On Monday, December 4, the Giants organization announced that head coach Ben McAdoo had been fired. Steve Spagnuolo has been announced as his replacement, and will lead the struggling team for the remainder of the season.
Steve and his wife, Maria, have been married for well over a decade. She has been an incredible support system to him, both on and off the field.
Here is what you need to know:
1. She Met Steve on a Blind Date
The Spagnuolos met on a blind date several years ago. Steve wasn’t quick to jump on the opportunity to meet a girl and it took a lot of convincing on behalf of his friends — but he eventually agreed to meet Maria, and it’s a good thing that he did.
Although the two seemed to hit it off straight away, Steve was rather old fashioned and took his time before making a move on his now-wife. In fact, the first couple of times the couple hung out, they were on group dates. It wasn’t until their third date that they went out just the two of them, according to NJ.com.
Steve’s family was quick to accept Maria, and they have nothing but wonderful things to say about her.
“She was sent by God to be his wife,” Steve’s mom, Carol, told NJ.com back in 2008. The site adds that Steve’s brother calls her “Saint Maria.”
“I’m the luckiest guy in the world,” Steve has said about his wife.
2. She & Steve Got Married at the Vatican
In 2005, Maria and Steve said their “I do’s” at the Vatican in Rome, Italy. The couple made the decision to head overseas to tie the knot, and didn’t tell their families until just a couple of days before their flight.
“I said, ‘You’re going to Italy? What are you going to do there?’ He said, ‘We’re getting married.’ It’s like if we didn’t ask, he wouldn’t have said anything. But good for him. He waited so long, you wondered if it would ever happen. Football was his whole life,” Steve’s sister, Donna, told NJ.com.
However, before the two traveled across the pond, there was a bit of a mix-up with their paperwork and they were almost kept from getting married. According to the National Catholic Register, Maria and Steve wanted to wed at a church in Rome, but they didn’t have a specific piece of paper filed that they needed to do so — and they realized this when it was too late.
“You try to get married in another country, you talk about paperwork. This paperwork around here is nothing,” Steve recalled. “I had read somewhere that if you got married at the Vatican, you didn’t need this piece of paper because the Vatican has its own rules because it’s its own country. This is my simple mind. ‘Have you ever been to St. Peter’s Basilica? There are eight chapels. Four on this side and four on that side.’ I knew that because I read it somewhere. I was like, ‘How hard can it be? You just go in one of those chapels,'” Steve told the National Catholic Register.
After doing some quick research, the soon-to-be husband and wife found out that the Vatican only conducted two weddings each day — but there was a one time slot opened, so they booked it.
“That was an act of God or divine intervention,” Steve said.
3. She Is a Hairdresser
Maria has worked as a hairdresser for several years. Back in 2008, NJ.com writer
Manahan arrived at the salon with photographer Tim Farrell. He recalled meeting Maria, who was very kind and even greeted the two men with hugs.
“Photographer Tim Farrell and I are greeted at the door with a smile and a hug. She calls us and everyone around her ‘Honey’ and ‘Sweetheart’ and ‘Sweetie’ — and actually means it. I corner Chuck Martino, the salon’s owner, and ask him about Mrs. Cover Two’s personality. C’mon, it’s fake, right? This early in the morning, it has to be.”
“‘Uh, no, it’s genuine,’ he says. ‘She’s always like that. Always. The customers love her. We love her. And she never has a down day.'”
4. She Isn’t a Tom Brady Fan
Manahan learned that Maria isn’t a huge Tom Brady fan during his hair appointment that day. He asked her about the New England Patriots — and her response was quite telling. Not only did she “dig the clippers into [his] scalp,” but Maria didn’t hold back.
“You know, when they played them the first time, Steve was getting text messages from some of his friends who are Patriots fans. They told him, ‘Go easy on Tom Brady. We need him for the Super Bowl.’ Can you imagine that? I told Steve what I thought they should do to Brady. So, Steve goes into the defensive meeting that week and says, ‘My wife is not a violent person, she doesn’t have a mean bone in her body, but she says we should kick Tom Brady in his …'” Maria told him.
She added that Manahan’s cut would last him until “after the Super Bowl” and that he should make another appointment sometime after the big game.
5. She Often Bakes & Sends Her Husband to Work with Homemade Treats
Spagnuolo loves to be at home cooking and baking up a storm, and she often sends her husband to work with sweet treats — which he has shared with some of the players he has worked with. In fact, back in June, Landon Collins admitted to enjoying some of Maria’s banana pudding.
“He is still eating Maria’s banana pudding though because we brought some yesterday and he probably walked out with a whole tray,” Steve told SB Nation’s Big Blue View.
“I had two of them, I kind of shared those with the team. I was about to take the pan. Can’t bring sweets around me,” Collins admitted.