Five facts only a Giants diehard would know
Cold, Hard Football Facts for Sep 02, 2006
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By Cold, Hard Football Facts contributor Jonathan Comey
Here are five Cold, Hard Football Facts you probably don't know unless you're a Giants diehard:
1. The Giants were the first team to retire a number.
Although two-way lineman Ray Flaherty is not in the Hall of Fame as a player (he made it as a coach in 1976), his 10-year playing career was good enough that the Giants took his No. 1 out of commission upon his retirement in 1935.
2. The Giants have played in and lost more NFL championship games than any other team.
The Giants have appeared in 16 NFL title games, ahead of Green Bay (12) and Dallas (10). They've lost 12 of those, all in the pre-merger era. The Frank Gifford/Alex Webster-led Giants were the precursor of the Jim Kelly Bills, losing four titles in five seasons from 1959-1964 and going into a similar tailspin after that unsuccessful run at glory.
3. The Giants broke out a "futuristic" new logo in 1975 that had about as much staying power as the pet rock.
Giants Hall of Famer Andy Robustelli took over GM duties before the 1975 season, and he had always wanted to update the classic "NY" that used to grace his helmet. So he hired a hip design firm to turn out this abomination, which was about as good as the Giants were under Robustelli's watch. Five years and a 25-49 record later, he was replaced by George Young for the 1980 season. Young, who looked a little like an alien, would turn the franchise around with the hiring of Bill Parcells as head coach in 1983.
4. Giants players threatened a walkout in 1981 if rookie Lawrence Taylor was given an "outlandish" three-year, $750,000 deal.
Twenty-five years doesn't seem like a long time, but in terms of NFL inflation, it was another epoch. When Taylor asked for $250K a year – more than veteran standouts – old-schoolers were ready to rebel. No one went on the record about it, but linebacker Brad Van Pelt admitted that there was a movement afoot. Taylor got his money and earned his keep, and when he signed his last Giants contract in 1993, it was for two years and $5.5 million. Last year, the average NFL salary was $1.4 million.
5. The 1990 Giants are the only team to win a Super Bowl with a bottom-half scoring offense.
There have been some notable defensive teams to win the big one, but no one did it with less than Parcells' second championship team. The Giants scored 311 points that year, which placed them 15th out of 28 teams. The feat was nearly matched by the 2000 Ravens (14th out of 30 teams). The 1990 Giants scored fewer points than the 5-11 Rams and Falcons, but allowed a stingy 13.3 points a game. With Stephen Baker and Lionel Manuel as 1-2 receivers and 33-year-old O.J. Anderson averaging 3.5 yards a pop as the lead back, that title season was a tribute to L.T. and a defensive coordinator who would make a career out of humiliating high-powered offenses.
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