebody that you think is going to be on the team for six-plus years? I probably have 400 or so jerseys. I have a couple of hundred of those signed. I have been auctioning them all for charity the last couple of years because as I’m getting older, I’m realizing I either have to move it to a mansion that I can’t afford, or I gotta get rid of some stuff!
But I can’t stop it. I’m still forging ahead and making different jerseys. And I got a cool Joe Judge one in the works. Stay tuned for that.
GMEN HQ: There’s no Joe Ruback without all the license plates that have become your signature. Do you embrace the entire identity of “License Plate Guy”? What’s your favorite part about being LPG? What’s your least favorite part about LPG? Is there anything you would have done differently with the entire persona and character?
LPG: I love it.
I’ve been doing it since I was 16, my first plate, “G1ANTS” is still on my car today. I wouldn’t change anything about the collection. The greatest part about being LPG, people from all over the world send me plates.
If you’re a Giants fan in Germany and you’re sending me one, awesome. If you’re a Giants fan wherever, I get them from California, Texas, and Florida. It doesn’t matter if it’s on your car or was on your car.
I’ll rock it.
Would I change anything? No, I don’t think I would. I love that social media has given me the platform that we talked about. Maybe back in the day, I would have started some kind of a YouTube page or something, maybe something else that I could have grown. My brand is something that maybe I would have changed. That would have been a little different.
Social media can be a toxic place and environment. “You have no idea what you’re talking about. Giant stink, blah, blah, blah”. It’s like, thank you for your time. Comment and you try and walk away. But it’s very hard. One bad comment shouldn’t wipe away hundreds of positive comments, but it’s just louder and it gets the attention we want to.
One of the things I absolutely love is when someone has to tell you that they’re unfollowing. Nothing is sadder than when people will announce it publicly when they unfollow me, it’s like you got nothing else better to do? C’mon!
My least favorite part about being LPG is the hate I get and see on social media. But I really do try and kill them with kindness. If you’re doing a podcast, if you’re just starting social media, people will try to bring you down for no reason.
The hate you will get is madness. My motto is that you will go through life and people will hate you and love you for the same exact reasons. And that’s why you will never ever be able to have a hundred percent on your side.