Technically, the Giants wear their “throwback” jerseys for every game since the uniforms they wear today are basically the same uniforms that now-historic Giants like Frank Gifford, Emlen Tunnell and Andy Robustelli wore over half a century ago.
However, the reason why teams wear their throwbacks in the first place is to celebrate the franchise’s history—and lately, it feels like the Giants have ignored a good chunk of their history.
Of course, I’m talking about the uniforms that the Giants wore from the mid-70s up until the turn of the century. They are the same uniforms that all-time Giants greats such as Phil Simms, Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson donned for their entire career.
New York fans have seen their team rise from the abysmal bottom feeding of the ‘70s to the playoff success and Super Bowl titles enjoyed during the prosperous ‘80s and ‘90s—all while the Giants wore these uniforms.
Perhaps, this is the nostalgia speaking—I grew up in the ‘90s, watching players like Michael Strahan, Rodney Hampton and eventually Tiki Barber—but I would like to see the Giants bring back these uniforms for a game this season. After all, could you imagine Eli Manning, Justin Tuck and the rest of today’s stars trotting into MetLife stadium, sporting the old, boldface “GIANTS” logo on their Big Blue helmets?
Most people feel—and I would agree—that the current uniform seems to bleed Giants tradition. Maybe it’s the simplistic blue uniforms with prominent, white block numerals, or maybe, it’s the old-timey gray pants and facemask.
It’s probably the old-school “NY” logo on the shell of the helmet, but whatever it is, something about the uniform reflects the hard-working, no-nonsense mentality that has become characteristic of the Giants organization.
In no way am I advocating for a culture change in New York. Believe me, I love the Giants' current uniform. In fact, I’d even argue that after their last two unexpected Super Bowl victories over the New England Patriots, David Tyree and Mario Manningham have helped make the Giants’ white away jersey one of the NFL’s most iconic uniforms.
I’m all for preserving the team’s blue-collar attitude toward the game of football, but honestly, would it hurt to switch things up for just one game?
After all, the majority of the teams in the league recognize a “third jersey” (throwback/alternate). If you were to visit the Wikipedia page for each of the 32 teams, you would find that only eight teams (Browns, Lions, Colts, Chiefs, Raiders, 49ers, Rams, and of course, the Giants) do not have an active third jersey listed under their current uniforms.
The Giants did have an alternate uniform at one point—remember those all-red versions of their normally blue home jerseys? They made their debut in 2004, the same year that Manning and Tom Coughlin came to the team and made their final appearance in a 31-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on November 11, 2007. The Giants announced the retirement of the red alternates before the ’09 season.
It’s been nearly five years since New York has worn an alternate/throwback jersey, and while their winning style has been thoroughly satisfying over that time, their uniform variation has left something to be desired. With Nike in its first year providing the NFL’s uniforms, there would be no better time to reintroduce their old-school threads with a new age spin.
Personally—and I’m just thinking out loud here—I would like to see the Giants break the jerseys out for their Week 13 Monday Night Football matchup with the Washington Redskins (I know it’s an away game, but it’ll be in front of a national audience).
Since the Giants are the defending champs and the Redskins are supposed to be a young, up-and-coming team under Robert Griffin III, the throwback jerseys would represent the renewal of the epic battles these two teams shared in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
(By the way, if this vision ends up becoming a reality and ESPN coins the game “Restore the Rivalry Night,” I want some sort of royalty.)
Now, I’ll open the debate up to the community.
Would you like to see the Giants introduce throwback uniforms in 2012? Be sure to vote in the poll and back up your opinion in the comments.