The enemy of your enemy is your friend. That's how Dave Tollefson's twin sister became a Giants fan 21 years ago.
Tollefson, who grew up in the East Bay with his two siblings and single mom, was a Raiders fan along with his family during the 1990 New York Giants run to Super Bowl XXV. In the NFC Championship, the Giants beat the Raiders' nearby rivals, the San Francisco 49ers.
Eliminating the scarlet and metallic gold was enough to become a fan of Big Blue for her.
"You know what's funny is my twin sister actually became a Giants fan because of that," Tollefson said on Friday, the final practice day back at the facility. "Because they had won the Super Bowl that year and they had beat the 49ers and we hated the 49ers so much."
Now the defensive end will try to write his own history as he heads back to his home state.
Born 25 miles outside of Candlestick Park in Walnut Creek, Calif., Tollefson attended Ygnacio Valley High School (Concord) and played two seasons at nearby Los Medanos Community College.
"It was always a dream to play in the NFL," said Tollefson said, who's only professional game played back in the Bay Area was this season's regular-season loss to the 49ers. "Even when I was a carpenter and working, I used to tell my friends I wanted to play in the NFL and they would make fun of me. It was always a dream. At this point, I'm living it and you just try to keep those stacking those good memories. This is just another great memory of just being with these guys in this locker room and making a run like this."
Meanwhile, also enjoying the run is coach Tom Coughlin, who was particularly sprightly during his final press conference of the week. Tollefson understands why.
"I like to think I know Tom pretty well playing for him the past five years," he said. "I think he's just comfortable with where we're at mentally as a team. For a head coach, you're always kind of trying to manage that mental aspect of the game for your team. You don't want them too high, you don't want them too low.
"The leadership in this locker room has done a really good job of keeping everybody on the same page," Tollefson continued, "And I think he's just as excited. For a 65-year-old man to be jacked up for a game like this, I think it speaks on what this franchise is so excited about."