The New York Football Giants are the only remaining team that joined the NFL in 1925. Therefore you know that they have a storied and proud history.
In their 90 seasons, they have won 673 regular season games, which ranks 3rd in NFL history. Their 48 playoff victories ranks 5th in League History. They’ve won 8 League Championships, 4 before the AFL-NFL merger and 4 in the Super Bowl (XXI, XXV, XLII, XLVI) era. They’ve appeared in 19 Championship games, won 11 Conference Championships, won 16 Division championships, while making the playoffs 31 times.
28 Giants players have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But I have to choose only four to be the face of such a rich history. The following are the Giants Mount Rushmore.
- No owners, unless they were also coaches, and their place on this list is based on their contributions as coach. No General Managers or Personnel executives. Just those who directly affected the games on Sunday. I will make a separate list for those contributors soon.
- Key contributors to the team’s history and success, not just fan favorites or box office draws.
- Can you tell the franchise’s story without them? If no, they’re on the list.
Lawrence Taylor (1981-1993) is arguably the greatest defensive player in NFL history. He was ranked 3rd by NFL.com on their “Top 100: NFL’s Greatest Players” back in 2010. When he retired in 1993, his 132.5 sacks were the most in franchise history. The 10-time Pro Bowler and 10-time All-Pro led the Giants to two Super Bowl titles (XXI, XXV). In 1986 he was awarded the AP NFL MVP, and he’s a member of both the NFL 75th Anniversary and NFL 1980’s All-Decade team. His iconic jersey number 56 is retired by the organization, and he was inducted into the Ring of Honor in 2010. In 1999, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Bill Parcells (1983-1990) along with LT was the driving force behind those 1980’s Giants that won two Lombardi Trophies after the 1986 and 1990 seasons, and restored the Giants franchise to its past glory. The “Tuna” was named AP NFL Coach of the Year, Sporting News Coach of the Year, and UPI NFL Coach of the Year with the club in 1986, and led the “G-Men” to 3 NFC East titles during his tenure. He was inducted into the Giants Ring of Honor in 2010, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013.
Y.A. Tittle (1961-1964) played professional football for seventeen seasons, and I must admit, obviously I am too young to have seen him play. But by all accounts, he is a pilar in the NFL and Giants history. Although the majority of his career was spent with the San Francisco 49ers (1951-1960), his time in New York is considered one of the best times in the franchise history. After being traded to New York at the age of 34, Tittle won three consecutive MVP awards (1961-1964) and led the team to three consecutive League Championship games. He threw for a NFL record 7 touchdown passes in one game against the Washington Redskins, a record he shares with seven others including Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Nick Foles. When he retired in 1964, his 96 touchdown passes ranked 1st in team history–he’s now 5th. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971, and the Giants retired his number 14 jersey and made him a charter member of their Ring of Honor.
Michael Strahan (1993-2007) post football career may turn out to be better than his on-field career was, and that’s saying something when you consider he retired as the Giants all-time leader in sacks (141.5) and combined tackles (851, 659 solo & 192 assisted), while leading the team to an improbably victory over the then undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Strahan is a 6-time All-Pro (four-times 1st-team) and a 7-time Pro Bowl selection. Twice he led the NFL in sacks, and won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2001. His 22.5 sacks during that season is still the single season record. He’s a member of the NFL’s 2000’s all-decade team, and the Giants Ring of Honor. NFL.com ranked him 99th on their “100 Greatest Players” list in 2010, and in 2014 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Giants fans what do you think? Is this the Giants Mount Rushmore? Or did I leave someone out? If so who would you choose and who would you replace? I want to hear from you.