When the Giants Were Giants

With today being Thanksgiving and a traditional original NFL Lions-Bears game on tap, a Tweet by reporter John Fennelly brought back some memories. His Tweet is about how the Giants under Kevin Gilbride, who was eventually run out of town, used to score a lot of points. But look at his list of highest scoring Giants teams ever:

That 1963 Giants team, for those of us old enough to remember (like me), was amazing. 11-3, 448 points in 14 games. They scored 30+ points in 10 of their 14 games, and 40+ in 3 of their games. (Despite getting shut out by Pittsburgh 31-0 in game 2; they dropped 33 on the Steelers in the rematch in game 14.) Y.A. Tittle threw for 36 TDs in 14 games, many to receivers Del Shofner and Frank Gifford. And home games were not on TV in New York, you had to go up to Connecticut to see them.

Unfortunately in the NFL championship game the Giants faced the Bears, who had an awesome defense. The Bears gave up fewer than 10 points in 8 of their 14 games, fewer than 20 in 12 of their 14 games, and no more than 21 in any game. Their QB, Billy Wade, was pedestrian, but it didn't matter. Immovable object beat irresistible force 14-10, and that was the end of the Giants' glory days for 17 years until LT came along. In 1964 they were 2-10-2 and Tittle was on the ground bleeding from the head. Eventually Giants' coach Allie Sherman was serenaded by the fans with "Goodbye, Allie."

We're only 10 years removed from our most recent glory days, at least with one brief playoff appearance in the middle of that. Not so bad by comparison, as terrible as things seem at the moment.

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