Giants trade pigskin for pins in Delmar

What do you do when about 60 members of the New York Giants, some with size 17 shoes, come barreling into your bowling alley after a tiring day of football drills wanting to relax with a few chicken wings and some bowling.

You get out of their way and let them bowl of course.

That is just what Bill Cornell and Marvin Sontz of Del Lanes in Delmar did one night in mid August when Eli Manning and the men in blue were treated to a night out in Delmar by coach Tom Coughlin.

The coach told them after dinner that their nightly meeting was cancelled, and it was mandatory that they all went bowling, said Sontz, who worked with the football team for several weeks to prepare for the Giants coming to Del Lanes.

"They booked it two months in advance," said Sontz, who closed the lanes the night of Aug. 15 so the team could bowl Rock 'N Glow-style, complete with music and lights, and enjoy one of their few nights out in Albany during NFL summer training.

The team's arrival was a big secret in the community because the event was closed to the media.

"I kept it quiet," said Sontz, who has been a Giants football fan his whole life.

"The only people who knew were the night staff and a few people volunteering that night."

The team stayed from 7 p.m. to about 9:30 that night, eating wings and pizza and engaging in some friendly competition to see who could make the most strikes.

The top bowler that night was 325-pound lineman Kareem MacKenzie, who bowled a 225. Eli Manning bowled around 130.

'They were just having a good time having fun," Sontz said.

Sontz said he gave a few pointers to Coach Coughlin to the dismay of some of the players.

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