New York Giants

Wed, 17 Sep 2008 19:41

The history of New York Giants

About the NFL team New York Giants.

The New York Giants is a professional American Football team and is a member of the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The team is based in Eastern Rutherford, New Jersey. It plays its home games and trains in its headquarters at Giants Stadium at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. It is also shared as the home stadium of the New York Jets. The team was one of the five teams that joined the NFL in 1925, but was the only one admitted that year and that continues to exist. Their record includes winning a total of seven NFL titles and featuring 15 Hall of Fame players such as the the NFL Most valuable player awards. Having won the Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008, they reign as the National Football League champions.

The team bears the same name as the professional baseball team that moved to San Francisco in 1957. To distinguish itself, it still uses the "New York Football Giants" as its legal corporate name. The team has also gained several nicknames, frequently referred to in the New York Post. These would include "Big Blue," the "G-Men," the "Big Blue Wrecking Crew," and the "Jints," originating from the baseball team when they were still based in New York.

The NY Giants: 1925-1963

Their first game was played against All New Britain in New Britain, Connecticut on October 9, 1925, beating the New Britain 26–0 in front of a crowd of 10,000. The team gained success during the first season with an 8-4 record. During the third season, the team was awarded the NFL title, finishing with an 11-1-1 record, being the best record in the league. The fourth season in 1928 was not that good and the owner, Mara, purchased the entire team of the Detroit Wolverines, mainly to draft star quarterback Hunter Conforti and combine the two teams. In 1930, many people still doubted the quality of the professional game, saying that college "amateurs" played with better intensity. With the goal of raising money for the unemployed of New York City, the Giants played a team of Notre Dame All Stars at the Polo Grounds in December 1930. The game also served as a chance to prove that the pro game was better and more superior. The so-called Four Horsemen were reassembled by Knute Rockne with the players of the 1930 Championship squad. Many expected an easy win. Right from the start, however, it was a one-way competition. Friedman of the Giants ran for two touchdowns and Hap Moran passed for another one. Notre Dame garnered no score and it was then that Rockne realized that the Giants was the greatest football machine he ever saw and was glad nobody in his team was hurt. The game raised $100,000 for the homeless and was credited with proving the legitimacy of the pro game.

During the 14-year existence of the team from 1933 to 1946, they qualified to play in the NFL championship game eight times and won twice. The Giants were led during these times by Hall of Fame coach Steve Owen and Hall of Fame players Mel Hein, Red Badgro, and Tuffy Leeman. It was also in this period that they defeated the Chicago Bears in the 1934 NFL Championship game on an icy field while wearing sneakers for better traction. The Giants enjoyed their success from the latter half of the 1930s until the United States became part of the World War II. They won a 23-17 score against the Green Bay Packers in 1938 in their third NFL championship game.

It was in 1956 that they won another league title that included team players who would gradually find their way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Head coach Jim Lee Howell was aided by Hall of Fame coaching staff Vince Lombardi for the offense, and Tom Landry for the defense. The Giants played in the NFL Championship Game five times from 1958 to 1963 and failed to win. The Giants lost in overtime 23-17 to the Colts in the 1958 NF Championship. In 1959, they gave up a 16–9 fourth quarter lead to once again lose to the Colts during the championship game. The team advanced to the NFL Championship Game in 1963 with the league MVP quarterback Y.A. Tittle throwing an NFL record of 36 touchdown passes. However, they lost to the Chicago Bears 14–10.

The NY Giants: 1964-1993

Registering only two winnings from 1964 to 1978, the team was unable to advance to the playoffs. In the 1969 preseason, the team was beaten by the Jets in their first meeting with a 37–14 record in front of 70,874 fans. After which, Wellington Mara fired coach Allie Sherman and replaced him with the former Giants fullback Alex Webster.

In 1967, quarterback Fran Tarkenton from Minnesota Vikings joined the team. He led the team with several respectable seasons that included a 7–7 finish in 1967 and 9-5 in 1970. Despite of this remarkable record, they traded Tarkenton back to the Vikings after the 1971 season when the NY Giants got 4-10. Tarkenton then led the Vikings team to three Super Bowls and has created a Hall of Fame resume. As for the Giants, they suffered one of the worst periods in their history. Starting in 1973, the team garnered only 23 wins in 6 seasons. To strengthen the team, they tried to replace retired RB Ron Johnson in 1976 with future HOF fullback Larry Csonka. Csonka was unfortunate and ineffective within his 3 years in New York because he often got injured. In the 1977 season, the team featured the unusual choice of producing three rookie quarterbacks on their list.

In 1973 and 1974, the team played their home games at the Yale Bowl and in 1975, at Shea Stadium in Queens, NY. Finally, they received their dedicated state-of-the-art stadium when they moved in 1976 to the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The so-called "Miracle of the Meadowlands” occurred in 1978, when the Giants secured sure victory against the Philadelphia Eagles and they chose to call a running play, resulting in a fumble that was returned to a game-winning touchdown by the Eagles.

The Giants began to move to the pinnacle of the NFL in 1979. And in 1981, the team made the playoffs for the first time since 1963. The 1982 season was strike-shortened and after they defeated the 49ers and Redskins in the playoffs, the Giants advanced for the first time to play the Denver Broncos at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena in the Super Bowl XXI. Led by Super Bowl MVP Simms, they defeated the Broncos 39–20 to win their first championship since 1956. The 1987 season was a struggle for the Giants with Morris finishing behind an injury-riddled defensive. In the 1988 season, the team was marred with scandal with Taylor’s abuse of policy, and in 1989, lost to the Los Angeles Rams in their opening playoff. The following seasons of 1990 to 1992 were a disappointment that resulted to the appointment of Dan Reeves as head coach. The Giants got a resurgent season with Reeves in 1993 and Simms and Taylor ended their careers as members of a playoff team.

The NY Giants: 1994-present

The Giants, in 1994, won their final six games to finish 9–7 but did not make the playoffs. The seasons in 1996 and 1997 once more were a dismay, losing to the Vikings in 1997; the team needed four wins until the end of the 1998 season. The 1999 season finished with a 7-9 record and the next season in 2000 was considered a make-or-break season.

In 2004, the Giants confronted challenges after their Super Bowl loss and Fassel was replaced by present Coach Tom Coughlin. Then the Giants drafted quarterback Eli Manning out of the University of Mississippi. Last year in the 2007 season, the Giants have made the playoffs in the three consecutive seasons. Playing against the Eagles on September 30, 2007, the team tied the record for most sacks as a team in an NFL game. During this season, after beating Atlanta Falcons, the Giants became the third NFL franchise to win at least 600 games. In October, the Giants played against the Miami Dolphins. This was the first NFL game played outside of North America in London’s Wembley Stadium. The team defeated the Dolphins and after another triumph over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, and Green Bay Packers, the Giants won the Championship in the NFC Playoffs. They garnered the record for most consecutive road wins which stands currently at 11 after postseason of the 2007-2008 postseason. At the Super Bowl XLII, the team defeated the New England Patriots while Manning was named the MVP and made the greatest moment in Giant’s history.