The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in the New York metropolitan area. The New York Giants compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league’s National Football Conference (NFC) East division. The team plays its home games at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which it shares with the New York Jets in a unique arrangement. The Giants hold their summer training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center at the Meadowlands Sports Complex.
The New York Giants were one of five teams that joined the NFL in 1925, and is the only one of that group still existing, as well as the league’s longest-established team in the Northeastern United States. The team ranks third among all NFL franchises with eight NFL titles: four in the pre–Super Bowl era (1927, 1934, 1938, 1956) and four since the advent of the Super Bowl (Super Bowls XXI (1986), XXV (1990), XLII (2007), and XLVI (2011)), along with more championship appearances than any other team, with 19 overall appearances. Their championship tally is surpassed only by the Green Bay Packers (13) and Chicago Bears (9). Throughout their history, the Giants have featured 28 Hall of Fame players, including NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) award winners Mel Hein, Frank Gifford, Y. A. Tittle, and Lawrence Taylor.
To distinguish themselves from the professional baseball team of the same name, the football team was incorporated as the “New York National League Football Company, Inc.” in 1929 and changed to “New York Football Giants, Inc.” in 1937. While the baseball team moved to San Francisco after the 1957 season, the football team continues to use “New York Football Giants, Inc.” as its legal corporate name, and is often referred to by fans and sportscasters as the “New York Football Giants”. The team has also acquired several nicknames, including “Big Blue”, the “G-Men”, and the “Jints”, an intentionally mangled contraction seen frequently in the New York Post and New York Daily News, originating from the baseball team when they were based in New York. Additionally, the team as a whole is occasionally referred to as the “Big Blue Wrecking Crew”, even though this moniker primarily and originally refers to the Giants defensive unit during the 80s and early 90s (and before that to the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball teams of the late 1970s and early 1980s).
The team’s heated rivalry with the Philadelphia Eagles is the oldest of the NFC East rivalries, dating all the way back to 1933, and has been called the best rivalry in the NFL in the 21st century.
The Giants played their first game as an away game against All New Britain in New Britain, Connecticut, on October 4, 1925. They defeated New Britain 26–0 in front of a crowd of 10,000. The Giants were successful in their first season, finishing with an 8–4 record.
In its third season, the team finished with the best record in the league at 11–1–1 and was awarded the NFL title. After a disappointing fourth season (1928) owner Mara bought the entire squad of the Detroit Wolverines, principally to acquire star quarterback Benny Friedman, and merged the two teams under the Giants name.
In 1930, there were still many who questioned the quality of the professional game, claiming the college “amateurs” played with more intensity than professionals. In December 1930, the Giants played a team of Notre Dame All Stars at the Polo Grounds to raise money for the unemployed of New York City. It was also an opportunity to establish the skill and prestige of the pro game. Knute Rockne reassembled his Four Horsemen along with the stars of his 1924 Championship squad and told them to score early, then defend. Rockne, like much of the public, thought little of pro football and expected an easy win. But from the beginning it was a one-way contest, with Friedman running for two Giant touchdowns and Hap Moran passing for another. Notre Dame failed to score. When it was all over, Coach Rockne told his team, “That was the greatest football machine I ever saw. I am glad none of you got hurt.” The game raised $100,000 for the homeless, and is often credited with establishing the legitimacy of the professional game for those who were critical. It also was the last game the legendary Rockne ever coached; he was killed in an airplane crash on March 31, 1931.
The New York Giants do not have any cheerleaders or mascot. “Philosophically we have always had issues with sending scantily clad women out on the field to entertain our fans,” said John Mara, the Giants co-owner. “It’s just not part of our philosophy.” He continued “Some teams are comfortable with not only having cheerleaders but selling cheerleader swimsuit calendars or in a couple cases lingerie calendars. It’s not something you’re going to see the Giants do. Not while I’m around, anyway.”