The New York Giants History: Two Legendary Games

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The New York Giants History: Two Legendary Games

The New York Giants started out with a slightly different name than the one we are familiar with.
Back in the day, Baseball was the main game for fans, so often times back then most football
teams would take on the same name is the MLB team of their city. In the case of the Giants, they
were called the New York Football Giants.

The team was established in 1925, when Giants founder and first owner Tim Mara brought the
team to the Tri-State area. He would remain at the help until 1959, when he transferred ownership
to his two sons, Jack and Wellington, to protect his team from debt collectors. He did, after all,
start the team for his boys and always intended for them to own it.

Although the team fielded winning teams in the first years, due to football not getting the billing or
fan attention like baseball, they struggled financially. They even fielded exposition games to
attempt to draw people to the game. One such game was against Notre Dame with Knute Rockne
at the helm with his Four Horsemen. Before they hit the field against the Giants, Rockne is said to
have told his team to score early in the game and then defend the score. It should have worked in
theory against the Giants, but the Giants had other ideas and ended up beating the Fighting Irish
soundly without allowing the Irish to score at all. After the game, Rockne told his team that was the
greatest football machine I ever saw. I am glad none of you got hurt." The game was ostensibly
played to raise money for the homeless and it did bring in $115, 183. It also, is believed to be THE
GAME to herald the legitimacy of Professional football.

The Giants have such a long and storied history, so it is a challenge to decide which facts are the
most important. Statistics are great, but they are easy to find, so lets look instead at one other
game that stands out in the history of the NY Giants: The Sneakers Game.

This game was played at the Polo Grounds, the same field of the NY Yankees, but definitely not
under baseball playing conditions. The game was played in 1934 at temperature of 25 degrees on

an icy field. Jim Mara, who was the team treasurer at the time, was concerned about the playing
field conditions so he talked to player-coach Steve Owen and the teams Captain, Ray Flaherty
about it. Flaherty suggested that sneakers be worn instead of the usual foot gear. So Mara sent
the team manager, Abe Cohen, to get sneakers. Unfortunately, traffic was bad due to the weather
so Cohen was late getting the shoes to the team.

The first half of the game, it looked like Chicago was going to win it, but after Cohen managed to
find 9 pairs of sneakers at the Polo Grounds locker room, the game quickly turned around in the
4th quarter with the Giants scoring 27 unanswered points to win the game.

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