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NEW YORK GIANTS

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The New York Football Giants were founded in 1925 by Tim Mara. “Football” was included in the name to distinguish the team from the baseball Giants, who played in the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan. The football squad was one of the original teams in the National Football League, which also included the Chicago Cardinals (now the Arizona Cardinals), the Decatur Staleys (now the Chicago Bears), and the Green Bay Packers, who were founded in 1919 and remain the oldest team not to change locations.

The Giants currently play in the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference (NFC), which includes the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins. The team plays its home games at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The most common nicknames associated with the Giants are Big Blue, the G-Men and the Jints.

The first game played by the Giants was against All New Britain in New Britain, Conn., on October 5, 1925. Since then, the Giants have enjoyed a great deal of success, appearing in the championship game 19 times (which ranks first in the NFL) and winning eight NFL championship titles (third among NFL franchises). The first four titles were won before the Super Bowl era, in 1927, 1934, 1938 and 1956. The first Super Bowl was played in 1967, and the Giants have been victorious in the Big Game in 1986 (XXI), 1990 (XXV), 2007 (XLII) and 2011 (XLVI). Only the Green Bay Packers (13) and the Chicago Bears (9) have won more titles.

One of the most famous games in Giants history ended up being a loss. On December 28, 1958, the Giants played the Colts for the NFL title at Yankee Stadium in New York City. The NFL had been rising in popularity throughout the 1950s and this game was televised nationally on NBC. The two teams traded leads throughout the game, and Baltimore tied the score with a field goal with seven seconds left, making this the first NFL title game to be decided by sudden-death overtime. The Giants won the coin toss but couldn’t get a first down. Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas moved the offense 80 yards in 13 plays and Alan Ameche scored the winning touchdown. In all, 17 future Hall of Famers were on the field that day and the epic battle became known as the “Greatest Game Ever Played.” It was voted the best game of the NFL’s first 100 years.

Notable Giants players include center Mel Hein, running back Frank Gifford, quarterback Y.A. Tittle and linebacker Lawrence Taylor, all of whom won MVP awards. In all, 28 Giants have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Coach Bill Parcells led the Giants to Super Bowl victories in 1986 and 1990. His teams were defined by a stifling defense, keyed by Taylor and fellow linebacker Harry Carson. The unit was nicknamed the Big Blue Wrecking Crew. The offense of that era was led by Phil Simms, who played all of his 15 NFL seasons with the Giants.

Tom Coughlin also coached the G-men to two Super Bowl victories. He helped develop quarterback Eli Manning, who holds the Giants franchise records for most passing yards, touchdown passes and completed passes in a career. He was named MVP of Super Bowls XLII and XLVI.