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Super Bowl XLVI: Introducing... The New York Football Giants

Ahead of his Super Bowl XLVI preview on Friday, Steven O’Rourke takes a look at the history of both teams, starting with the New York Giants.

New York Giants players Spencer Paysinger (55), Jacquian Williams (57) and Mark Herzlich (58) have some fun during Super Bowl XLVI media day.
New York Giants players Spencer Paysinger (55), Jacquian Williams (57) and Mark Herzlich (58) have some fun during Super Bowl XLVI media day.
Image: Mark Humphrey/AP/Press Association Images

A brief history

IN 1925 TIM MARA, a legitimate businessman and bookmaker, purchased the National Football League franchise for New York for $500 (about €4,800 in today’s money).

To differentiate themselves from the baseball team of the same name (the baseball Giants only moved to San Francisco in 1957), the G-men have been known as the New York Football Giants since 1937.

New York went 8-4 in their debut season but didn’t have to wait long before winning their first NFL Championship in 1927 with an 11-1-1 record under Earl Potteiger. That season the Giants only conceded 20 points, posting an impressive ten shutouts.

1933-1946 represented the most successful period in Giants history, reaching the NFL Championship game no less than eight times and winning twice (1934 and 1938).

Despite winning six NFL Eastern Conference Championships between 1956 and 1963, the G-Men only managed one NFL Championship win, a 47-7 win over the Chicago Bears in 1956.

Indeed, it would be 30 years before the Giants won another NFL Championship, thanks mostly to Phil Simms’ 88% completion rate (still a Super Bowl record) in their 39-20 win over the Denver Broncos at Super Bowl XXI in 1986.

After winning Super Bowl XXV in 1990, Big Blue fans had to wait 17 years to see Eli Manning and company beat the previously perfect New England Patriots to cause a huge upset in Super Bowl XLII.

That game will forever be remembered for this catch.

YouTube credit: webheadbr

Rivalries

Dallas Cowboys: Since a tie in their first game in December 1960, the Dallas Cowboys have consistently proven to be a thorn in the side of the Giants with a 56-41-2 record against New York. However, the Giants won the only postseason meeting between the two en route to winning Super Bowl XLII.

Philadelphia Eagles: One of the oldest rivalries in the NFL – dating back to 1933 – the Giants currently lead the series 81-72-2 despite the Eagles enjoying the lion’s share of victories in the past two decades.

New York Jets: As these two only meet in the regular season every four years this rivalry has more to do with the fact that New York is the only city with two teams in the NFL than a history of hatred. The Giants are 8-4 in the series having won the last five match-ups.

Players

The Giants have no less than 29 players and staff inducted into the Pro-Football Hall of Fame including the likes of Lawrence Taylor, Benny Friedman and Frank Gifford.

Other famous players and coaches include Phil Simms and Bill Parcells, both of whom are likely to go to the Hall of Fame at some stage in the future.

Of the current crop of players, Eli Manning, Jason Pierre Paul and Victor Cruz have all had career-defining seasons with Manning looking to double the number of Super Bowl victories currently enjoyed by his older brother, Peyton.

Fans

Far less brash than Jets fans, you don’t tend to hear from Giants fans until the postseason. Even then, knowing their record, the number of vocal Big Blue supporters increases exponentially the deeper they go into the playoffs.

As celebrity Giants fans include Jon Bon Jovi and Ralph Lauren, it’s probably not surprising they like to keep quiet.

Steven O’Rourke is the offensive co-ordinator of Tullamore PhoenixAmerican Football Club, winners of the IAFL DV8s national title in 2010 and 2011. Tullamore are always recruiting new players so, if you’d like to play football and not just read about it, Steven would love to hear from you.

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Steven O'Rourke

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