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Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Flash Points: Giants' defining moment

By Jeffri Chadiha

What key event significantly changed the fortunes of the Giants -- for better or worse? Give us your take and we’ll give you our definitive moment on May 27.

When you talk about teams that understand the value of taking chances, you have to mention the New York Giants. This organization started when Tim Mara, a legal bookmaker at the time, paid $500 to purchase the team in 1925.

Mara’s sons, Wellington and Jack, moved into the family business when they graduated from college and they also displayed a knack for progressive thinking. The Giants easily could’ve pocketed the bundles of money generated by the New York market in the 1960s. Instead, the Mara brothers agreed to a revenue-sharing model that enables franchises in smaller markets to remain viable today.

In short, the Giants were changing the game then and they kept doing it when George Young became their general manager in 1979. It’s an understatement to say the Giants were in chaos at that point. The same storied franchise that had won three NFL titles before 1957 and reached the title game five times from 1958 to 1963 had enjoyed only two winning seasons between 1964 and 1978.

But Young clearly knew what he was doing. He hired an up-and-coming coach named Bill Parcells. He found a one-man wrecking crew in the 1981 draft, an outside linebacker from North Carolina who was adept at pummeling quarterbacks in ways the league had never seen. Lawrence Taylor was easily the biggest draft pick for a Giants team that won two Super Bowls with him on their defense.

The trade that brought quarterback Eli Manning to New York in 2004 is one that you’d have to put second on that list of critical draft-day decisions. All he did was deliver a Super Bowl win over the then-undefeated New England Patriots four years later. That victory, just like most everything else the Giants have done, proved one thing: This is one franchise that has had a feel for gambling since the day it was born.

What is your Giants defining moment? If you vote Other, give us your suggestion in the comments area below.