Alex Teves, a New York Giants fan, was one of 12 people killed in the July 20 Aurora, Colo. movie theater tragedy. He covered his girlfriend to shield her from bullets fired in their direction.
Thursday, the Giants honored Teves’ heroism the best way an NFL team could – by hosting his family at practice.
Quarterback Eli Manning, receiver Victor Cruz and coach Tom Coughlin were among the Giants who introduced themselves to the family and offered condolences.
“This would be the highlight of our lives,” Tom Teves, Alex’s father, said, “if you took away July 20.”
The Giants’ longtime chaplain, the Rev. William Dowd, arranged for Teves’ parents and younger brothers, Tommy and Nick, to attend the Giants’ first practice back at their training facility on Thursday, and owner John Mara provided the family with tickets to Saturday night’s preseason game against the Jets.
The Teves family lived in Verona, N.J., before moving to the Phoenix area in 2001.
“But we all remained big-time Giants fans,” Tom Teves said. “The Maras are one of the classiest families in sports, and what their organization did today was give us a good day at a time when we haven’t had a lot of good days.”
Tommy is a big Cruz fan, Nick a big Eli fan, and both got to meet their football idols on Thursday.
Alex “loved Justin Tuck,” his father said. “And that’s just the kind of player Alex would like, a guy who gets in there and mixes it up.”
When the family learned that Alex died while protecting his girlfriend, Amanda Lindgren, from the barrage of bullets, no one blinked.
“I’m not surprised he did it,” Tom Teves told ESPNNewYork.com by phone. “Alex was the type of man who couldn’t live with himself if he didn’t do what he did. She was the love of his life. My wife, Caren, and I never once wished he hadn’t done that.”
The Teveses are scheduled to fly home on Sunday morning. “Life will never be the same for us,” Tom Teves said, “because Alex isn’t coming back. But we won’t forget what the Giants did here. They gave us a good day when we needed one.”