Tisch smiling down on victorious Giants

There must have been no doubt in the minds of any of Bob Tisch's family that the beloved Giants owner was cheering wildly as New York knocked off the Eagles, 27-17, at Giants Stadium. After all, one week earlier, Tiki Barber's touchdown and successful two-point conversion during New York's stirring last-minute comeback against Minnesota was one of Tisch's final – and likely fondest – memories.

"He was sleeping most of the game, but at the end when Tiki scored, he woke up and his eyes lit up and he smiled," Tisch's granddaughter Carolyn Sussman told TGI. "He raised up his hands in the air, which was all the strength he could possibly muster up. It just showed how much he loved the team and how much he loved the Giants. He was so happy. Even though they ended up losing, it didn't matter because he saw that play and I think he really realized they were pushing for him."

"That was the most movement we had gotten out of him during his last four days," added Emily Sussman, another of Tisch's granddaughters. "It really meant a lot. That was really amazing."

The Sussman sisters and Hilary Tisch, the third of Tisch's beautiful and wonderful granddaughters gracious enough to give TGI a few minutes before Sunday's tilt, know better than most how amazing a man Preston Robert Tisch was.

"He just loved people so much," Emily said. "It didn't matter what they did or who they were. If it were up to him he would have gotten to know every single Giants fan. He really loved the Giants fans."

Just as Tisch loved helping others. His work in the community was the stuff of legend. He just didn't want any pats on the back for his efforts.

"He was always very humble," said Carolyn, a 20-year-old student at Yale. "He was not one to talk about what he did. That really made what he did even more special, because it was more genuine."

"He actually just wanted to help people," added Hilary, a 22-year-old California native that attends UC-Santa Barbara. "He certainly wasn't doing it for the recognition. He genuinely cared. He was such a great guy."

At no point in time was it more obvious where Tisch's granddaughters ranked in his life than just before the biggest game of his Giants ownership career – Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa.

Prior to New York's matchup with Baltimore, a couple of Tisch's family members got tied up in the hotel lobby. The result? The entire caravan of busses heading over to the stadium was delayed. Tisch wasn't going to leave anyone behind, especially a couple of his grandchildren.

"Here's a very little-known story," Emily stated. "Remember the Giants were 20 minutes late leaving the hotel for the Super Bowl? Everyone was wondering where were the Giants, what was going on? It was because Carolyn and I got stuck talking to family and friends in the lobby and we were all part of the motorcade and he wouldn't let it leave without us. The entire team was held up because of us. He wouldn't let anyone leave without us. He wasn't even angry at all. As usual, he just waited for his family and put his family first."

Tisch always made his family feel important, even when surrounded by some of New York's most influential figures.

"He'd always have all these important people in the (owner's) box with him, but he'd always let us come sit with him," Carolyn said. "He was always so proud of us. He loved all of us so much."

"I could bring however many friends I wanted and he'd always spend a couple minutes with each and every one of them," Emily recalled. "And he'd always remember them. He always remembered everybody."

Emily said she always felt like numero uno around her grandfather.

"It was always so very clear that we were very, very important in his life," Emily added. "We'd stop and talk to some star player on the field and he'd be telling them about the paper I just wrote for school."

Emily, 23, is currently attending Cardoza Law School primarily because of her grandfather.

"Going to law school was really me living out my grandfather's dream for me," she said. "I pushed really hard because it was so incredibly important to me that I start while he was alive and while he knew what I was doing."

Emily's fighting spirit comes straight from the relentless Tisch, who outlasted even the most optimistic of diagnoses.

"He really fought it," she said. "He was given four to six months to live and he would not give up."

"That's the type of guy that he was," an emotional Hilary boasted. "He never gave up and he never went down easily. He always had to do everything."

Tisch's granddaughters said they were excited to join the rest of the family at midfield during a moving halftime tribute.

"I think it's even more special that we can celebrate his life with all of the Giants fans," Carolyn said.

"I'm just proud to be here and be a part of it," Hilary said. "I want to be part of his legacy. I'm really proud of that.

"We're all just so proud of all he's leaving behind. Just being a part of the Giants is so really, really special for us. And it was all because of his love for his family."

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