Giants Stadium: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Sports Radio NY AM1240-WGBBContributor IDecember 29, 2009

The last game the Giants ever played at Giants Stadium was probably the worst. What a way to go out. I’ve already blocked the whole day out of my head. Sunday never even existed as far as I’m concerned. Now that it’s all over, let’s take one last look at the stadium in the swamp. The first four or five years were pretty much a house of horrors for the home team. But of course they went on to win three Super Bowls while calling Giants Stadium their home. They finished with a record of 155-117, and were 7-4  in the postseason. Here are some noteworthy games played by the Giants at the Meadowlands over the past 34 years. Some were good, some were bad and some were ugly.

October 10, 1976: The first game ever played at Giants Stadium. The Cowboys defeated Big Blue by a score of 24-10. Dallas running back Robert Newhouse scored the first-ever touchdown in the stadium. Jim Robinson caught a 30-yard pass from Craig Morton for the Giants’ first TD in their new home. Larry Csonka scored the Giants’ first rushing touchdown. Morton was 8 for 12 that day, throwing for 126 yards, with one TD and one INT. Norm Snead also threw four passes and completed them all. Csonka rushed for 53 yards, while Doug Kotar ran for 59. Bob Tucker caught five passes for 74 yards.

November 19, 1978. Eagles 19-Giants 17. This was, of course, the Joe Pisarcik/Larry Csonka/Herm Edwards fumble game - the most infamous day in Giants Stadium history. We know all the details of the fumble, but Pisarcik went 13 for 23, for 181 yards, and threw two TD passes with one interception that afternoon. The Giants defense picked off Ron Jaworski three times. And then the end happened. This is the ugly portion of the good, the bad and the ugly.

October 7, 1979: Giants 17-Tampa Bay 14. This was Phil Simms’ first game at the Meadowlands. His stats were not exactly eye-popping - 6 for 12, 37 yards, no TD’s, no INT’s, longest completion was 10 yards - but he led his team to victory nonetheless. Running Back Billy Taylor was the star, rushing for 148 yards and two touchdowns.

September 6, 1981. Philly beat the Giants, 24-10, but that’s just a footnote, as this was the beginning of the best there ever was - it was Lawrence Taylor’s first game at Giants Stadium. He had four tackles and five assists, but didn’t record a sack that day.

January 7, 1987. Giants 17-Washington 0. Big Blue completely dominated the Redskins in the NFC Championship game. The defense had four sacks, one interception and held the Skins to 40 yards rushing and 195 yards in the air. Raul Allegre kicked a 47-yarder, Lionel Manuel caught an 11-yard TD pass from Phil Simms and Joe Morris ran for a touchdown (and gained 87 yards that day). It was recently voted the greatest game in Giants Stadium history.

January 14, 2001: Giants 41-Vikings 0. Another absolutely dominating performance by the Jints in the second NFC Championship game played at the Meadowlands. Kerry Collins shredded the Minnesota defense, throwing five touchdown passes while going 28 for 39 for 381 yards. Ike Hilliard caught 10 passes for 155 yards and scored two touchdowns, and Amani Toomer had six receptions for 88 yards and a TD. The defense gave up a measly 132 total yards to the Vikings, while recording four sacks and three interceptions. Randy Moss gave up early that day. He caught two passes for 18 yards.