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New York Giants News and Notes: Fourth of July Hump Day Edition

Good morning fellow Giants fans and Happy 4th to you all. It's also Hump Day, and time to look at our Hump Day calendar--there are just nine weeks until the Giants and Cowboys kick off the 2012 NFL season. Really, it's just a little over two months, and on Thursday it will have been five months since the Giants won the Super Bowl. We're just putting things in perspective. Meanwhile, here are a few reading items--otherwise enjoy your holiday and drink responsibly!

Derrick Ward calls it a career - Football Wires -
Former New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texans running back Derrick Ward announced his retirement on Tuesday. "To all my fans just wanted to let u know its been a great ride the last 9yrs but I'm calling it a career. I thank u all for believing in me,!" Ward said on his Twitter account. The former seventh-round pick rushed for a career-high 1,025 yards with the Giants in 2008.

Perkins back on the sidelines at Mississippi JUCO - SFGate
Ray Perkins leans back in his chair, enthusiastically talking football in his Mississippi office at tiny Jones County Junior College. A pair of palm trees stands in the heat outside — a dead giveaway that this is a long way from Giants Stadium and the bright lights of the NFL. But for the 70-year-old Perkins, it's football paradise. "It fits like a glove," Perkins said. "This is what I'm supposed to be doing." That may surprise some people.

NFC East's 'dynamic duos' - NFC East Blog - ESPN
Our man Gary Horton listed his top 10 "dynamic duos" Insider in the NFC last week. It's an Insider piece, so all I can really tell you is that Philadelphia Eagles defensive ends Trent Cole and Jason Babin, who combined for 29 sacks last year, ranked second on the list and New York Giants defensive ends Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul ranked ninth. My innate knowledge of the inner workings of the minds of my readers tells me that a percentage of you are already furious about this disparity and are suggesting that Horton be institutionalized. Me? I think I'd rank the Giants' ends ahead of the Eagles' ends, but it's extremely close, and the key thing to remember is that these are four elite pass-rushers and the only four represented at all on Gary's list. If you had the second pick in a pass-rushing-duo draft, you'd be pretty fired up to know you were getting one of these two.

It is close, but it won't be after this year! JPP for NFL MVP?

Title game repeat? Odds stacked against XLVI champion Giants -
Participating in back-to-back Super Bowls is an impressive achievement. The New England Patriots were the last team to accomplish that feat when they won Super Bowls after the 2003 and 2004 seasons. As you can see by the accompanying chart (right), participating in consecutive conference championship games is also very difficult. While the New York Jets recently managed back-to-back appearances in the AFC title game, the NFC title game hasn't had a repeat participant since the Philadelphia Eagles made four straight in the early aughts.....The New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens and Patriots will each field very talented teams in 2012, but the odds are against most of them returning to their respective conference title game.

NEW HAVEN 200: North Haven's Kevin Gilbride started at SCSU, but cemented legacy with New York Giants - Sports - Post-Chronicle
Kevin Gilbride had dreams of becoming a major league pitcher while growing up in North Haven, where he starred at every level right through his time with high school coach Bob DeMayo. Arm injuries derailed his baseball dreams. They also limited him as a quarterback at Southern Connecticut State, where he finished his career as a tight end.

New York Giants to host non-contact youth camps in New Canaan - New Canaan News
This summer, the New York Giants will offer 27 non-contact football camps in 26 communities. The Giants will host their second New Canaan camp at St. Luke's High School from July 23-27. The five-day camp runs Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Camps are available to kids ages 6-14 years old.

July 4 has lots of happy memories | The Post-Searchlight
While looking forward to enjoying our July 4 Independence Day holiday today in Bainbridge, my mind flashed back to a special Independence Day I had with my New Jersey relatives back in 2008. My cousins, Bill and Maurine Collins, and their son, Michael, took me to Long Branch Beach on the New Jersey shore for the day. It was just about five months after the New York Giants beat the previously-undefeated New England Patriots 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII. As we sat around the beach enjoying our Independence Day hot dogs, hamburgers and all the trimmings, I proudly told my cousins about a Decatur County native, Giants starting safety James Butler, who was a major contributor to the Giants’ Super Bowl victory.

I only posted this last one because it mentioned the Giants winning a Super Bowl, and the 4th of July. Sounds good to me! Now, let me see how many hot dogs I can eat....