Two years after Peter Finch won an Oscar for his role in the film Network, Giants fans empathized with his crazed character’s catchphrase, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” The day after “the Fumble,” offensive coach Bob Gibson was fired. Two weeks later, 100 fans burned their tickets and mailed the ashes to owner Wellington Mara. The week after that, some fans rented a plane to fly a banner that read “15 Years of Lousy Football We’ve Had Enough” over the stadium during the last home game of 1978.
The deleterious effect of this happening to one of the league’s flagship franchises was not lost on NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, who worked diligently behind the scenes to get Wellington Mara and his nephew Tim to put aside their feud and agree on a new general manager to restore the New York Giants to prominence. Finally, on Valentine’s Day 1979, the Giants hired George Young to run their football operation.
Young had begun as a successful high school coach in Baltimore; he caught the eye of Don Shula, who hired him to work in scouting. Over the years, Young worked his way up in first the Colts and then the Dolphins organizations, mentored by Shula.
Young hired disciplinarian Ray Perkins as coach, and New York made the playoffs three years later. When Perkins decided to leave to replace the legendary Bear Bryant at his Alabama alma mater, Young replaced him with defensive coach Bill Parcells, and Parcells would complete the restoration by leading the Giants to two Super Bowl wins in eight seasons.
When Young decided to step down in 1998, he left a legacy of accomplishment, organization, honor, dignity, and integrity. He also left an in-house successor in Ernie Accorsi, who carried on in the Young style and maintained the overall success of the franchise. they had to do was snap the ball and have Pisarcik take a knee and the clock would run out.
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None of the Giants’ offensive players could believe that offensive coordinator Bob Gibson sent in a play that called for a handoff to fullback Larry Csonka, and several of them vociferously protested against it in the huddle. Pisarcik chose to follow orders, though. He took the handoff gripping the back end of the ball, and turned to the right before swinging all the way around to find Csonka, who was headed to Joe’s left. The aborted handoff bounced off Csonka’s hip as he plowed into the line. Pisarcik dove for the bouncing ball, and Csonka
I do not know where that play came from.
Edwards carried the ball triumphantly in his left hand as he sprinted the 26 yards to the end zone with tight end Gary Shirk in fruitless pursuit. Edwards’s monster spike signaled an impossible Giants loss and the low point for the franchise.
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