New York Giants' 10 Most Important People in Franchise History

Vinny YeagerCorrespondent IDecember 11, 2008

10. David Tyree

It goes down in history as, "The Catch."

Some call it the greatest play to ever happen in NFL History.

Giants fans call it the greatest "bleepin" thing to happen since slice bread.

David Tyree was a sixth-round draft pick out of Syracuse by the Giants. His first couple of years in the league he was a dominant Special Teams player. That effort got him voted to the Pro Bowl two years ago.

In 2007, The Giants gave Tyree a chance into the spotlight at the Receiver position and he made the most of it. Not only did he make the greatest catch EVER in Super Bowl 42, but he also had one of the Giants two touchdowns in the game.


9. Jeff Hostetler

They say the most important position on a football team is the backup quarterback.

In the 1990 season for the Giants, that statement was never more true.

Giants star quarterback Phil Simms who had already lead the Giants to a Super Bowl victory over the Denver Broncos in 1986, broke his leg in the middle of the season. I wasn't born yet, but this must of killed all Giants fans.

Then, an unsung hero was born.

Jeff Hostetler was a no-name backup quarterback out of West Virgina who barely got any playing time, since Simms was the star of the team.

When Simms went down, Hostetler step right in and led the Giants to the playoffs and back to the Super Bowl against the Buffalo Bills.

Hostetler and the Giants didn't just make it the Super Bowl, but they also won it because of Scott Norwood's infamous wide-right kick as time expired.


8. Tom Coughlin

They call him, "General Coughlin" because of his military-like ways.

When Coughlin was signed by the Giants to be the Head Coach in 2004, people thought that Giants training camp was going to be more like boot camp.

And it was.

Some players hated the way he coached, acted, and treated them. They were fed up with his hard-"butt" mind set and had it up to their heads with him.

Yet, right before the 2007 season, Coach Coughlin said that he was going to be a nicer guy and ease up on his players.

That must of worked because as we all know, the G-Men and General Coughlin went on to win the Super Bowl.


7. Sam Huff

Sam Huff fits right in with all of the old school, tenacious linebackers like Dick Butkus and Ray Nitschke.

Huff played in my father's days in the 1950s and 1960s and was the heart and soul of those New York Giant's teams.

Yes, the Giants had great offensive stars like Frank Gifford and Y.A. Tittle, but Huff was the leader of those teams and paved the way for future Giant greats.

Sam Huff is the definition of a New York Giant—A hard nosed, blue collar guy that is relentless.

The only fault about Sam Huff's career is that he went on to play with the Giant's bitter rival, the Washington Redskins.


6. George Young, Ernie Accorsi, and Jerry Reese

This could be the greatest General Manager Trio of all time.

Just let the facts tell you.

George Young took over the Giant organization in 1979 and then never looked backed. The Giants were an awful team throughout the 1970's, and George Young changed that.

He put a massive emphasis on the NFL Draft and drafted great players like Lawrence Taylor and Phil Simms. Also during his time as GM, the Giants won the Super Bowl in 1986 and in 1990.

After Young had made is mark on the Giants, Ernie Accorsi took over in 1998 and also made a huge impact. In only his second season has the Giants GM, his team made it to the Super Bowl but lost to the Baltimore Ravens.

Accorsi also made the biggest move in franchise history.

In the 2004 NFL Draft, the Giants had the fourth overall pick and the San Diego Chargers had the first overall pick. Both teams were aiming for Ole Miss Quarterback Eli Manning.

Manning was drafted by the Chargers and the Giants settled with NC State Quarterback Phillip Rivers. Yet, in a matter of a couple of draft picks, Accorsi pulled off the greatest trade in Giants history.

The team traded Rivers to the Chargers in exchange for Manning.

Eli went on to be the Super Bowl 42 MVP, while Rivers is running his mouth out in San Diego.

I'd say the trade worked out well.

Accorsi stepped down in 2007 and Jerry Reese stepped in a didn't miss a beat.

Reese also put huge thought into the NFL Draft and that came in handy in the 2007 season.

Reese drafted guys like Aaron Ross, Kevin Boss, Steve Smith, and Zac DeOssie, all of whom played huge roles in the Super Bowl run.

Not many people can say that they have won the Super Bowl in their first season as General Manager of a team, but Jerry Reese can say that he did accomplish that goal.

5. Eli Manning

Peyton who?

Even though everybody and their mother hated Eli the first couple of years in New York, look where he is now.

He took a team to the Super Bowl in his fourth year and then led the game-winning drive to win the game.

It took Peyton 10 years to win his first Super Bowl and Eli did it in three.

Do the math.

After getting made fun of and always getting ripped by players in the NFL, the media, and the fans, Manning has stepped up and has become a true leader on this New York Giant football team.

Eli has finally showed that he was worth trading for in the 2004 NFL Draft.

He should be around for a long time and should continue to bring the Lombardi Trophy home to New York.


4. Steve Spagnuolo

He orchestrated one of the greatest defenses in NFL history with the 2007-2008 Giants.

The best part about it: HE'S STILL DOING IT.

Even though, "Spags" came from the rival Philadelphia Eagles, he learned a lot as their Linebacker Coach under Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson.

When he came over to the good side, he brought that same game plan and that same mentality with him.

As a result of that, the Giants have one of the top defenses in the league.

Even with the drama of Michael Strahan retiring and Osi Umenyiora having a season ending injury, Spagnuolo still has his guys under control and still creates strategies and game plans to make them better as a team.

As my dad once recently said, "These guys look like the '86 Giants."

That's a great thing considering that the 1986 Giants defense was one of the greatest of all time.


3. Wellington Mara

A.K.A. The Duke.

Mr. Mara is the start and end of all Giant's conversations.

Wellington's father, Tim Mara, founded the New York's organization in 1925 and Mara blood as run through the Giants ever since.

Wellington started off his Giants affair as ball boy when he was a child and a young man. He got the call in 1959 to be the Owner of the Giants and he never looked back.

He watched, signed, drafted, and bought all great Giants' players like Frank Gifford, Sam Huff, Lawrence Taylor, Marc Bavaro, Michael Strahan, and Eli Manning.

When you hear of the name, "Mara" you automatically think about the New York Giants.

Mara was the proud owner of the Giants until the day he died, which came way to soon in the fall of 2005.

In his time as owner of the Giants, he saw many NFL Championships, two Super Bowl victories, and of course, many New York Giants legends.

Even though Mr. Mara is gone, his name and legacy will always be apart of the New York Giants.


2. Lawrence Taylor

There is only one LT.

And his name is NOT LaDainian Tomlinson.

Lawrence Taylor is the ONLY LT. Period.

LT is the greatest defensive player in the NFL of all time. End of story.

Yes, you can say that Dick Butkus, or Reggie White, or Bruce Smith was the greatest ever, but Taylor was much different.

He changed the way offenses played the game.

Since he was so fierce coming off they edge, they had to keep and extra blocker in or send out another receiver for the quick pass.

That's good and all, but it didn't stop LT from pounding the QB for a six-yard sack or lighting up the ball carrier for a gain of merely back to the line of scrimmage.

Many quarterback's thought that their number was 56 because Lawrence Taylor would always be on them.

It always seemed that when he played, he was always a step faster. Like he knew where the play was going. He had a natural instinct for the game of football.

Many people and shows on TV try to compare today's linebackers with Lawrence Taylor.

When I hear that, I just laugh and say to myself, "There can only be one LT."

1. New York Giants Fans

When it's all said and done, there is no way a fan in Chicago or a fan in Denver is as intense as a New York fan.

Every week, thousands of Giant's fans come out to the swamps of East Rutherford, New Jersey and support their team.

When I attended Giant's games, I get goosebumps stepping into Giants Stadium, hearing the thousands of crazy fans.

There is no doubt in my mind that when any of the Giant's players run out of the tunnel, they don't get jacked up and crazy when they see and hear the Giant's "12th Man."

Also, unlike the New York Jets, who came around in the 1960s, the Giants have been around since 1925 which means Giants blood runs through generations and generations of families.

I know it has through mine.

In conclusion, there is no greater feeling then being New York Giants fan because every Sunday or Monday (minus the bye week) in the Fall and Winter, the G-Men are always there for you, unlike some other things in life.


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