A Silver Anniversary

Today at the Gridiron Uniform Database we welcome 'bigbluelarry' aka Larry Schmitt, our resident Giants expert who will take over the reins of our "On This Day..." series twice this week to look back at the Giants' Super Bowl victories.  Today is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Giants' first Super Bowl championship in Super Bowl XXI in January 1987.  Larry will be back Friday to give the same treatment to Super Bowl XXV.

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A Silver Anniversary
by Larry Schmitt

In Super Bowl XXI, Phil Simms had a record day
It's hard to believe I'm sitting here writing about 25th anniversary of the Giants' first Super Bowl as they are getting ready to play their fifth. For long-time fans of the Giants, Super Bowl XXI was a dream come true, and most of us deep down probably felt like it may never happen for us. Indeed, at the conclusion of the game, Giants radio voice Jim Gordon summed it up perfectly, "the Giants have accomplished something most people thought they would never see." 

The Giants' LB Carl Banks
It had been 30 years since the Giants had won a title, and the theme of that team during their playoff run was "burying the ghosts" of Charley Conerly, Frank Gifford, Andy Robustelli and Sam Huff. There were still holdovers from the lost decade of the 70's on the team: George Martin, Harry Carson and Brad Benson. Quarterback Phil Simms still had many doubters and was often booed as the Giants passing game struggled in the regular season (he threw more INT's than TD's that year). The teams strength was the powerful front seven of their 3-4 defense (masterminded by defensive coordinator Bill Belichick) and their "Suburbanite" offensive line and TE Mark Bavaro blocking for HB Joe Morris, who rushed for a then team record 1,516 yards.

The defense was dominant in the playoff games at Giants Stadium, not even surrendering a single touchdown in beating San Francisco 49-3 and Washington 17-0. But Simms stole the spotlight at the Rose Bowl against John Elway's Broncos, passing for a record 22-25 for 268 yards and three touchdowns and was the first Super Bowl MVP to declare he was "going to Disney world."

Spider Lockhart in his heyday
Uniform wise, the Giants wore their basic home blue jerseys with red and white trim that were their staple from 1980-1999. They were augmented however by a patch memorializing a Giant great who had passed away during the offseason, Carl "Spider" Lockhart, who was one of their few bright spots during the lean years of the late 60's and early 70's. They featured two versions of the patch that season, a blue one on their white jerseys and a white one on their blue jerseys, which to my knowledge is a unique treatment for a memorial patch. (Editor's note: The 1997 Atlanta Falcons did something similar for owner Rankin Smith, and the Minnesota Vikings have twice in their history used white & color memorial patches.) The Denver Broncos made their second Super Bowl appearance in 1986, and wore their road white jerseys which were unchanged since their last appearance in the big game in 1977. There were some minor modifications made to Denver's socks, which changed from blue to orange, and the striping on their pants, however, as a whole the uniforms would remain basically the same until the 1997 re-design.

Box Score: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198701250den.htm

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Thanks, Larry, great job!  We're proud to add this game to our website, and we look forward to more Giants' stuff from you in the future.

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